Queer Mystery Coming Attractions: December 2023

Nov 11, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Coming Attractions!, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Matt Lubbers-Moore

It is the holiday season and time to stock up on books and chocolate for the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, or Christmas Book Flood! Of course, there are dozens of holidays in December, and I think buying books for any gift-giving is wonderful. Still, I strongly discourage my own family from buying me books, since they would have no idea what I own or what I would want. A gift card to my favorite local bookshop is just fine.

During the holiday seasons, I recommend buying from your favorite authors, your favorite local bookstores, and leaving reviews or reaching out and thanking the authors you love. Why wait for the holidays? Do it year-round! Nothing encourages an author more than hearing from their fans. It greatly offsets the one-star reviews!!

The Spoil of Beasts by Gregory Ashe
Out Dec. 4, 2023, Hodgkin & Blount
This is the third book in the Iron on Iron series, and when word comes that two key witnesses in an investigation are dead, North and Shaw are surprised—and pleased—to learn that their friend, John-Henry Somerset, is interested in hiring them as freelance contractors for the Wahredua Police Department. The department is stretched thin, and the investigation into the Cottonmouth Club (and the criminal organization operating there) is collapsing. Not to mention, in North and Shaw’s opinion, anyway, they’re the best detectives around. Tracking down the killer won’t be easy, though. The trail ends at the doors of a megachurch, where the close-knit family of the pastor is keeping more than one secret. Worse, a local politician seems to be involved, and he’s got secrets of his own. On top of that, a sheriff’s deputy has gone missing, and North and Shaw are convinced he knows who is orchestrating events.

Interwoven by Ripley Hayes
Out Dec. 5, 2023
Daniel Owen has spent the best part of ten years renovating his house when he finds the cellar. By falling through the floor. The mysterious cellar has a mysterious door, and behind the mysterious door is a mysterious box … and in the box … there are clues to the shocking history of Daniel’s beloved hometown. A cold case is occupying Mal Kent’s time. A notorious car thief is released from prison. Town and police station gossip says the thief killed an old man years ago, and the minute he gets out, there’s another death.

A Death at the Dionysus Club by Melissa Scott
Out Dec. 7, 2023, Queen of Swords Press
The gentleman’s clubs of Scott and Griswold’s gaslamp fantastical London are full of secrets, and the ones that Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey and their circles are a part of are more hidden than most. Beneath their respectable, or less respectable, façades, they are a haven…or a torment for men who desire each other’s company. Now someone is leaving a trail of murder victims, each one found without a heart. Each one somehow connected to Lynes, Mathey, their friends, their enemies, and the communities they belong to. Finding the murderer could reveal everything, leading to certain ruin for some and the loss of all they hold dear for Julian and Ned. How far will they go to solve the mystery and stop a killer?

Acid Town 3 by Kyugo
Out Dec. 12, 2023, LoveLove
In a run-down city riddled with poverty and gangs, survival is a daily struggle for Yuki and his best friend Tetsu. In a desperate attempt to pay for Yuki’s ill brother’s hospitalization, the two of them get caught trying to break into the vault of the Seidoukai, an infamous yakuza group. However, Yuki catches the eye of the gang’s young boss, Kazutaka Hyoudo, and the two of them escape imminent death after striking a deal.

The Boy Who was Buried this Morning, Early Graves, Nightwork, The Little Dog Laughed, and Obedience By Joseph Hansen
Out Dec. 19, 2023, Soho
After over a year of delays, the next five books in the Dave Brandstetter series are set to be released this month by Soho! Joseph Hansen is the godfather of the gay mystery genre, and most gay authors in the genre list him as their motivation and inspiration for writing mysteries. If you have not had a chance to read the Dave Brandstetter books, I highly recommend them!!

The Boy Who was Buried this Morning: Insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter has spent the last few years drifting in and out of retirement. For the sake of his boyfriend Cecil, he has attempted to forgo dangerous jobs. But when a close friend’s death sends Dave into a depressive funk, Cecil recognizes that work is the only cure. During a high-stakes paintball game, a hardcore supremacist gets hit by a very real bullet. Although the police claim the death was accidental — nothing but a stray round from a nearby hunting preserve — Dave knows that a man this hated seldom dies by chance.

Early Graves: Dave Brandstetter’s afternoon does not begin well: his ex-boyfriend picks him up at the airport, and the ride home, in bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles traffic, is one long argument between them. The insurance investigator’s day gets worse when he finds a man — bloody, rain-soaked, and ice cold — lying on his porch, killed by a stab wound while Dave was out of town.

Nightwork: Gifford Gardens has seen better days. As white families move away to the suburbs to flee the flooding and neglect, the city in turn cares less about fixing the problems. What was once a nice neighborhood has become a slum and a violent battleground for rival gangs. Paul and Angela Myers are among the white families that remain. With the economy in a downturn and wages frozen, Paul takes a job long-haul truck driving. The freight he moves around is strictly “no questions,” but Paul is an honest man and begins to wonder about what he has become a part of.
One night, Paul’s truck flies off a cliff and explodes in midair. Did he fall asleep at the wheel, or was he murdered? Paul’s life insurance company hires renowned private investigator Dave Brandstetter to look at inconsistencies with the accident. While digging into Paul’s past, Dave will uncover a haunting connection between Paul’s untimely death and the happier years in the declining neighborhood of Gifford Gardens.

The Little Dog Laughed: Journalist Adam Streeter covered some of the most dangerous stories of the last quarter century, ranging from Cambodia to Siberia and anywhere troubled in between. Fearless, dashing, and more than a little resourceful, Streeter was renowned as much for his virtuosic writing as the shocking reality of what he uncovered along the way. Why would someone who lived so purposefully and with such demonstrable bravery turn a pistol on himself? Insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter has seen enough suicides to know this isn’t one.

Obedience: As an insurance investigator, Dave Brandstetter built a reputation unraveling suspicious deaths. Now, well into middle age, he has decided to retire for the sake of Cecil, the young TV reporter who loves and cherishes him and has too often risked his own life for Dave’s work. But retirement does not come easily. It doesn’t take much arm-twisting to get Dave back in the saddle when an old friend in the public defender’s office asks him to help Andy Flanagan, a shiftless young man accused of murdering a Vietnamese businessman to defend the Old Fleet, a shantytown of houseboats that has been earmarked for development.

Other Releases:
Framed by Kate Merrill, out Dec. 1, 2023
Last Dance: Orgasmic Texas Dawn by A.J. Llewellyn, out Dec. 5, 2023
The Gentleman’s Club by A.V. Shener, out Dec. 6, 2023
Matrimonial Merriment by Nicky James, out Dec. 7, 2023
Secrets of the Soul by Holly Oliver, out Dec. 11, 2023
Lies are Forever by C. Jean Downer, out Dec. 19, 2023
Overkill by Lou Wilham, out Dec. 20, 2023
Someone Else’s Skin by G.S. Rhodes, out Dec. 22, 2023
Dead Serious Case #4 Professor Prometheus Plume by Vawn Cassidy, out Dec. 31, 2023

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode featuring a queer mystery went up this week.

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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