It was a hard-boiled mystery story, printed as a cheap old paperback whose yellowing pages broke from the binding as I read.
The first-person protagonist was a drag queen named Chakodray, who was navigating a seedy underbelly of Chicago. My mental picture of Chakodray was that he was black, stout, and bald, and clearly unfeminine despite wearing women's clothes.
Clues I remember: both the original victim and the she's-probably-going-to-die-too witness (referred to in the book as a "Sine", which I assumed was slang for prostitute) had a black eye. The original victim had had a baseball bat nearby; the sine said she had picked up a telescope by mistake.
The fusillade of gunfire through the door that had interrupted the interview with the sine had apparently been a warning to her--but my mystery-reading instincts thought that it would turn out that the real purpose was to kill the black dog outside.
Chapter 3 had just begun an uncomfortable interview with the police when I was wakened.