Queer Mystery Coming Attractions March 2022

 by Matt Lubbers Moore

I am absolutely thrilled that I get to write an LGBTQ Upcoming Queer Mysteries column on a regular basis, but this month I am ecstatic! This month we are celebrating the fifth book in the Dave Brandstetter series by Joseph Hansen being republished by Soho Crime in their “Celebrating 50 Years of Dave Brandstetter” event, but also we’re celebrating the republication of Richard Stevenson’s first and second books Death Trick and On the Other Hand, Death being republished by ReQueered Tales with both books having been originally published in the very early 1980s.

In Murder and Mayhem: An Annotated Bibliography of Gay and Queer Males in Mystery; 1909-2018, I write that I consider Joseph Hansen to be the patriarch of the gay mystery genre with authors Mark Zubro, Richard Stevenson, and Michael Nava as his direct predecessors. Michael Nava wrote the introduction to Hansen’s 50th release of Fadeout and Stevenson’s Death Trick. 

Fortunately, we have some wonderful new titles in early March to read while we are forced to wait for Hansen and Stevenson to be rereleased! 

Return to Blackwater House by Vikki Patis, Hodder & Stoughton
Out March 1, 2022

Rebecca Bray has moved on from a childhood she desperately wants to forget. She has everything she's ever wanted: the perfect fiancé, a loving stepdaughter, a career she's proud of, and now, the house of her dreams. But when the family move to the Cornish village where Rebecca grew up, everything she wanted to bury from those years starts to claw at the surface. Then, when her stepdaughter goes missing at a New Year's Eve party, Rebecca must finally face the ghosts of her past — or Ava might never come home safely.

Murder on Monte Vista
by David Pederson, Out March 15, 2022,  Bold Strokes Books

It’s 1946, and on a hot spring night in Phoenix, Arizona, things are only beginning to heat up at the Monte Vista Road home of flamboyant decorator Walter Waverly Wingate. Private detective Mason T. Adler isn’t thrilled to be turning fifty, and the party Walter throws him makes him even more uncomfortable. Walter has arranged a special birthday present for Mason: a private hour with the handsome, young Henry Bowtrickle in Walter’s upstairs bedroom. But, the night turns deadly when his birthday gift turns up murdered. The room was locked, no way in or out, and only Henry and Mason were inside. Mason Adler is on the case, but he is also a suspect, along with the other assorted party guests who were all downstairs at the time of the stabbing. Or were they?

Whereabouts Unknown by Meredith Doench, Out March 15, 2022,  
Bold Strokes Books

Theodora Madsen has everything she’s ever hoped for: a distinguished career as a homicide detective with the Dayton Police Department, a woman she loves, and a baby on the way. While Theo and Bree nest and plan for their family’s future, two sixteen-year-old Ohio girls vanish—one from Dayton and the other from Brecksville—each leaving behind a bloody handprint. Then a routine interview goes disastrously wrong, and Theo’s injured and facing a lengthy recovery. With her professional future uncertain and the cases growing cold, Theo scrambles to piece together the links between the girls. But the clock is ticking and time is running out.

Lead Me Astray by Sondi Warner, Out March 15, 2022, W by Wattpad Books

Welcome to Overlay City in New Orleans—a shadowy in-between where the paranormal and the real world meet. Its newest resident: Aurie Edison. A victim of a hit-and-run, Aurie now exists as a ghost in this mysterious realm. Convinced there is more to her death than what she remembers, Aurie sets out to uncover the truth. She soon finds herself in the company of Mys, a psychic empath, whose need to help others trumps all else, and Zyr, a werewolf detective able to work both the human and occult worlds. As they begin to piece together the events leading up to her death, Aurie can’t deny the deeper connection developing between them. Yet, with each new secret suggesting a more sinister danger at play, they realize they may not make it out (dead or) alive.

911 Vampire by Caleb James, Out March 22, 2022, DSP Publications

A vampire succubus created during the Black Plague, Godfrey works as a Boston paramedic and battles loneliness and exhaustion as he fights to keep humanity safe from twin COVID and opioid epidemics. He has always pursued that which provides him hope: medicine, the cello…love. But yielding to his feelings for his work partner, Trevor, would conflict with Godfrey’s complicated moral code. Instead, he feeds on sexual energy when he must and investigates a drug ring in his spare time. But even a vampire can’t ignore his feelings forever.

 As You Look by Verónica Gutiérrez, Out March 22, 2022, Bella Books

Yolanda Ávila, a former LAPD cop-turned private investigator, blames herself for her mother’s death in a road rage accident. It was her fault. The perpetrator was a suspect she’d pursued in an unrelated case, someone she should’ve caught by tracking down a license plate number. Any good detective would’ve done that. But she got cocky, thought she’d catch him by following clues from a stupid dream instead. The only salve against the guilt eating at her now is Yolanda’s vow to reject that juju crap. But when her godson Joey is kidnapped, his parents are suspected of murder, and a stalker threatens her wife Sydney to warn Yolanda off the case, she must deal with more than just the facts. She must confront the juju to overcome her guilt and deal with pent-up grief—or risk losing yet another loved one.

Boy Fallen by Chris Gill, Out March 22, 2022, Prntd Publishing

When the body of wealthy teen and aspiring photographer Evan Wiley is found faceup at the base of Taonga Falls, one thing is immediately clear: he didn't jump. Detective Brooke Palmer races down to the struggling New Zealand town she once called home to comfort her oldest friend - Evan's mother. But when Brooke learns Evan had been hanging out with a boy who used to bully him, she quickly gets drawn into the case. She fears this dangerous new friendship may have cost Evan his life - or at the very least, his heart. And as Brooke confronts her own past, she is reminded that in Taonga, even those who have it all can hit rock bottom.

Skinflick by Joseph Hansen, Out March 29, 2022, Soho Syndicate

Celebrating 50 years of Dave Brandstetter!! 

Lon Tooker certainly fits the profile: big, strong, a Marine Corps veteran, and recently the target of evangelical crusader Gerald Dawson’s wrath. Tooker’s adult toys and pornography store on the local skid row has recently become the target of Dawson’s church men’s group and their destructive masked raids on “un-Christian” businesses. When Dawson is strangled to death by someone of Tooker’s size and ability, the police see a smut-peddler with a motive. Case closed. But death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter doesn’t like it. By all accounts Tooker is a softy incapable of such a crime. Actual evidence is nonexistent and assumptions many. And Dave particularly doesn’t care for assumptions based on someone’s sex life. But Dave is also navigating new personal territory. His father’s death has left him bereaved and for the first time in a long time without a job. Dave quit the insurance company his father built and has struck out on his own as a private investigator. Add in his breakup with his recent partner and he’s a man unencumbered. It’s the late 1970s and Dave may be aging a bit but he’s still handsome, wealthy, and recently in possession of a new convertible Triumph. Looks like it’s not all hard work. 

Death Trick by Richard Stevenson, Out March 29, 2022, ReQueered Tales

Celebrating 40 Years of Donald Strachey!!

A young man has been brutally murdered. The gay son of a wealthy family has disappeared. Now it's up to private dick Don Strachey to get to the bottom of this mess—even if he has to cruise every gay bar in the city to do it. Don Strachey isn't exactly the most sought-after private eye in Albany, New York. In fact, this gay P.I. has gotten to the point of having to write checks to pay his tab at the cheapest lunch counter in town. And he isn't sure that the latest one, for the grand total of two dollars and ninety-three cents, is going to clear. Then the phone rings. Billy Blount, the gay heir to one of Saratoga Springs' upper-crust families, has disappeared, and his parents want him back. On top of that, Billy, a young and outspoken gay activist, is wanted for the grizzly murder of the man he slept with on his last night in Albany—a man he'd never met before that night.

On the Other Hand, Death by Richard Stevenson, Out March 29, 2022, ReQueered Tales

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.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

Matt Lubbers-Moore has two graduate degrees in library science and history. He is the co-owner of ReQueered Tales and author of Murder and Mayhem: An Annotated Bibliography of Gay and Queer Males in Mystery; 1909-2018.