Mating Season Jon Loomis. Minotaur, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-36770-1
Det. Frank Coffin and his partner, Sgt. Lola Winters, look into the stabbing death of notoriously promiscuous dominatrix Kenji Sole, who had a gift for bringing out a man's “inner jerk,” in Loomis's riotous second mystery to feature the Provincetown, Mass., cop (after 2007's High Season). The investigators rattle nearly every skeleton in the official closets of the ultraliberal community as well as a few cages in the state attorney general's office. Between panic attacks and feeling increasingly tuckered out by fervid attempts to get his much younger yoga-instructor lover pregnant, Coffin confronts a number of life's real tragedies—in particular, the wish of his Alzheimer's-stricken mother to die. Such serious concerns lend depth to a black comedy full of raunchy vocabulary and kinky sexuality. Loomis appears to enjoy shock effects too much for their own sake, but he's definitely a writer to watch given his knack for illuminating human nature. (May)
Shock effects? Me?