by Matt Lubbers-Moore
In early 2014, I wrote to the publishing company MLR in the hopes they could put me in touch with Richard Stevenson. I had fallen in love with his Donald Strachey series and had just finished collecting the first editions of his books and had hoped he would be willing to sign them for me. Laura was kind enough to forward my email on to him, but unfortunately, he was in Cambodia at the time, as he often was during winter. However, he informed me that, if I were to contact him again in the spring time, we could figure out a way for me to send him the books for him to sign. That spring I mailed him the books, and he was kind enough to sign them and send them back (I had enclosed a prepaid shipping label). He even threw in a couple freebie copies of the MLR/HereTV! Editions, too. He was amazed to see that I had had Margot Kidder sign On the Other Hand, Death in which she appeared in the HereTV version. We corresponded for a year or so before I asked if I could interview him for a Facebook gay mystery-suspense-thriller group I am a co-moderator of. He was charming, polite, and incredibly funny.
We remained friends for several years and corresponded through email quite often. In 2019, I formed ReQueered Tales along with my friends Justene Adamec and Alexander Inglis to preserve the literary heritage of the LGBTQ community. During one of my emails to Richard, I informed him of what we were doing and he was enthusiastic about the enterprise. I asked him to keep us in mind if he were ever to find himself between publishers. He said he was very happy with MLR and that they had stood by him when no one else would. I admired his loyalty, but towards the end of 2021, he contacted me and asked if my offer was still good as MLR was no longer going to be publishing other author’s titles, that MLR would only publish the owner/author Laura Baumbach’s books.
Last month, we republished Death Trick and On the Other Hand, Death almost forty years after they had been initially published. Sadly, he passed away a week prior to their release. He was a kind person, and he will be missed. Michael Nava’s Amble Press released Stevenson’s standalone mystery Knock Off the Hat earlier this year and ReQueered Tales will be publishing his last unpublished Donald Strachey novel, Chasing Rembrandt, later this year.
RIP Richard Lipez 1938-2022.
The Lesbian Detective Novel: An Annotated Bibliography by Megan Casey
Out May 1, 2022 Academic
I know this is not a mystery per se, but as an author of a gay mystery bibliography, I felt I had to include this! This 300-page book lists over 1000 Lesbian Mystery novels by over 330 authors spanning the years 1977—when the first generally accepted lesbian mystery novel was published—to the present. The author is the leading authority on the lesbian mystery novel and has published two other books on the subject.
Desert Getaway by Michael Craft
Out May 3, 2022, Brash Books
I am loving this year. First we’re seeing books from Joseph Hansen and Richard Stevenson and now Michael Craft, another longtime favorite is writing a new series! Dante O’Donnell is white, gay, and getting older every day. He has wasted his better years on starstruck dreams and the wrong men, so now he’s working as a concierge for a vacation-rental outfit in Palm Springs, where the guests have far more baggage than what’s packed in their suitcases. But when he finds a dead body floating in the swimming pool at one of his rentals, his own troubled past comes back to haunt him. So, he turns for help to Jazz Friendly, a Black woman who, when she was a Palm Springs cop, nearly arrested him for murdering his husband, which he didn’t do…not that he knows who did. Now Jazz is a struggling PI, her career derailed by racism. And with her marriage broken by booze, she’s desperate to get custody of her kid. Dante and Jazz need each other to solve this murder…and to save themselves from personal and professional disaster.
The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor
Out May 3, 2022 YA, Astra Young Readers
Sam Sylvester has long collected stories of half-lived lives—of kids who died before they turned nineteen. Sam was almost one of those kids. Now, as Sam’s own nineteenth birthday approaches, their recent near-death experience haunts them. They’re certain they don’t have much time left…But Sam’s life seems to be on the upswing after meeting several new friends and a potential love interest in Shep, their next-door neighbor. Yet the past keeps roaring back: in Sam’s memories and in the form of a thirty-year-old suspicious death that took place in Sam’s new home. Sam can’t resist trying to find out more about the kid who died and who now seems to guide their investigation. When Sam starts receiving threatening notes, they know they’re on the path to uncovering a murderer. But are they digging through the past or digging their own future grave?
Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado
Out May 3, 2022 YA, Sourcebooks Fire
For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by sudden disappearances that no one can explain. Sixteen-year-old Raquel does her best to ignore it. After all, the police only look for the white kids. But when her crush Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention—especially when her own mom comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to the disappearances.
Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders by Kathryn Miles
Out May 3, 2022 True Crime, Algonquin Books
This true account occurred in May, 1996: two skilled backcountry leaders, Lollie Winans and Julie Williams, entered Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park for a week-long backcountry camping trip. The free-spirited and remarkable young couple had met and fallen in love the previous summer while working at a world-renowned outdoor program for women. During their final days in the park, they descended the narrow remnants of a trail and pitched their tent in a hidden spot. After the pair didn’t return home as planned, park rangers found a scene of horror at their campsite, their tent slashed open, their beloved dog missing, and both women dead in their sleeping bags. The unsolved murders of Winans and Williams continue to haunt all who had encountered them or knew their story.
A Sickening Storm by David E Feldman
Out May 14, 2022, Eface Media
A deeply troubling sequence of events is unfolding at the Beach City Medical Center as people are growing unaccountably, deathly, grotesquely, painfully ill, and eventually dying. First one. Then two. Then a handful. Now a dozen. And the doctors are baffled as to the cause, diagnosis, or treatment. The hospital CEO has hired Dora Ellison and her sidekick and intriguing love interest, librarian Missy Winters, to investigate and keep the hospital from having to close its doors. But what the pair of investigators uncover is worse than even their client could have dreamed: serial murders using the world’s deadliest diseases as the murder weapon.
Twelfth by Janet Key
Out May 17, 2022 Middle Grade, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.
When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits, and costume storages, discovering the trail, and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time.
A Do-Si-Do with Murder by Grant Michaels
Out May 24, 2022, ReQueered Tales
This long-lost manuscript of Grant Michaels is the final book in the Stan Kraychik mystery series and ReQueered Tales is bringing out all seven in a physical paperback! When Dead as a Doornail was published in 1998, we thought we’d seen the last of Stan Kraychik. But, thanks to persistent sleuthing, a final adventure has been uncovered, sassy quips all at the ready, nary a hair out of place, and now primed for its debut. Yes, Stan is back for one final adventure! Stan Kraychik has hung up his scissors and traded them in for a Private Eye license. Sometime nemesis, more often friend Boston PD Lt. Vito Branco, has a soft spot for Stan and sends him a tip: snoop around the First Annual Mucho Macho Honcho Competition being held at The Park Plaza Hotel. Paladin, a gay cowboy, has filed a police report that his Collar Tips had been stolen. Paladin, Mistress of Ceremonies Bistany Evans, DJ Colt Remington, seamstress Kitty, and cutie Chester are all Square Dancing…around his questions. After a whole lotta dancin’ and hip twistin’ and general saaa-shayin’ about, stolen jewelry leads to murder. Kraychik has to do a Do-Si-Do with Death to solve this crime in time for his Memorial Day weekend cookout. Don’t miss a zany, classic-Kraychik moment. This debut edition features a foreword by Leigh Ann Wallace. A ReQueered Tales Original Publication.
Love Dies Twice by Barbara Wilson
Out May 27, 2022, Barbara Sjoholm
Cassandra Reilly, the Irish-American translator and amateur sleuth, shares a flat in London with her long-time friend, retired bassoonist Nicky Gibbons. Their lives are disrupted when Cassandra attends a lecture on the beguines, laywomen who lived in sisterhood in thirteenth-century Belgium. The beguines were the subject of a popular historical mystery series by Stella Terwicker who died ten years before, but whose literary estate is still creating problems for those who knew her, including her biographer. Cassandra is soon pulled into investigating a possibly suspicious death, a task that takes her from the Ladies’ Pond in London’s Hampstead Heath to the medieval city of Bruges to the seacoast of Devon. With Nicky’s help, Cassandra must unravel a story of desire, lies, and love that stretches back decades to decades to the rabble-rousing years of queer liberation and feminist publishing.
Gravedigger by Joseph Hansen
Out May 31, 2022, Soho Syndicate
Two years ago Charles Westover disgraced himself and his family when he was disbarred for bribery. Westover’s daughter Serenity, disgusted with her once beloved father, ran away to a cult founded by a mesmerizingly handsome young man, a self-appointed messiah going by the grimly grandiose name of Azrael. The whereabouts of Serenity pass unknown for years until the police raid Azrael’s compound and discover that the cult leader lived up to his ghastly “Angel of Death” moniker. Thinking his daughter has been murdered, Charles Westover claims her life insurance, and then he too vanishes. Insurance companies don’t like to cut a check without a body and especially don’t like cutting a check to someone who is also missing. Hired as a private investigator for Banner Insurance, David Brandstetter quickly finds himself in a complicated maze of lies and hidden histories. And Dave suspects that, just like in the labyrinths of old, there will be a monster at the end of it.
Bad Girls by Camila Sosa Villada out May 3, 2022
Hallelujah by B.J. Taylor out May 3, 2022
Dark Souls by J.S. Cook out May 10, 2022
Out of the Ashes by Jenn Burke out May 10, 2022
Lament at Loon Landing by Josh Lanyon out May 16, 2022
Witchin Solstice by Charity Parkerson out May 23, 2022
Wounded by Samantha Simard out May 23, 2022
Confessions by Nicole Edwards out May 24, 2022
Crown Court Killer by Dahlia Donovan out May 27, 2022
Spells of Summer by A. K. Faulkner out May 27, 2022
Kiss Marry Kill by S. C. Wynn out May 30, 2022
Attached to Murder by J. L. Evans out May 31, 2022
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