Queer Mystery Coming Attractions: May 2023

Apr 22, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Coming Attractions!, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Matt Lubbers-Moore

Eight years ago a friend of mine lost his life to cancer. He was eight-two years old and was undergoing yet another cancer treatment to attempt to remove the cancer from his tongue. He already had a very difficult time talking due to earlier surgeries removing the cancer cells from other parts of his throat and mouth. This time, when they put him under anesthesia, he did not wake up.

Roger Margason, aka Dorien Grey, started off editing pulp novels, and often re-writing them as they were sometimes so badly written, until he started to write his own. One of his first books was Calico, a straight western about a ranch hand playing babysitter to two teenagers from the east coast. Margason ended up rewriting that straight western into a gay western in 2004.

I first learned of Dorien Grey through his Dick Hardesty series. Originally written as pulps, but as the series progressed, they become more an insight into Roger’s mind. When the series starts out, Dick picks up strangers and has quickies in his office, in orgies, and trade. As long as the man was hot, Dick had no issues with having sex with them, but by the third or fourth book, Dick met Jonathon, a young man who needed help and protection.

In the fifteen book series Dick Hardesty accumulates what I think Roger was missing most, a family. Dick has a wonderful, hardworking husband, an adopted child, and a large close knit collection of friends who were more like family.

When I received the email of his death, I wept. Not just because I would miss Roger’s generous nature, his kindness, and his support, but because I would never know what would happen to my book family. Dick Hardesty and his friends and family had become my friends and family and now they would be frozen in time forever.

RIP, Roger, know that you are still missed and loved. You can still purchase his books through Untreed Reads Publishing.

Bang Bang Bodhisattva by Aubrey Wood, out May 9, 2023, Solaris
It’s 2032, and we live in the worst cyberpunk future. Kiera is gigging her ass off to keep the lights on, but her polycule’s social score is so dismal they’re about to lose their crib. That’s why she’s out here chasing cheaters with Angel Herrera, a luddite P.I. who thinks this is The Big Sleep. Then the latest job cuts too deep—hired to locate Herrera’s ex-best friend (who’s also Kiera’s pro bono attorney), they find him murdered instead. Their only lead: a stick of Nag Champa incense dropped at the scene.

This is the Way the World Ends by Jen Wilde, out May 9, 2023, Wednesday Books
As an autistic scholarship student at the prestigious Webber Academy in New York City, Waverly is used to masking to fit in—in more ways than one. While her classmates are the children of the one percent, Waverly is getting by on tutoring gigs and the generosity of the school’s charming and enigmatic dean. So when her tutoring student and resident “it girl” asks Waverly to attend the school’s annual fundraising Masquerade disguised as her, Waverly jumps at the chance—especially once she finds out that Ash, the dean’s daughter and her secret ex-girlfriend, will be there.??The Masquerade is everything Waverly dreamed of, complete with extravagant gowns, wealthy parents writing checks, and flowing champagne. Most importantly, there’s Ash. All Waverly wants to do is shed her mask and be with her, but the evening takes a sinister turn when Waverly stumbles into a secret meeting between the dean and the school’s top donors—and witnesses a brutal murder.

The 12.2 per-cent Solution by Josh Lanyon, out May 10, 2023, JustJoshin
Life could not be better for irascible mystery writer Christopher Holmes. His career is back on track and he’s married to the man he loves. But while honeymooning in Italy, the newlyweds learn that one of their wedding guests keeled over after drinking poisoned champagne. Worse news, the victim is a former flame of JX’s, making him the prime suspect.

I Promise You Pain by Bart Baker, out May 11, 2023, Big Muddy Books
Cordon Finn, a brutal, damaged man who left his abusive Chicago home and joined the military, working in ‘extraction and information’ in the most dangerous places around the world. Now back stateside, Cordon uses his skills to extract information for the Chicago Police Department, in cases where time is of the essence and lives are on the line.

When he’s hired by a Chicago billionaire to retrieve the billionaire’s underaged son from a compound in Palm Springs, owned by a wealthy pedophile, Cordon agrees. But Cordon quickly discovers that everything he’s been led to believe is a lie. The billionaire’s son is actually of age, and a pre-op transwoman, who now calls herself Lucious. Because of the embarrassment Lucious has caused him, her father has hired a small army to take her out. And Cordon is being set up to take the fall for the murder or be killed in the process.

Light Carries On by Ray Nadine, out May 16, 2023, Dark Horse Books
When Leon’s camera unexpectedly breaks, he is forced to borrow a used one from his mom’s antique store. As he snaps the first picture, the ghost of the camera’s former owner is released and the two are inexplicably linked. After taking Leon’s body for an accidental joy ride, the ghost introduces himself as Cody, a queer punk rocker who died decades ago. Of course, he doesn’t remember how he wound up dead but the two decide investigating might be the only way to end the haunting.

The Man Who Lost his Pen by Gayleen Froese, out May 16, 2023, Dreamspinner Press LLC
Calgary PI Ben Ames expects a relaxing evening off as he supports his boyfriend, Jesse, one of the star performers at a charity concert. But, it turns out relaxing isn’t on the program. When last-minute guest Matt Garrett shows up, it creates a frenzy backstage. An A-list movie star with an ego to match, Garrett has bad blood with many of the performers—Jesse included. So when Garrett turns up dead, Ben begins to dig for the truth, both to protect Jesse and to satisfy his own instinctive curiosity.

Rehearsed to Death by Frank Anthony Polito, out May 23, 2023, Kensington
Peter’s first play is having its world premiere at Pleasant Woods’s community theater. His handsome one and only, JP, has the lead. Rehearsals have begun. And New York City’s award-winning, hotshot helmer, Xander Sherwood Deva, is directing. Unfortunately the controlling, arrogant, poison-barbed, egomaniacal diva has everyone on edge. No wonder he finally pushes someone over it … Xander is found strangled to death in the same extra-long, imported cashmere scarf he’s been brandishing like a boa ever since he arrived.

Other Releases:
Pox by William Marshall, out May 1, 2023, a technothriller
Protect Me by Scarlet Blackwell, out May 1, 2023, an MM romance mystery
Corpse at Captain’s Seat by Josh Lanyon, out May 10, 2023, an MM romance cozy
Mystery on the Menu by Nicole Kimberling, out May 23, 2023, a cozy mystery
In His Sights by K. C. Wells, out May 23, 2023, a thriller
Stiletto by Brenda Peterson, out May 30, 2023, a thriller
The Shadows of Thornebrook by Ryan Osborn, an MM mystery

Click on this link to take you to Mysterious Galaxy’s website where you can purchase many of these books & a portion will go to help support KRL:

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

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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