Viva ‘Divas Las Vegas’
Gays in Sin City
Review by Terri Schlichenmeyer
You would have never believed it if you hadn’t seen it for yourself. Mere steps into the terminal at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, there were, indeed, slot machines: rows and rows of them in all their light-flashing, cha-chinging, whooping glory. Just off the plane, you were overjoyed. You were excited. You couldn’t dig quarters out of your pocket fast enough.
And, of course, that was just the beginning, because there’s lots to do in Sin City; even more, if you’re looking for a lost antique. But in the book Divas Las Vegas by Rob Rosen (Cleis Press, cleispress.com), an old relic could mean trouble anew.
When Bill Miller (known to his friends as “Em”) lost his job through the sale of his beloved bookstore, he was sad . . . for about 10 minutes. His share of the sale amounted to $30,000, which was just the balm Em’s newly unemployed soul needed. The other soothing thing was that it was Las Vegas night on Antiques Roadshow, and Em loooved Antiques Roadshow.
But what he saw astonished him. Years ago, Em’s mother inherited a vase that had been a sore point in her childhood. As a kid, she was never allowed to go near it, and she always hated the thing. Once it was hers, she sold it at a garage sale for two dollars, then regretted her rashness soon after. The vase was featured on the show. It was appraised at $25,000.
Instantly, Em knew that he had to find that vase. Accompanied by his BFF, Justin (who had scads of money and didn’t need a job), and a suitcase filled with two fabulously sequined chorus-girl costumes, Em flew to Vegas to make his mother happy.
But while Las Vegas is filled with beautiful boys and kitschy shows, it’s also filled with danger and intrigue. First, the newest owner of the vase turned up dead, then two strangers were murdered in the hotel in which Em and Justin were staying. Adorable men flashed in and out of the picture like faulty Vegas light bulbs, and old flames flared up. But when one of their new boy-toys got in trouble and vanished, Em and Justin realized that it wasn’t about the vase any more.
Take two men with a flair for fashion. Add a beautiful bisexual woman, a handful of Middle Eastern hotties, and a chain-smoking cabbie. Mix in several murders and a hopelessly horrid vase, put them in Sin City, and shake gently. Open, and serve on a beach, because Divas Las Vegas is the perfect escape read.
Author Rob Rosen created a campy, rompish, slightly naughty semi-mystery novel that is hilariously fun, fun, fun. I loved Em so much (and maybe Justin a little more) that I couldn’t wait to see what they’d come up with next. This story is so enjoyable, in fact, that you’ll almost wish you’d been there.
If you’re looking for something light as a headdress feather but as addicting as a one-armed bandit, Divas Las Vegas is for you. To miss this good-time novel would be a Sin.