Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell
P.A. Brown was so fast to reply to my invite that we already have our first inside reader. I thought to post it right away so people will understand better what I was thinking that P.A. Brown has done perfectly. From this moment on I will post once a week, if I have enought people willing to partecipate, so friends, enjoy P.A. Brown's Top 10 List and take inspiration!
1) The Lord Won't Mind by Gordon Merrick. This book opened up the world of gays to me and turned them from the boogeymen I heard whispered about in high school hallways to real people, just like me. In the 70s that was an eye-opener.
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books (July 1, 1995)
Amazon: The Lord Won't Mind (Peter & Charlie Trilogy) (Peter & Charlie series)
Prior to the publication of this beloved novel, nearly every gay novel and play seemed to end in suicide--or at least deep despair. Merrick was one of the first writers to insist that a gay relationship could in fact be a happy one. The Lord Won't Mind tells the story of Peter and Charlie, who begin a love affair at their Ivy League college in the '60s.
2) Goldenboy by Michael Nava. Michael Nava coupled great story telling with great writing and taught me you can do both. So not just this novel, but all of his books are in my must read pile.
Paperback: 215 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books; 3rd edition (October 1, 2003)
Publisher Link: http://www.alyson.com/9781555838294.html
Amazon: Goldenboy: A Henry Rios Mystery
This entertaining mystery set in L.A. is the reason for Michael Nava’s popularity: a unique, colorful, gay Hispanic and politically aware lawyer who ends up embroiled in a murder mystery revolving around sweet young things in theater.
3) Mahu by Neil Plakcy. We actually met through our short erotic fiction.
Paperback: 317 pages
Publisher: Alyson Books (April 1, 2009)
Publisher Link: http://www.alyson.com/9781593500825.html
Amazon: Mahu: A Hawai'ian Mystery (A Kimo Kanapa Mystery)
Honolulu police detective Kimo Kanapa’aka lives with a secret he barely acknowledges, even to himself. One night, he inadvertently sees someone dump a body in an alley outside a gay bar, and, because of his own inability to come to grips with his sexuality, makes a decision that threatens all that is important in his life—his career, his friendships, and his family.
4) The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon. This was the first of his Adrien English books I read, which led me to all his others.
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (November 15, 2007)
Publisher Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=HELLYS01
Amazon: The Hell You Say (Adrien English)
The third novel in the Adrien English series finds the "ill-starred and bookish" mystery writer and bookseller battling demons--maybe literally. After bookstore clerk Angus flees following terrifying death threats, Adrien must contend with a mysterious Satanic cult, a hot and handsome university professor, and his on-again/off-again relationship with closeted LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan. And, oh, yes, murder...
5) Revision of Justice by John Morgan Wilson. I think I picked this up because it had Hollywood on the cover. Showed me that LGBT mysteries could go mainstream.
Paperback: 239 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books; Reprint edition (August 26, 2008)
Publisher Link: http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=bsb&Product_Code=wj2revjus&Category_Code=wj2
Amazon: Revision of Justice
When reporter Alexandra Templeton drags Benjamin Justice to a party thrown by a legendary Hollywood screenwriting instructor, they stumble into the murder of Reza Jafari, a young, wannabe screenwriter with more enemies that completed scripts. The prime suspect is the victim’s roommate, Danny Romero, a young man who will die of AIDS in jail, unless Justice can solve the mystery first, and allow Danny the dignified death he desperately wants. Among the other suspects: a macho Australian action director, with his own dark secrets and a career in decline; a former starlet, now the voluptuous widow of a recently deceased studio executive, who has a good reason to want the victim dead; a high-powered female agent, as button-downed and driven as she is deceptive; a Persian restaurant owner, the victim’s devoutly Muslim father, who has a troubling violent streak; and an up-and-coming lesbian film producer, as tough as she is smart. His search for clues takes Justice into musty Hollywood film archives, and between the lines of several screenplays, while putting his own life in grave danger. After the murder of an elderly screenwriter who used Reza Jafari as a younger "front" to pitch his scripts, the murder plot shifts into high gear, propelling Justice and Templeton into a raging fire that consumes the Hollywood Hills, burning steadily toward the famous Hollywood Sign—and the identity of a cold-blooded killer.
6) Bourbon Street Blues by Greg Herren.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2003)
Amazon: Bourbon Street Blues
Bourbon Street Blues introduces Dick Dansoir, personal trainer and occasional go-go dancer at the boys' bars in the Big Easy. He is irresistible, especially for a guy whose real name is Milton "Scotty" Bradley. Of course, he keeps in shape, which helps as the book's wrong-man-in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wron
7) Hostage by R.D. Zimmerman.
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Delta (September 8, 1998)
Publisher Link: http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385318921
Todd Mills is getting ready for the coup of his career: an exclusive interview with right-wing congressman Johnny Clariton, whose positions against gay rights and AIDS research promise to make his appearance with Minneapolis's only openly gay journalist an explosive television event. Things are also getting pleasantly serious between Todd and Steve Rawlins, although Rawlins' grieving over the recent end of his closest friend's long struggle with AIDS is beginning to take its physical toll on the police detective. Coup turns to chaos, and grief to despair, when Todd's interview ends with the Congressman abducted by gun-wielding kidnappers--and a tragic discovery puts an unsuspecting Rawlins on the trail of the abductors, a trio of unlikely domestic terrorists in the final stages of AIDS, willing to risk what's left of their lives to give violent expression to their desperate AIDS rage. Their goal: to make the world know what it's like to live--and die--with AIDS. Their weapons: a Congressman, a video camera, and a syringe full of HIV-infected blood. Their conduit to the global viewing audience: Todd Mills, who knows more about their plans--and has more at stake--than he first realizes. Unsettling, unpredictable and unapologetic in its dramatization of such hot-button issues as right-wing hypocrisy, AIDS activism, HIV infection and assisted suicide, Hostage is Zimmerman's darkest and most suspenseful tale yet, a bold step forward for this acclaimed series.
8) Flight of Aquavit by Anthony Bidulka. I learned a Canadian author could make it big.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Insomniac Press (November 14, 2008)
Publisher Link: http://www.insomniacpress.com/title.php?id=1-897178-09-3
Amazon: Flight of Aquavit: A Russell Quant Mystery (Russell Quant Mysteries)
At the dead end of a desolate country road, a late night meeting suddenly becomes an ambush. Gay private detective Russell Quant is faced with personal threats he can't ignore, a friend who may be a foe, and a cagey client with a treacherous monkey on his back. As Quant trails a menacing blackmailer known only as Loverboy, he finds himself immersed in the midnight world of e-dating and parking lot romance. Lured to New York City, Quant tests his wit, wisdom, and wiles from the Old World grandeur of Fifth Avenue to the kaleidoscope world of Broadway's electric nightspots. The fast pace continues when Quant returns to Saskatoon, where he grapples with decoys and deceit, realizing that no one is as they appear. Threat turns into deadly reality and the need to uncover the identity of Loverboy becomes increasingly desperate.
9) Mexican Heat by Laura Baumbach & Josh Lanyon.
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (October 26, 2008)
Publisher Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=CRIMECT1
Amazon: Mexican Heat #1 Crimes&Cocktails Series
A new romantic crime series from the combined, finely blended talents of popular award winning authors Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon. Tough, street-smart SFPD Detective Gabriel Sandalini is willing to do whatever it takes to bring down West Coast crime boss Ricco Botelli -- including a dangerous, deep undercover gig as one of Botelli's hired guns. But Gabriel's best laid plans may come crashing down around him when he falls hard for the sexy, suave lieutenant of a rival Mexican drug lord. Turns out his new love interest may have a few secrets of his own: secrets that could destroy both men and the fragile bond between them.
10) Third Man Out by Richard Stevenson. This was the first Donald Strachey novel I read. Not the last of course.
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (October 21, 2008)
Publisher Link: http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=THIRDMAN
Amazon: Third Man Out
Sixteen years after this 1992 story, and forced outing remains a hot button in gay politics. When an activist's claims that men he's outed are stalking him don't ring true, Albany's only gay PI drops his protection detail - and the client winds up dead. Strachey peels back the layers of his client's double cross only to find...a triple cross. (Filmed for release by HereTV in 2005.)
About P.A. Brown: Born in one of the coldest cities in Canada Pat escaped at 22, fleeing to Los Angeles. Her adventures there led to L.A. Heat (2006) which Mark Richard Zubro said "This is the best gay mystery I have read in years. It is a first-rate thriller with heart-stopping action." She's authored several mysteries, starting with the reissue of a revised L.A. Heat, followed by L.A. Mischief. She also authored Geography of Murder, Man's Best Friend, Memory of Darkness, Lynx Woods and Angel Light in the anthology To Die For. In Pat's novels romance and mystery meet and no one comes out unscathed. Soon to be released, L.A. Boneyard, the third book in the L.A. series finds David hot on the trail of a vicious human trafficker who uses murder to keep his girls in line. The fourth in the series, L.A. Bytes will be out in 2010. One of her recent releases is:
Memory Of Darkness
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Amber Allure (September 15, 2009)
Publisher Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/MemoryDarkness.html
Amazon: Memory Of Darkness
Johnny Wager has been a loser all his life and proud of it. But when a West Hollywood twink ends up dead in a hotel room with Wager literally holding the bag, he knows his life is going to change for the worse. Pursued by the West Hollywood sheriffs for a murder he knows he didn't commit, Wager has to stay one step ahead of them and prove his innocence. It doesn't help matters any that his own son, Mark Wager, is a deputy sheriff who has joined the manhunt and has more reason than anyone to find the father who failed him all his life and bring him to justice. Add Hyacinth, a six-foot-five drag queen from New Orleans, Taz, her Puerto Rican boyfriend, an ex-Marine porno filmmaker and his incontinent Basset Hound Columbo, and the Armenian mob chasing them all through the streets of Los Angeles and the art walks and canals of Venice Beach. Wager pursues his own answers to the question of who is trying to kill him in the sleazy bars and back alleys of Hollywood all the way to Cathedral City. Can Wager stop the killers and reconcile with his son or will he end up being the next victim? Betrayed by friends, beset by his own conscience that has come back late in life with a vengeance, and the need to redeem himself, he battles the ruthless mob in the only way he knows how: with cunning and a total disrespect for the law.