By: Joseph Hansen
Originally published fifty years ago, a time when being gay was illegal in 49 out of 50 states, Joseph Hansen’s first Dave Brandstetter novel shattered stereotypes and redefined the Private Eye novel as we know it. Five decades after its original landmark publication, Joseph Hansen’s Fadeout is as fresh and important as ever. Preceded only by a handful of gay protagonists in crime fiction, Hansen’s Dave Brandstetter, a ruggedly handsome World War II vet with a quick wit, faultless moral compass, and endless confidence, shattered stereotypes and won over a large reading audience, a feat previously considered impossible for queer fiction. Set in the mid-1960s, Fadeout centers on the disappearance of a southern California radio personalitynamed Fox Olson. A failed writer, Olson finally found success as a beloved folksinger and wholesome country raconteur with a growing national audience. The community is therefore shocked when Olson’s car is found wrecked, having been driven off a bridge and swept away in a fast-moving arroyo on a rainy night. A life insurance claim is filed by Olson’s widow and the company holding the policy sends their best man to investigate. The problem is that Olson’s body was never found. Not in the car. Not further down the river. As Dave Brandstetter begins his investigation he quickly finds that none of it adds up.
Title: Dead dead girls
By: Nekesa Afia
Harlem, 1926. Young black women like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead. Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She spends her days working at Maggie's Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Harlem's hottest speakeasy. When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she's been trying to ignore—two other local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own.
Title: Tinderbox : the untold story of the Up Stairs Lounge fire and the rise of gay liberation
By: Robert W. Fieseler
This Edgar award winning book documents events surrounding the June 1973 fire at New Orleans' Up Stairs Lounge that killed thirty-two, the largest mass murder of gay people in U.S. history until 2016.