St. Martin's, Mar 2003, 22.95, 224 pp.
New York based Jay “J Bird Plankton is a typical right wing shock radio DJ. However, his harangues obviously upset some people because he has become the target of a campaign of harassment and pranks by the Forces of Free Faggotry, a 1970s gay rights group long since extinct. Because of his former ties to the three Fs, Albany private detective Donald Strachey is hired to learn what they want, end any threats, and save J-Bird's image, which is more important than his life.
Donald manages to locate two former members, but both deny any involvement nor accept any of their middle-aged colleagues harassing anyone. However, the attacks escalate until J-Bird's gay bashing sidekick is kidnapped. With the help of a former three F member, farmer Thad Diefendorfer, Donald tries to rescue the victim.
Fans of gay mysteries will enjoy the sharp digs at politicians and radio jocks that used and use the homosexual community to further personal ambitions. The mystery is secondary to the jabs and hooks that Richard Stevenson throws at the bashers with their divide and conquer philosophy. Readers who want a strong investigative tale need to look elsewhere, but those in the audience who relish a series of left right humorous combos will want to read TONGUE TIED because Mr. Stevenson is anything but that with this amusing tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner