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41. The Death of a Constant Lover:
$9.71 $7.11 list($12.95)
42. Vampire Vow
$3.75 list($21.95)
43. Time to Check Out: A Stan Kraychik
$12.00 $10.00
44. No Corpse
$10.46 $8.95 list($13.95)
45. Tropic of Murder: A Nick Hoffman
$9.71 list($12.95)
46. Turning The Tables
47. 4th Down: A Cassidy James Mystery
$25.00 list($13.95)
48. Gaywyck
$8.06 $1.97 list($8.95)
49. On the Other Hand, Death : A Donald
$10.36 $8.38 list($12.95)
50. Dispatch to Death
$9.71 $8.64 list($12.95)
51. The Beverly Malibu : A Kate Delafield
$1.75 list($21.95)
52. Apparition Alley: A Kate Delafield
$10.46 $6.49 list($13.95)
53. Holy Hell: A Lillian Byrd Crime
54. Sixth Sense: A Cassidy James Mystery
$10.17 $9.73 list($14.95)
55. The Eleventh Hour : A Connor Hawthorne
56. Vanishing Rooms
$13.59 list($15.99)
57. The Bluest Eyes in Texas
$10.46 $9.10 list($13.95)
58. Death by Discount : A Mara Gilgannon
$16.97 $16.35 list($24.95)
59. An Intimate Ghost : A Jane Lawless
$9.75 $2.99 list($13.00)
60. The Blue Place

41. The Death of a Constant Lover: A Nick Hoffman Mystery (Stonewall Inn Mysteries)
by Lev Raphael
list price: $12.95
our price: $12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312264968
Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 508955
Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Nick Hoffman's been warned by his chair at the State University of Michigan to avoid trouble if he has any hopes of getting tenure.But his presence at the scene of a murder that involves a favorite student immediately threatens his position at the university, and soon after, his life. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Delightfully witty with just enough of a mystery edge to make even the most ardent mystery novel officiando interested in the plot twists, Lev Raphael has woven yet another skillful installment in the life (and deaths) of Nick Hoffman. Raphael's depiction of American academia is, perhaps painfully, right on the money. He captures not only the politics of American higher education, but also some of its more colorful characters. Yes, the plot's good: all of his novels thus far have exhibited the nice twists and turns one expects--wants--from a murder mystery novel. However, Raphael goes beyond that and peoples his novels with wonderful characters who bring life and wit to the novel. His are not plodding sleuth sagas. Raphael blends mystery plot with style, satire, and character development (hey, when was the last time you read a murder mystery series in which the main character developed over time?). As a writer, Raphael has a keen ear for dialog and a keen eye for description. A must read for readers of any genre!

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved LOVER!
Lev Raphael is our star reporter from the brutal battlefield of academia, and readers couldn't have a wittier, more seasoned correspondent. If you've ever spent time at a university, you'll howl at his portrayals of petty bureaucrats, self-important scholars, groveling grad students, and snarky professors. Thank goodness Professor Nick Hoffman has his rock-steady friend and lover Stefan to lean on, because it's a jungle out there at the State University of Michigan. If you're looking for a dumbed-down mystery you'd better take a pass, because Raphael assumes intelligence on the part of his readers. That's a treat in itself, but the real payoff with Raphael's work can be found in the deeper themes beneath the laughs: The magic of beauty; the power of love and acceptance; the redeeming nature of faith. LOVER is a wonderful read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Picking UP Steam
I was reluctant to read DEATH OF A CONSTANT LOVER. I had read the first two Nick Hoffman mysteries, LET'S GET
CRIMINAL and THE EDITH WHARTON MURDERS, and had come away from both with a bittersweet taste in my mouth.
While each was generally well written and entertaining enough, they each suffered from the same set of irritating flaws, not the
least of which was a narrator dog-determined to show off his own erudition at every turn.

But I am glad I read CONSTANT LOVER. In fact I find it the superior entry of the series so far (I've got two more to go
before I can set a final tally). Yes, Nick/Raphael still shows off every chance he gets (why, he can quote Henry James verbatim,
years after reading him - can you?), but he leavens the pretension with references to pop culture. And there are plenty of other
compensations here as well. The characterizations, while veering towards exaggeration (I'm talking about supporting characters
now), are uniformly good, even compelling. The mystery is genuinely interesting, exciting, and tension-racked. And the little
scenes of lovers Nick and Stefan at home are fun to read (I especially love their dinners, composed of exotic, delicious
sounding meals). But most of all I love Hoffman's barbs at the present state of academia - the backstabbing, the boredom, the
pretension. For Hoffman, academia is a world where the professors hate books, hate their students, and hate each other and
are there not out of love of learning or teaching but to fortify their own lofty positions in the Ivory Tower. And the
administrators are even bigger cads. As a university teacher I can truthfully verify that, yes, for the sake of fiction, Nick/Raphael exaggerates some but not by much.

Although the reviews for LITTLE MISS EVIL and BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE are mixed, I am looking forward to
what Nick Hoffman gets himself into next.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine novel about academia with mysterious deaths to solve
In addition to crafting an intricate plot (I didn't know "whodunit"), Lev Raphael's third Nick Hoffman novel delivers entertaining insights into the making, canonizing, selling, and teaching of literature and micro- and macropolitics in and around a multiversity. He also provides interesting examples of building and sustaining gay and Jewish identities. Reading Raphael will probably lead to reading or rereading several novels by Edith Wharton, who was Raphael's research specialization, and is also Nick Hoffman's -- at what is turning into the State University of Murder around him in English/American Studies/ Rhetoric amalgamated department at SUM.

5-0 out of 5 stars Academic satire series acquires darker edge
If you can't go home again, you can always return for a visit or two. Self-described recovering academic Lev Raphael left university teaching for a full-time writing career. In between producing more literary works -- a novel, a collection of short stories and an analysis of Edith Wharton's fiction -- he's also written three witty mysteries skewing the academic world he left.

His comic alter ego, Nick Hoffman, came to the State University of Michigan to teach classes in the English, American Studies and Rhetoric Department and to be with Stefan, his partner. He also wants to make tenure. But his sharp tongue, lack of allies and preference for teaching over research hurts his chances enough if it weren't for all the bodies he keeps discovering.

By the time Raphael's third book opens, Hoffman's career is foundering and sinking fast. His involvement as amateur detective has brought unfavorable publicity to the university, and his chances darken further by simply being within eyeshot of a murder -- this time of a young man killed during a melee between a campus preacher and a group of students.

"The Death of a Constant Lover" -- the title is a reference to 19th-century English novelist Benjamin Constant --is more a novel of university life and politics than a murder mystery. The investigation moves in fits and starts as Hoffman finds himself also dealing with other problems: death threats are being sent to his office mate, a woman hired to fulfill SUM's diversity quota, and the effect on his relationship with Stefan when he is dropped by his publisher.

Raphael's third book is slightly darker than his first two. Hoffman's joie de vive is dampened by the violence around him, making "Death of a Constant Lover" not so much a darker book -- we're not talking about James Ellroy here -- but simply not as bright and vivacious than the first two books. That's not a criticism so much as an observation that Raphael has put his finger on a key problem with the detecting genre. Death is serious business, and cracking jokes like Noel Coward around the body doesn't ring true. And yet, some sense of humor is needed to keep one from turning Gothic. Homicide detectives and crime reporters tend to develop a callous form that can be shocking to those who The tradeoff here is that Raphael has a sure grasp of his leading characters, and "Constant Lover" is a deeper and more thoughtful mystery that approaches the depth of P.D. James or Martha Grimes. ... Read more

42. Vampire Vow
by Michael Schiefelbein
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555835864
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: Alyson Books
Sales Rank: 249414
Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

2-0 out of 5 stars Huh?
While I'm the first to admit that I thoroughly enjoy gay erotica, especially gay vampire erotica, I found this book difficult to digest. Perhaps it's my Christian upbringing, but I just couldn't make myself believe that a vampire was enamored with Jesus Christ. I found the book poorly written with a decidecly cliched plot. The author jumped back and forth quite a bit with the various story lines, and I found that disconcerting. All in all, not my first choice for a good read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Taboo subject, not much in the way of LUST!
Vampire Vow is a very well written novel about the Vampire Victor who falls in love with Jesus. While the idea is definitely taboo, which makes it an interesting read; this book is not for the reader who wants to be wooed by vampire eroticism whether it is gay or otherwise. If you like a good read with a definite underlying taboo tone then this is the book for you, however if you want lust then I suggest you read Poppy Brite, Anne Rice, or Laurell Hamilton.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Book That'll Make You Go Hmmm.....
I've read just about every vampire novel that's out there, but I've never come across one that is centered around a gay vampire monk in love with Jesus. Some may find this very hard to swallow, others may find it disgraceful, some, like myself, may find it hard to put down.

Now, I'm a heterosexual female and I must say that some scenes didn't agree with me. They weren't the scenes that included guy on guy action, but actually, the more gory ones bothered me the most. Michael Schiefelbein's vampire is more animal than man. The way he discards his victims like yesterday's garbage is almost apalling. But one of Schiefelbein's characters explains the vampire's actions justly; "nature is nature." But I just wasn't used to this because so many authors nowadays write about the romantic vampire.

This take on the vampire was very refreshing. I also thoroughly enjoyed Schiefelbein's writing style. I found that the book was so easy to read, that it was done and I was reading the sequel (Vampire Thrall) before I knew it.

Don't discount this title because of its homosexual content. It truly is something different and enjoyable if you just let yourself be taken away by the story. It's really hard to explain unless you actually sit down and read it.

If you are offended by gore, violence, and homosexual sex (and rape), I suggest you look elsewhere.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice read
Try not to read it as a Christian, you will find it a nice innovative read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but Pointless
The protagonist of this novel is a Roman officer who, when his carnal desire for a young Jesus Christ is unrequited, turns to the dark side, and becomes a vampire at the behest of an ancient Ethiopian priestess. HUH?!?

I suppose the premise is interesting enough, even though it's mildly offensive. Homosexual yearnings from and toward Jesus are nothing new, but in this novel, is presented at its most base and deplorable. Frustrated that he can't "get inside" Jesus, the protagonist, Victor, sets off on a string of rapes and murders that eventually causes him to flee for his life. At this point, he is turned into a vampire. If you're looking for the sensuous and romantic vampires of Anne Rice lore, you're not going to find them here. Victor is nothing but a two thousand year old carcass looking to punish Christians because he was forsaken by his beloved, Jesus.

There's no emotional investment with this character. He is presented as one-dimensional; a rogue demon filled with anger and a sexual thirst equaled only by a penchant for violence. While some of the scenes are erotic, there's no real passion or longing, so they just ring hollow. While reading page after page of how Victor longs to find a lover that will satisfy and challenge him as Jesus did, one becomes more and more disillusioned that for all of his living, Victor hasn't learned much. At the end, his situation hasn't changed, except he's left a larger pile of bodies behind. ... Read more

43. Time to Check Out: A Stan Kraychik Mystery
by Grant Michaels
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312144342
Catlog: Book (1996-08-01)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Sales Rank: 886792
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not any more.
This is the fifth in this Stan Kraychik series. It seems Grant Michaels has been going downhill. This issue is just boring. I won`t read the next one("Dead as a Doornail").Enough for me. Sorry Stan. You used to be so fun...

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great read
This is the first gay mystery I've read and it was a page turner for me. I couldn't put it down. I think it is a great read.

3-0 out of 5 stars This series is always a good, fun read.
While not quite as good as previous books in the Stan Kraychick series due to too many odd-ball characters (but, this is Key West), this was still a fun, easy read.I longed for the continuation of the interesting relationship between Stan and his police detective friend/adversary from prior books.That relationship has more life in it and is more real than the contrived situations in this book.Still, it was a fast, fun read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Darn good read, especially if you know Key West
I started this book on the plane en route to Key West and finished it while on vacation at a guest house there. It's a great book for a fun read, particularly while sitting poolside in Key West and envisioning thecharacters and locale. Not great literature, but a good story with vividcharacters and locales. Looking forward to reading his other books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Grant Michaels...please write more!
I have been eagerly awaiting more titles from Grant Michaels. Whatever the flaws, his characters and dialogue whisk me along at an all-time record. Hope that he realizes how popular he is with gay readers. A summer release would be most welcome. Stan is the man. ... Read more

44. No Corpse
by Nancy Sanra
list price: $12.00
our price: $12.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883061334
Catlog: Book (2000-10-09)
Publisher: Rising Tide Press (AZ)
Sales Rank: 524509
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A perfect vacation.A cruise ship filled with women expecting fun, new adventure and romance.The Caribbean in full beauty.But suddenly everything changes.A deadly killer moves undetected through the ship murdering at will...but leaving few clues. The early signs point to a group of college roommates with a crowd of old ghosts to deal with.The ship's chief of security, wants and finally gians private investigators Tally Mcginnis and Cid Cameron's big-city expertise, but even as they pursue the killer the bloodbath continues.And someone wants Tally dead. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good story, but.....
I give this book 5 stars for content but only 1 star for length.I'v read chapters in books longer than this entire "booklet". As for the ending, I must have missed something in the reading because it did not make sense to me.Maybe one has to read the previous books by Ms. Sanra to understand the ending.

5-0 out of 5 stars A page turner
Nancy Sanra has done it again.She has written a tight fast paced mystery that keeps you guessing right to the end. She has added a hint of romance, just enough to make you smile. And the question I want answered, will Cid finally find romance? The ending was incredible and has me absolutely on pins and needles for the next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and chilling
Nancy Sanra has done it again. Her fast moving style in No Corpse keeps you glued to the book until the very end.Tally McGinnis finally takes a cruise vacation with her Irish lass, Katie. But almost before they leave port, Tally is recruited to help stop a serial killer who is on board. The spotlight in this book, however, is on Tally's partner, Cid Cameron, the hard-hitting, chain-smoking, tough-talking ex-cop. This is the character who comes to life immediately and demands our attention as she evolves from an almost-caricature to a deep, feeling friend deserving of all our empathy. No Corpse is a perfect read for a busy day, and the ending is chilling enough to make us yell, "More," ... Read more

45. Tropic of Murder: A Nick Hoffman Mystery (Nick Hoffman Mystery)
by Lev Raphael
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1880284685
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Perseverance Press
Sales Rank: 34918
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Book Description

It's winter, but academic madness is in full bloom at the State University of Michigan. Untenured English professor Nick Hoffman is trying to keep out of the line of fire as three senior professors battle to be department chair--all of whom hate each other and demand Nick’s support. The situation implodes when an emergency meeting turns the department, and normal academic procedure, upside down. In an intense atmosphere of mounting crisis, Nick and his colleagues lose rights and autonomy, and he is desperate for a quick getaway. Nick's partner, Stefan, suggests an idyllic week at a Caribbean Club Med. The island of Serenity, however, proves to be anything but serene. Once again, Edith Wharton scholar Nick Hoffman, who grew up in New York City without even being mugged, finds himself face-to-face with murder. His winter vacation in paradise becomes a nightmare as he learns the truth of the warning that You can run, but you can’t hide. And on a tiny island, there’s nowhere even to run... ... Read more

46. Turning The Tables
by Jessica Thomas
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594930090
Catlog: Book (2005-01-30)
Publisher: Bella Books
Sales Rank: 427354
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Book Description

Something evil stalks Commercial Street on a festive Halloween night.Only in the cold light of morning does word spread of a gay man's murder.

Beset with her own worries, Private Investigator Alex Peres trusts local law enforcement to investigate.But when the detective-in-charge turns his attention to Alex's friends, she agrees, reluctantly, to do a little poking around of her own.It doesn't take her long to find more questions than answers.

Greed, passion, hatred, fear: which human failing explains the crime?Just as matters begin to make sense, a second killing sends Alex spinning in unexpected directions.If she doesn't think fast, she may not be able to save a third victim: herself. ... Read more

47. 4th Down: A Cassidy James Mystery (Cassidy James Mysteries)
by Kate Calloway
list price: $11.95
our price: $11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1562801937
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Naiad Pr
Sales Rank: 645502
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars More people to confuse the mystery.
Another good mystery from Kate. This one takes us away from the her little town and mainstay people. A new set of people to figure out. Cass has more stamina at the end of the mystery plot than most people have. As always, an interesting and intriging book. ... Read more

48. Gaywyck
by Vincent Virga
list price: $13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555835848
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: Alyson Books
Sales Rank: 564505
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Originally published in 1980, Gaywyck, the first gay gothic romance, tread firmly in beloved territory, both honoring it and reinventing it. Classic in style, Vincent Virga creates a world as authentic as anything penned by DuMaurier, retaining the creaking ancestral mansion and mysterious and brooding master of the manor, while replacing the traditional damsel in distress with the young and handsome Robert Whyte, who was hired to catalog the vast library at Gaywyck. But before he can perform his real duty--of soothing the master's tortured heart--young Robert must first uncover the hidden evil lurking in the background and dodge murder and blackmail to root out the dark family secrets threatening to destroy him. Praised for its authentic use of language and setting as well as its honest portrayal of gay life and love in fin di secle America, Gaywyck is a classic of both gay and gothic fiction. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Cult Classic

Uh huh.

I gots to get me some of that, thinks I, and I begin to read. And read. 376 pages later I close the book on the emerald-eyed Robert Whyte ("Almost too beautiful to be alive") flung into a terrifying web of danger and lust with Donough Gaylord ("the epitome of elegance and sophistication"), the brooding master of Gaywyck.

In classic gothic story dynamic, neurotic and sickly seventeen-year old Robert is hired to catalogue the enormous library at the great secluded mansion of Gaywyck in turn of the century (last century) Long Island. It's a given that Robert falls under the spell of the master of Gaywyck, "New York's most elegible bachelor," a man possessed of "perfect dark Irish beauty" and a split personality. What follows is standard gothic procedure: sinister servants, secret passages, threatening missives, nervous collapses, apparitions, family secrets, gay sex...

Itself like a gothic heroine urgently crying out for rescue, never has a book so begged for rewrite. GAYWYCK is a goldmine of historical detail, chock full of literary and philosophical allusions, as well as references to art, music and architecture. Unfortunately, unlike Argiri's THE GOD IN FLIGHT (which was clearly influenced HUGELY by this novel), here the impressive research overwhelms the convoluted plot. This is so often the problem with historical fiction. Instead of subtly weaving in period details (as one would find with novels actually written in the era), the book turns into a tutorial.

Another problem is that, with the possible exception of the cat, everyone in the book is a freak. Not very likable freaks at that. GAYWYCK is peopled by mannerisms and nervous tics as opposed to fleshed-out characters. It's hard to tell if our protagonists act in or out of character because their characters are so sketchy, but certainly they enjoy the most unsatisfying and unwholesome interaction--even for the gothic genre.

Still, the book is a classic (mostly from its position is a milestone in gay literature) and worth reading. I suspect its true long-run value lies in its serving as inspiration for writers who followed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gothic romance at its best !
This book may have been written in the 1980s but to me the story is timeless. It has everything a gothic romance should have and much more. Dark secrets, alluring isolation in a mansion by the sea, frightening twists and turns, sensual love story, tormented and passionate heroes doomed yet saved in the end. A well described era in New York with fascinating characters you could cheer for. I wish there is more of this in contemporary friction.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting At Times but Vaguely Unsatisfying
(...)The story is certainly timeless and such a plot is well known if you are a former reader of gothic romance novels like me: two people meet through an arrangement suppose to be business related but eventually and naturally they fall for each other over the course of the story. Subplots and other characters come into play keeping them apart for a time, but eventually everything comes together.

Overall a good idea, especially in the fact its same sex lovers in this gothic romance, yet the writing can be confusing at times so the reader is inclined to skip the tedious parts, plus you don't quite know what is going on, why, or with whom more often than not. Of course, gothic novels are suppose to be mysterious and revelational only at the end, yet even at the end I was left unsatisfied not knowing exactly why anything happened. No resolution except that the two lovers eventually do find love and make a life together. Supporting characters are more interesting. I found myself skipping to the parts where favorites were mentioned. Its an acceptable read if you wade into it knowing there is hard going at times, rather like reading Norah Lofts. I'd suggest reading it on a long airplane flight where you have nothing else to do at the time, or if you are a very patient person.

2-0 out of 5 stars Lord Donough
I was not impresed by this.It was one of the least apealing books I have read.I was just disapointed I guess.I did like a few scenes.I even liked the suporting characters better,but all in the whole.Not a great book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unique novel marred by a flawed protagonist
A novelty at best, this is the first (and only, to my knowledge) "gothic romance" with gay characters. Readers who enjoy books like "Rebecca" and "Jane Eyre" will not be disappointed if you revel in a character who finds romance and mystery while living in a brooding mansion filled with hidden corridors and lurking servants while the winds and storm rage outside. In this respect, the book delivers. Gaywyck, the name of the house, is wonderfully depicted on a grand scale. However, what killed the book for me is the simmering sod of a lead character who is reduced to tears at the drop of a hat. And if he is not crying, he's either cowering in fear, fainting or sick in bed. How the hulky and brooding master of the house, Donough Gaylord, falls for this [guy] is both absurb and unbelievable. So, instead of cheering for Donough to sweep Robert off his feet, the reader is hoping he will throw him over the nearest cliff! ... Read more

49. On the Other Hand, Death : A Donald Strachey Mystery (Stonewall Inn Mysteries)
by Richard Stevenson
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312118716
Catlog: Book (1995-01-15)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Sales Rank: 232335
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When the giant Millpond Company finds its plans for a mega-shopping mall stymied by the refusal of an elderly lesbian couple to sell their home, the ladies are subjected to ugly vandalism and frightening death threats. The powerful director of Millpond in turn hires Don Strachey, Albany's only gay detective, to protect the ladies, find the culprits, and clear the corporate name. Strachey accepts with misgivings that deepen rapidly as kidnapping, extortion, and murder darken the lives of Albany's gay community. Fast-paced, deftly plotted, and superbly written, this is one of the best Strachey novels yet.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Albany's not-so-private dick is at it again.
Extortion, kidnapping and murder complicate Strachey's attempts to protect a lesbian couple from a vicious campaign of intimidation.

On this second Strachey "outting" twists and turns abound, there is an amusing cast of friends and foes, numerous sexual escapes and plenty of laughs. But best of all is the evolving relationship between Strachey and lover Timmy Callahan, which provides (along with the wittiest repartee in any gay mystery of recent memory), some genuinely tender moments ... Read more

50. Dispatch to Death
by Martha Miller
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892281201
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: New Victoria Publishers
Sales Rank: 255631
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Book Description

For years Trudy has driven the lavender cab Number Four, and that's all she's done since Georgia left her. With her dog Alex, a home in the trailer park, her Harley motorcycle and enough money to get by, she keeps to a comfortable routine. That's all blown out of the water one fateful day when she picks up a fare, the beautiful and mysterious, Anita Alvarez. Next thing she knows, the dispatcher at her cab company is killed in cold blood. Looking for answers, Trudy finds herself irresistibly drawn into Anita's convoluted intrigues of drug running and shady politics.

After being shot at Trudy resolves to leave Anita and her problems behind, yet she's yanked back into the fray one more time. Why?--because somehow, the young vulnerable woman appeals to the working-class hero deep inside Trudy, and if she doesn't save her, who will? ... Read more

51. The Beverly Malibu : A Kate Delafield Mystery (Kate Delafield Mystery)
by Katherine V. Forrest
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555837166
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Sales Rank: 158651
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As LAPD detective Kate Delafield investigates the Thanksgiving Day strychnine poisoning of retired movie director Owen Sinclair, she discovers that he turned over names to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s and destroyed countless careers. But which of his charmingly eccentric neighbors, most of whom have worked in Hollywood since the 1940s, might be responsible for what now appears to be a revenge killing?

... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great mystery and a reminder of past injustices
Owen Sinclair, a B-movie director is murdered in a hideous manner. This makes Kate Delafield think the murder was one of revenge. Through sleuthing, she finds that Sinclair was a "friendly witness" during the McCarthy witchhunt era. He spoke to HUAC (House un-American Activities Committee), which was the House arm of McCarthy's own Senate hearings. Hollywood was especially vulnerable at this time. Forrest skillfully weaves in information about that period through her characters but never allows it to overshadow the mystery. There are red herrings galore and Kate lets herself get emotionally involved with several of the people and there's even a romance in it for the lonely Kate who feels that she must protect the people she loves from the horrors of her job. She is also isolated because she is gay and must remain closeted to be able to do her job. The LAPD has a policy not unlike the military: Don't ask, don't tell. Every Delafield book reveals a new facet of Kate and this is no exception. If Forrest wrote mainstream detective mysteries rather than mysteries with a lesbian heroine, she would probably be as popular as P.D. James or Ellis Peters or Elizabeth Peters. It's unfortunate because all her mysteries are first-rate. As I said, the politics never get in the way of the story, although this book did introduce me to Scoundrel Time by Lillian Hellman, which I later bought.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mystery and history
Forrest combines history with suspense and comes up with an interesting and very readable instalment in the Kate Delafield Mystery series. An unpopular tenant is poisoned in a slightly seedy apartment block peopled by Hollywood employees of the forties and fifties. These eccentric and enchanting characters bring to life the era of McCarthyism and the House Un-American Committee, as well as nostalgia for the glamorous Hollywood of that time. Of course, lesbian detective fiction wouldn't be complete without romance, and Kate Delafield finds that in the Beverly Malibu. This novel has a strong story line and keeps you guessing until the last moment - I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best...
This, along with Nightwood, is one of the best reads in the Delafield series. The murder plot and details are simple, as opposed to those in Apparition Alley or Liberty Square, and the story of the new relationship is unforgettable.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Mystery and a History lesson too!
I found the Beverly Malibu a fascinated book. It held my interest till the last page and I couldn't guess the murderer. It think it will be difficult for anyone to even though the evidence is there in front of our faces. We can't see it because like a magician, Forrest focuses our attention elsewhere. I thought the dynamics of the relationship which developed between Kate and both Grant women quite interesting and she pulls a twist on that one too. All in all, a very satisfactory read. On top of that, we learn a lot about the House on Un-American Activities Committee. It just amazes me how a committee could gain such power and igore due process. Sometimes it makes me wonder just how much freedom we truly have. It is a scary thought and we should never allow such a witchhunt to happen again. In fact, I found the subject so interesting that I ordered Scoundrel Time by Lillian Hellman (from, of course). I want to learn about what life was like in that era from someone who lived through it and suffered from it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed reading a book about lesbian women.
Makes a change to be able to get books on the subject out here. ... Read more

52. Apparition Alley: A Kate Delafield Mystery (Kate Delafield Mysteries (Hardcover))
by Katherine V. Forrest
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425159663
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 485742
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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LAPD homicide detective Kate Delafield is shot in a routine drug bust.It's her first line-of-fire accident, but when it turns out that the bullet thatwinged her came not from the suspect's gun but from a police weapon, the casetakes on a different hue. Was Kate's injury the result of a bias against gaysand lesbians in the department? And how does it tie into the charges leviedagainst Luke Taggart, a cop whose partner, a closeted gay man, was killed inwhat he believes was a hate crime?

When Kate is reluctantly dragooned into defending Taggart at a departmentalhearing on charges that could lead to a murder indictment, she tries to ignorethe homophobia that seems to be the common link between her shooting and themurder of Taggart's partner. But the psychotherapy required after anofficer-involved shooting forces her to confront her guilt over the suicide ofanother member of the department and her ambivalence about outing her gaycolleagues or even coming out of the closet herself.

Forrest uses both the current tarnish on the reputation of the Rampart-era LAPDand the tangled personal and political implications of sexual diversity to goodadvantage in this well-crafted mystery, the fifth in the Kate Delafield series.The most effective scenes, in the office of the psychologist she's forced tosee, add another layer of complexity to Kate's character. This is a heroine whocontinues to evolve and grow with every new adventure. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Kate finds out she's human
Kate Delafied is shot and wounded in a "routine" bust. What really blows her mind is when she finds out that the bullet came not from the criminal but from one of her fellow officers, all of whom are loathe to speak to Kate which makes her even more cranky. Then out of the blue comes a request from Luke Taggert, who is accused of having killed a drug dealer in cold blood and he wants Kate as his advocate. Kate is initially unwilling to take the case but boredom and the inconsistencies she finds when she starts investigating keep her going. She is astonished when Taggert is less worried about his own fate and more concerned about the murder of his closeted partner Tony Ferrera, who was more like a brother than a partner to Luke. As Kate works on Taggert's case, she finds herself also looking into Tony's death as well. She finds that Tony made a computer disk of closeted gays that he intended to publish. THis makes the LAPD the prime target. Did one of them kill Tony to keep him quiet? and what of Luke's story. Kate begins to find it has more holes than swiss cheese. As an aside, I found her sparring with psychologist Calla very interesting and Calla's warning to Kate before she releases her to return to "light" duty shakes Kate and we can only hope she will listen. A lot is going in in this book and it is very complex and exciting.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series...
Of all the Delafield books, this was one of the weakest.Too manyintersecting stories to really keep up.Had a hard time believing Aimeewould be working so hard after the shooting.Worth reading for the sake ofkeeping up with the series.

1-0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Boring
This book is definetely "no frills". The writing is terse, tense, clipped and unembellished to the point of tedium. Never again!

3-0 out of 5 stars OK But Not Great
This book was an OK book. Perhaps I was expecting more. One of the things that I did like about this book was Kates attitude and her love for being a member of the LAPD. I also the manner in which Ms. Forrest characterizedLuke Taggert. I was disappointed by the lack of action in this book. Notbeing one who reads many mystery/dective novels I can't think of any otherauthors to compare this book with. Would I read another Katherine Forrestnovel.? Yes. I never judge an author on just one book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, best in the series so far
This author just turns out a better story each timeon her wonderfulcharacter Kate Delafield.Again, Kate is faced with an extremelyintrigueing case.Not only that, she has her own demons to confront inthis story.How they all intertwine and make for a thought-provoking storyand ending are done so well that you keep wishing for more.

As alwaysfrom this wonderful author, this story makes you think and contemplate. The characters have depth and as in real life, they are full of complexitesand depth.This story especially moved me as it explores the issues oftrust and true friendship.It touches the depths of how far a friend willgo to find justice.This is a story that gives deep thought to some issuesin the gay and lesbian community about coming out and all of theramifications of doing just that. I loved the whole story and the plot. When I finished it I was moved by the author's ability tosee so manysides of the trust issues that all police officers go through.

When Ifinished it I was moved to tears by the love and devotion that itpresented.As in real life, it showed that sometimes where and when weleast expect it, we find someone we can really trust when our back is tothe wall, to the end.How many times in life do we really have that?Bravo Ms. Forrester.I know your next book will be even better. ... Read more

53. Holy Hell: A Lillian Byrd Crime Story
by Elizabeth Sims
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555836534
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Sales Rank: 144073
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lillian Byrd is a small-time reporter with a flair for making big-time mistakes--so her investigation into the disappearances of women around the Detroit area might not be the best idea. But when one of the victims turns up dead and Lillian recognizes the curiously mutilated corpse, she is in too deep to get out. After simultaneously blowing the case for the police and revealing herself to the killers, she is completely on her own. Can she catch the murderers before they catch up with her? ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars holy heaven
i finished reading HOLY HELL a few minutes ago... i'm not sure what time i started reading it, but i've only had it since late last night! don't start reading it unless you have the time to finish it, because--trust me--you WON'T want to put it down! HOLY HELL is a gripping novel with enough twists and tension (of a few kinds) to make your head swim with delight! the characters are well-developed and even the ones who are only in the book briefly will make you fall in love with them... definitely an impressive first novel--can't wait to see lillian take on more crimes in the future! kudos to elizabeth sims!

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Hell scores big for suspense and characterization
Be sure you have some time because you won't want to put this original murder mystery down. This beautifully written Lillian Bird novel gathers momentum as it goes. Join Lillian in her pursuit for justice as she challenges Bucky with an X-Acto knife, meets Minerva for dinner at the Great Enchilada Place by the Bridge, and encounters danger from other quirky characters. Elizabeth Sims maintains suspense well with surprises for even the veteran mystery reader. Will Minerva survive for another book? Is Lou just a big puppy dog or a vicious stalker? What crime will Lillian Byrd solve next?

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is incredible!
Elizabeth Sims is an amazing author. This was one of, if not the best book, I have read in a long time. I could not put it down until I finished reading it.

1-0 out of 5 stars To call this book garbage would be a compliment
Why is it that since "Silence of the Lambs", a GOOD book, every killer has to be fixated on stealing body parts? The seqence about the teeth in this book is totally ridiculous, as are several other plot devices. True, there are unexpected twists, but the twists are only unexpected because they're implausible and downright insulting to any reader of intelligence. Plot holes prevail, and the author writes sex scenes as if she's still a virgin. I only finished this novel because I paid full price for it at the book store, which was a mistake. BOOOOOO!

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!
I loved Elizabeth's Holy Hell. I am always on the look out for a quality book with a strong woman as the main character. And what a character Lillian is! It's a perfect mix of humor, crime writing, and spirit. I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth. ... Read more

54. Sixth Sense: A Cassidy James Mystery (Cassidy James Mysteries)
by Kate Calloway
list price: $11.95
our price: $11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1562802283
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Naiad Pr
Sales Rank: 572892
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet!
Every time I pick up a Kate Calloway, I'm more pleased than the time before. This one's even better than 5th Wheel! Kate has a way of making not only the protagonist Cassidy James and her entourage of faithful sidekicks both likeable and believable, but she makes the antagonists, or villains, if you will, equally intriguing. I love the psychic parts in this book. Having experienced a few telepathic experiences in my life, I appreciate the honesty and realness with which Kate handles this topic. Most of all, though, I like Cassidy James. She's not a super sleuth. She's not James Bond in drag. She's got inner struggles like the rest of us, fears, wants and flaws. She's not weak, far from it. But she's vulnerable and I find myself cheering for her the whole way. And I love the food! If Kate weren't a mystery writer, I'd swear she could write a cook book. But mystery writer she is, and I'm glad of it. I can't wait for the next Cassidy James mystery!

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This is an enjoyable read. I did figure out the mystery halfway through the book so it wasn't that suspenseful but I did enjoy the story. ... Read more

55. The Eleventh Hour : A Connor Hawthorne Mystery
by Lauren Maddison
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555838782
Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Sales Rank: 6771
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Book Description

Connor Hawthorne and her lover, Laura Nez, are enjoying a quiet weekend at a women's resort in Palm Springs, but a poolside conversation soon has them neck-deep in a mystery with global ramifications. Soon, they are in England investigating a healer named Sister Sonia, who is toying with forces about which she has little understanding, which could have disastrous consequences. Then Connor's daughter, Katy, against her mother's wishes, goes undercover to investigate Sister Sonia and disappears.

Lauren Maddison is the author of four previous Connor Hawthorne mysteries: Deceptions, Witchfire, Death by Prophecy, and Epitaph for an Angel. She makes her home in Southern California.

... Read more

56. Vanishing Rooms
by Melvin Dixon
list price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525249656
Catlog: Book (1991-03-01)
Publisher: E P Dutton
Sales Rank: 1335683
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Prior to Melvin Dixon’s death from AIDS in 1992 when he was on the verge of breaking out as an acclaimed novelist, his talent was compared to that of Toni Morrison and James Baldwin. In Vanishing Rooms, the author amply demonstrates his literary promise with a compelling love story of interracial sex and urban violence set in Manhattan’s West Village in the 1970s. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is REAL literature!
Examines the private hell of two people connected through a tragedy. Beautifully written with skill, lucidity and polish. This is REAL literature! This book did not get the attention it deserves. It is a MASTERPIECE! Melvin Dixon's name should be mentioned right alongside of James Baldwin's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dancing on Broken Feet
Vanishing Rooms is an intensely emotional novel. It gives equal voices to three characters: Jesse, a young black dancer who loses his troubled boyfriend Metro; Ruella, a female black dancer who is enamoured with Jesse; and Lonny, a white teenager who prefers the streets and feels he must prove himself to his tough friends. At the centre of the story is the loss of Metro and how it affects all three characters. The death is described flatly, like a piece of impersonal news. This is a contrast to Jesse's deep feelings for him that he describes as akin to his passion for dancing. More than the injustice of this murder, the novel continues on to describe the horrible injustices made toward people who are gay and black as they are forced to be marginal groups of American society. It describes the troubling relationship not only felt in an interracial relationship but also the sad imbalances felt by many gay couples whose definition of monogamy tragically varies. However, the book's attitude toward the varieties of gay life is ambivalent. At one point, Jesse finds himself wandering through a large sex club being led by an older black man who is trying to seduce him. The meaning it has for Jesse is ambivalent. There are wonderful passages describing the scene in a way that is almost hallucinatory. The novel is filled with such morally ambiguous dilemmas such as the way in which Ruella's brother, a convict, arranges special retribution for Metro's death. Ruella's friendship with Jesse is mysterious and their dependency on each other turns out to be for selfish reasons rather than genuine friendship. The delicate relationships are poignantly explored and the ending is characteristic of the character's personalities with their beautifully rendered drama.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Unrecognized Masterpiece!
Melvin Dixon was a brilliant black gay man (and Brown University alumnus). Unfortunately his life was cut short by the tragedy of AIDS. In his honor, however, every black gay man should buy this book and read it cover to cover. In this tale, the protagonist goes through a surreal journey in which he finds himself in love with other black men, sexually, spiritually, and politically. When originally released, the critics mocked him by saying, "What do you get when you mix Truman Capote with James Baldwin?" However, this is not an imitation or duplication of other gay authors. This is a black gay masterpiece and if you are truly fierce, you will order it! SNAP! ... Read more

57. The Bluest Eyes in Texas
by Linda Crist
list price: $15.99
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0971815003
Catlog: Book (2002-06)
Publisher: Fortitude Press, Inc.
Sales Rank: 121803
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Kennedy Nocona is an out, liberal, driven attorney, living in Austin, the heart of the Texas hill country. Once a player in the legal community, she now finds herself in the position of re-evaluating her life - a position brought on by a personal tragedy for which she blames herself. Seeking redemption for her tormented past, she loses herself in her work, strict discipline of mind and body, and the teachings of Native American roots she once shunned.

Dallasite Carson Garret is a young paralegal overcoming the loss of her parents and coming to terms with her own sexual orientation. After settling her parents' estate and examining her failed past relationships, she is desperately ready to move forward. Bored with her state of affairs, she longs for excitement and romance to make her feel alive again.

A chance encounter finds them inexplicably drawn to one another, and after a weekend together, they quickly find themselves in a long distance romance that leaves them both wanting more. Circumstances at Carson's job develop into a series of mysteries and blackmail attempts that leaves her with more excitement than she ever bargained for. Confused, afraid, and alone, she turns to Kennedy, the one person she knows can help her. As they work together to solve a puzzle, they confront growing feelings that neither woman can deny, complicated by outside forces that threaten to crush them both. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars My Best Christmas Gift
This book was the best Christmas gift given to me. I have read and enjoyed Ms. Crist's Xena and Gabrielle stories and the web version of this book. The published version is even better; the plot tighter, the editing well done. I enjoyed the exciting legal mystery that is the central plot of this book, and the warm love story that develops very naturally and believably between Carson and Kennedy. It was a lot of fun to read about places in Texas too. I believe Ms. Crist is getting ready to start writing the sequel and I can hardly wait to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Satire, Moving Characters. Ex ellent Read!
Not only has Linda written a very moving, but detailed instersting satire with just enough suspense to keep you glued to the pages until you are finished. She has written believable characters that have spunk and at the same time do have some emotional baggage which only helps to make them more human and you will take them to your heart as I did. You will enjoy the laid back atmosphere Linda has created, along with the Texas locations that only add to the flavor of the book. This is an inspiring new writer, that will produce many great romances for us to read, and you can't go wrong by buying this excellent book. I purchased two of them last year, one that I have read so much it is falling apart, the other for a spare in my library. When I spend my money for two books by the same author, you know it has got to be good. Highly recommend one read sitting. Excellent.

1-0 out of 5 stars main characters need to shine, but they are only bland
For a first time effort I applaud Crist for a forseable happy ending, which is always nice. However, her storyline is extremely weak and predictible. Her build up or background of the two main characters is extremely vunerable, followed by choppy ill fitting sequences in the next to impossible happenings storyline. If I'm going to read several hundred pages of attorney junta, I should at least believe the verbage, but it just isn't there. Her characters have flaws, which all of us have, but their weakness just don't rise to the overall presentation of the plot, which is also extremely weak. This poor review is only to assist Crist in her journey in writing, for tightening the loopholes in the story, making the sub-characters have personality and of course, the main characters need to shine and rise above being ordinary, uninteresting characters. Unfortunately, Linda is there yet. However, I have every intention of purchasing her next book with the hopes of vast improvement in her writing style.

5-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining book
I really liked the characters Carson and Kennedy in this book, and enjoyed reading a story that involved the profession I'm in, litigation. The plot of the book was quite suspenseful at times but also had some very emotional moments that allowed you to care for the main characters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I thought Linda Crist did a wonderful job in getting me to care about what happened to her characters, Carson and Kennedy, in The Bluest Eyes in Texas. I particularly appreciated the fact that there was an interesting mystery that went along with the girl meets girl story. Ms. Crist's skill with writing dialogue that rigns true and her use of Texas as a locale made the story more enjoyable for me. I hope there are more books in this author's future. ... Read more

58. Death by Discount : A Mara Gilgannon Mystery (Mara Gilgannon Mysteries)
by Mary Vermillion
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555838634
Catlog: Book (2004-10-15)
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Sales Rank: 150639
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Book Description

Thirty-something Mara Gilgannon finds herself back in her dinky hometown of Aldoburg, Iowa, helping her Aunt Zee keep her struggling radio station alive while unraveling clues surrounding the murder of Glad, Zee's longtime partner. Mara begins to suspect that Glad's vocal opposition to a Wal-Mart opening in the town, an issue that has sharply divided Aldoburg, may have more to do with the murder than was originally supposed. But nothing is ever simple-especially when a beautiful police officer catches Mara's eye.

Mary Vermillion is an associate professor of English at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, and her writing has appeared in Birthday Blessings and Testimonies.

... Read more

59. An Intimate Ghost : A Jane Lawless Mystery (Jane Lawless Mysteries (Hardcover))
by Ellen Hart
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312317476
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
Sales Rank: 145710
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Restaurateur Jane Lawless is thrilled to be catering the wedding of some family friends, Nick and Lauren Clifford, but when Jane arrives at the wedding, she's in for a shock of a lifetime-and one that could jeopardize her career.The food has been spiked with hallucinogenic mushrooms and the drug-hazed guests are engaged in reckless behavior.

When the groom takes a near fatal dive into an empty pool, an investigation begins and Jane turns to her best friend Cordelia Thorn for help in clearing her name.But when Cordelia's sister, Octavia, suddenly deserts her infant daughter on Cordelia's doorstep, Jane is on her own.Events take a turn for the worse when the father of the groom comes up against shocking accusations, and it's up to Jane to uncover the truth.

Once again, Ellen Hart has woven intriguing characters and surprising twists into a complex and absorbing story.
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Both the Edgar and Agatha Awards
In this 12th installment of the Jane Lawless mystery series, the opening prologue begins with a gripping kidnapping that takes place on Halloween in 1972. The circumstances of that prologue don't connect up for some time, but the shadow of the kidnapping hangs over the events that follow. In the present day, Jane Lawless is called to the location of a wedding her staff is catering. The guests are behaving oddly, and it quickly becomes clear that they've been poisoned with something hallucinogenic. The police come, and the wedding guests are rushed to the hospital, but not before the Nick, the bridegroom, is badly injured diving into an empty swimming pool. Jane is frantic. Not only is she upset that people have been injured after eating her catered food, but she also fears lawsuits. Who would do such a terrible thing? She can't believe her workers would have anything to do with it. Why has she been targeted?

Alden Clifford, the groom's father, is a high school teacher, and he comes to the forefront as it becomes apparent that the attack might be connected to him and not about Jane at all. Six months earlier he had tried to prevent a school shooting, and the boy with the gun eventually shot and killed himself. Allegations about Alden's relationship with the boy come out, and Jane begins to wonder if this has made Alden the intended target. Nothing is immediately resolved, and Jane and The Lyme House are under police investigation. Jane turns to her best friend, Cordelia, but Cordelia has her own problems: namely a toddler dumped upon her doorstep by her sister. The little niece and Cordelia offer some great comic moments, and Cordelia, all by herself, is always funny. She refuses to ride in Jane's new Mini Cooper, calling it the "Daisy Duck-mobile." Instead she has bought herself a green Hummer, a useful purchase which becomes clear later in the novel.

With an intricately interwoven plot, Hart rolls out perfectly timed scenes and details. The tension builds as the injury and death count increases. The author has never been better and does a marvelous job weaving in a compelling back story with the events of the present. She draws the reader in to this complex structure and doesn't let go until the final denouement some three hundred pages later. It's a gripping and compelling story. By the time the reader reaches the end, an intimate ghost has truly made its haunting presence known. (...)

3-0 out of 5 stars I had trouble following it
I had to force myself to finish this book. And that's a real shame; I started this story as a die-hard fan of the Jane Lawless series.

Bad things happen to greedy, selfish people here. Frankly, by the time the initial "mystery" from Chapter 1 was explained/revealed it was really too late for me.
I'm truly hoping that part of the problem was an aberration.

The flashbacks detracted from the story. I would have preferred Jimmy's story to have been presented as one prologue than as several short pieces inserted at random throughout. If they were intended as transition mechanisms, that failed. They took me out of the present-day action so much that the return was jolting.

That's about as specific as I can get without giving away the story to those who haven't read it.

The previous volumes have each been self-contained with no recurring characters, aside from Jane's family and friends. However, I came away with loose ends from this book. Either they need to be addressed (by reference) early on in the next one, or Ms. Hart needs to get her pacing back.

5-0 out of 5 stars INTIMATE GHOST deserves a Lambda Award consideration.
In Evergreen High School in Minneapolis, student Cullen Hegg pulls out a gun in the middle of a history class but his teacher Alden Clifford manages to talk the sophomore into letting the rest of the students leave. When it's just the two of them, Alden tries to talk Cullen out of using the gun but the despondent boy kills himself. The teacher is lauded by the media, the faculty and the other students from preventing even more bloodshed, but Alden doesn't think of himself as a hero and avoids publicity.

Several months later Jane Lawless, owner of the Lyme House Restaurant and Pub, caters the wedding ceremony of Alden's son Nick and Lauren Bautel.. However, someone placed hallucinogens into the food leading to Nick diving into an empty swimming pool and winding up in Intensive care. Jane identifies the culprit who flavored the food finally makes contact with him. Jane agrees to meet him at the hotel where he is hiding out. When she arrives, he is already dead and the murderer got away which means Jane is going to have to approach the problem from a different angle without getting herself killed.

Ellen Hart has written a very complex and fascinating amateur sleuth novel that has many sub-plots that tie back seamlessly to original theme. Through the use of flashbacks, readers gradually realize how the crimes of three decades ago are the catalyst for the dangerous felonies that are happening today. The heroine gradually pieces together the motivations for the death of her employee and the sprinkling of drugs in the food at the wedding buffet. INTIMATE GHOST deserves a Lambda Award consideration.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

60. The Blue Place
by Nicola Griffith
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380790882
Catlog: Book (1999-06-01)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 86047
Average Customer Review: 3.92 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A police lieutenant with the elite "Red Dogs" until she retired at twenty-nine , Aud Torvigen is a rangy six-footer with eyes the color of cement and a tendency to hurt people who get in her way. Born in Norway into the failed marriage between a Scandinavian diplomat and an American businessman, she now makes Atlanta her home, luxuriating in the lush heat and brashness of the New South. She glides easily between the world of silken elegance and that of sleaze and sudden savagery, equally at home in both; functional, deadly, and temporarily quiescent, like a folded razor.

On a humid April evening between storms, out walking just to stay sharp, she turns a corner and collides with a running woman, Catching the scent of clean, rain-soaked hair, Aud nods and silently tells the stranger Today, you are lucky, and moves on--when behind her house explodes, incinerating its sole occupant, a renowned art historian. When Aud turns back, the woman is gone.

But Julia Lyons-Bennet will return seeking Aud's help and pr

A police lieutenant with the elite "Red Dogs" until she retired at twenty-nine , Aud Torvigen is a rangy six-footer with eyes the color of cement and a tendency to hurt people who get in her way. Born in Norway into the failed marriage between a Scandinavian diplomat and an American businessman, she now makes Atlanta her home, luxuriating in the lush heat and brashness of the New South. She glides easily between the world of silken elegance and that of sleaze and sudden savagery, equally at home in both; functional, deadly, and temporarily quiescent, like a folded razor.

On a humid April evening between storms, out walking just to stay sharp, she turns a corner and collides with a running woman, Catching the scent of clean, rain-soaked hair, Aud nods and silently tells the stranger Today, you are lucky, and moves on--when behind her house explodes, incinerating its sole occupant, a renowned art historian. When Aud turns back, the woman is gone.

But Julia Lyons-Bennet will return seeking Aud's help and pr ... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars New Genre, New Success
I'm mostly a science fiction reader, though I also love a good literary mystery. I first discovered Nicola Griffith when she won the Nebula Award last year. It turns out that every book she touches wins one or another award. Her anthologies as well as her novels have been multiple award-winners. I recommend them all.

Griffith's SF is very traditional relative to the genre (though it deals with non-traditional themes). In contrast, The Blue Place is quite genre-bending. Its mystery is not very mysterious; its thrills seem more flash than fire. And yet it has plenty of style, and plenty of substance. I like it a lot, and I recommend it to you, too.

Aud Torvingen is the heart and soul of the Blue Place. Her attention and genius is all external, which means her point of view offers up a rich stream of information about her world (which is a big part of the pleasure of the book). Her experience of her interiority is either blocked or attenuated. Her relationship with violence is constantly startling, and the true love she experiences in this book takes her completely by surprise. It's these interior blind spots that drive the suspense in the novel for me. I found myself completely carried away by the startling contrasts between Aud's hyper-competance and her closedness.

Write the next novel quickly, Nicola! I can hardly wait to find out what happens to poor Aud.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure emotion.

I don't know where to start.. this book was emotion embodied. Utterly enchanting.. frustrating, beautiful, heartbreaking, glorious.. just EMOTION. It struck my heart deeply and left a mark. I actually cried once.

If you're looking for a book that highlights the struggles of lesbians in a homophobic world, or a strictly butch/femme romance, or even a lush romance novel... Look elsewhere.

The Blue Place is gritty, cold, harsh and even painful at times. The realism is startling and it can be quite heartbreaking. But whoever said happiness could not be truly felt without sadness read this book. There's no attempt to sugarcoat the harsh reality of life in this book. Pain and agony are in full force and on display for all to read.

But that's what makes the love story beautiful. There's no perfection here.. no sweet romance whose only problem is the irritating habits of one partner. No torrid love triangle and explicit sex scenes.. It's just LOVE. Real love. Beautiful love, painful love.. love. And in writing this, Ms. Griffith has enchanted me utterly.

The Blue Place is a beautiful novel, not because of its lush scenery (though it is), its exquisite descriptions (though they are), but because it portrays humanity in a real, yet beautiful way. Julia and Aud are not perfect, nor is their relationship. But you can honestly come away from the book feeling that they really loved each other. Truly. And I don't encounter many books I can honestly say that about.

If you're interested in beauty that is not all wine and roses, but comes with pain and hardship, between two women who are not goddesses or perfect in any way, if you are interested in love, real love, human love..

I highly recommend you acquire this book.

Reality was never so real.. and beauty so beautiful.

3-0 out of 5 stars basically good plot but lacks spark
I normally like stories like this one but unfortunately I found this book lacking spark. Parts of the book are really good but unfortunately those moments never last very long. The main characters are into martial arts, and I guess that practitioners might appreciate the lengthy descriptions about it but it gets a bit dull for the rest of us. Aud is a complex character and the plot is basically good even though it could have used some more work. The fact that Aud wouldn't really care about the crime and its investigation if it hadn't been for Julia makes the read a bit tedious.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smart, edgy thriller/power-fantasy. BLUE PLACE rocks!

By page four of Nicola Griffith's The Blue Place (Avon, $23), we've
met the tall, beautiful, smart and deadly Aud Torvingen, heard about
the recurring nightmares that have her walking Atlanta streets at
midnight, ...and witnessed a house explode. Things slow down a
little after that, but's hard to overpraise the taut plotting and
broad intelligence of this thriller. ...what makes The Blue Place
stand out is its precision. You constantly feel like you're getting
the inside dope on new worlds, including those of martial arts,
woodworking, Norwegian foods and dress styles, ice hiking
and burglar alarms...

-- Paul Skenazy, Wasington Post

I'm too lazy to write a real review --but here are some
snippets, and a (virtually) spoiler-free commentary
-- and look for the author's comments on the review
continuation page at Amazon: Aud as James Bond(!))

Snapshot quotes:

Aud Torvingen, dressing to meet a new client:

I felt sharp, rich, very good looking. It pleases me to wear silk
couture and gold and pearls. I like the way it feels on my skin,
the way it fits.

And looking out into her Atlanta garden:

Two cardinals trilled liquidly at each other, bright red against
emerald green. One of the neighbour's cats slunk belly down
through the grass towards them. Snakes in fur coats, Dorothy
Parker had called them.

The book ends in graphic blood & terror. Aud gets revenge, but
puts herself in terrible jeopardy. I'll be most interested in how she
resolves her predicament in the sequel.

[ A reader writes, at nicolagriffith[dot]com ]
"I don't understand your ability to create such beauty and
such pain and such darkness. I am pretty devastated the
ending of The Blue Place."

[NG responds: ] "I've had many responses on the
subject which range from: "I'll never read anything by you

again!" to "I admire your courage..." That last one is usually
accompanied by a doubtful shake of the head.

I imagine that when such readers finally get hold of the second Aud
book, they'll be even more annoyed . I can hear the complaints
already: "How can you *do* that to her?!"

There have been mundane complaints that Aud is smarter, stronger,
faster and sexier than you (or indeed any mere human). This is true.
If power-fantasy offends you, do not enter The Blue Place!

Happy reading!
Pete Tillman

4-0 out of 5 stars Hardboiled
I wasn't really crazy about this book but I couldn't trash it because it's not badly written. The problem is that it has everything needed for a hardboiled mystery and I'm not real fond of hardboiled mysteries, ...

Disaffected former police detective working privately-- check; beautiful woman with a case-- check; Detective is a womanizer-- check; Detective really good at martial arts-- check. Add betrayal and mix well. The story breaks with the trend because the detective isn't even an ex-alcoholic. The pool table seduction scene was definitely over the top though-- way too self conscious and mannered.

So, if you like hardboiled detective stories then you might like this book. ... Read more

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