MLR Press Authors' Blog

Tag: mystery

Mahu Men by Neil Plakcy

by on Apr.04, 2010, under New Releases

Mahu Men by Neil Plakcy

Title Mahu Men
Author Neil Plakcy
ISBN# 978-1-60820-130-3 (ebook) $6.99
Release Date March 2010
Cover Artist
Paperback: 212 pages
Available At: MlrBooks (ebook) (paperback)

Mixing mystery and erotica, the stories in Mahu Men take readers into the world of openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka. Moving from pickups to murders, Kimo surfs the waves of his professional and personal lives in a sexy, sensual tropical paradise, where danger and desire lurk behind every palm tree.The stories fill the gaps between Neil Plakcy’s Mahu novels, showing Kimo dating as well as solving cases and establishing a relationship with his new detective partner. Mixing the sensuality of Plakcy’s erotica with the sharp-edged attitude of his mysteries, Mahu Men is a chance for new readers to meet Kimo, and for fans to delve more deeply into his world.


I Know What You Did

Dark clouds were massing over Tantalus as I responded to the discovery of a murder victim at the Vybe, a gay club on University Avenue in the Mo‘ili‘ili neighborhood of Honolulu, near the M?noa campus of the University of Hawai‘i. But it was sunny on the H1 highway, and I wasn’t worried that rain would damage the crime scene. Our island is composed of microclimates, and if you don’t like the weather where you are, just drive a few minutes away. It will change.

What does not change is that people commit murders. I am a homicide detective, and that means there will always be a job for me. A few months before, after six years on the force, I came out of the closet, the first openly gay police detective in Honolulu. I’d been to the Vybe before, for the Sunday afternoon tea dance. My friend Gunter liked the Vybe’s outdoor patio area, which had a good dance floor, a couple of bars and a stage. If I hadn’t been on duty, I might have been at the club myself, dancing and having a good time.

When I pulled up across from the club, I spoke to the first cop on the scene, a middle–aged Chinese guy named Frank Sit. We shook hands, and then he nodded toward the corpse. “911 got an anonymous call, reporting a man injured in the parking lot here.”

Sit had already cordoned off the immediate area around the body, and called for backup to help us conduct a search. “Looks like a bashing,” he said. “Poor guy was coming out of the bar, and somebody came along and started whaling on him.” (continue reading…)

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The Wages of Sin by Alex Beecroft

by on Jan.31, 2010, under New Releases

The Wages of Sin by Alex Beecroft

Title The Wages of Sin
Author Alex Beecroft
ISBN# 978-1-60820-125-9 (ebook)
Release Date January 2010
Paperback: 230 pages
Available At: MlrBooks (ebook)

Charles Latham, wastrel younger son of the Earl of Clitheroe, returns home drunk from the theatre to find his father gruesomely dead. He suspects murder. But when the Latham ghosts turn nasty, and Charles finds himself falling in love with the priest brought in to calm them, he has to unearth the skeleton in the family closet before it ends up killing them all.


Moonlight sucked the colour from damp grass and silvered rising wisps of dew. The deer-park lay dim and still to Charles’ left, receding to a black horizon. To his right, the Latham family chapel loomed dark against the lead-colored sky.

Sultan’s hooves whispered across the verge as Charles rode past the private graveyard’s wrought iron gate and averted his eyes from the white glimmer of Sir Henry’s mausoleum. It was one thing to laugh together over newspaper reports of vampires in Prussia while reclining in the comfortable lewdness of an actor’s garret—lamps blazing, the magic revealed as greasepaint, squalor and hard work—quite another to think of it here, beneath a slice of pewter moon, in a silence so huge it annihilated him.

A fox cried. Sultan snorted, ears flicking. His own heart racing, Charles gentled the horse over the gravel drive that swept up to the white Grecian pillars of the mansion. They turned towards the stable-yard—coach houses, stalls and groom’s quarters arranged about an enclosed square, entered by a short cobbled tunnel beneath the stable-master’s rooms. Both of them balked at the darkness beneath the arch, Sultan sidestepping as Charles dismounted. He wrenched his wrist, landed with a slap and slither loud enough to conceal the footsteps of a thousand walking corpses and stood propped against the horse’s strong shoulder, gathering himself. Sultan’s warm, straw-scented breath spiralled up comfortingly into the pre-dawn sky.

“Easy there, Sultan. Nothing to worry about.”

Thanking God that no one was watching his folly, Charles slung an arm about Sultan’s neck, took the hilt of his sword in the other hand. Emboldened by the feel of it, he urged Sultan forwards, towards his own stall and rest. (continue reading…)

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Committed to Memory by Josh Lanyon & J.S. Cook

by on Dec.06, 2009, under New Releases

Committed to Memory

Title Committed to Memory
Partners In Crime #5
Author Josh Lanyon
J.S. Cook
ISBN# 978-1-60820-114-3 (print) $14.99
Release Date November 2009
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz
Paperback: 212 pages
Available At:

Two men: one with memories he can’t escape, the other with memories he can’t recapture — both trusting strangers who lie.

Amnesiac Peter Killian, suspected art thief, can’t understand why LAPD detective Michael Griffin takes his memory loss so personally.

American expatriate Jack Stoyles, exiled in a distant Atlantic outpost, is suddenly in love with a stranger who kisses him — and then dies. With good reason Jack calls his place “Heartache Cafe”.


You wouldn’t think it even gets hot in a place like this, but let me tell you, brother, it does. Around the middle of July, the fog clears away, and the sun comes out, hot enough (as they say around these parts) to split the rocks. It’s a different sort of place, not like anywhere I’d ever been before, but when you have to leave home as suddenly as I did, you don’t much care. You just pick a direction on the map and head out and hope things turn out okay. Twelve hundred miles as the crow flies to St. John’s, Newfoundland, from my hometown of Philadelphia; I slept nearly the whole way, never mind the roaring of the airplane engines. Some things hit harder than others, and I’d been dealt a knockout punch.

When we landed at the airstrip in this little town called Torbay, I felt like I’d come to the end of the world. Nothing much to see except trees, black spruce and tamarack and scrub pines, and the red gravel airstrip. I got out of my seat and climbed down, stiff and sore, feeling like I’d been run down by a truck. I guess I was still in shock a little bit. The air was colder than I was used to; even Philadelphia winters don’t have this kind of soggy bite. All I wanted was to get inside the little terminal and maybe get a cup of coffee. I had five hundred bucks, American, in my wallet, a passport and a copy of my discharge papers from the army. I guess I should have felt ashamed, because here was Hitler stomping his jackbooted way across Europe, and there was nothing I could do about it. Unfit for active service. Yeah, that’s me — thirty-eight years old and already broken beyond repair.

This — all of this — was a blur to me. I was seeing other streets and hearing a different accent, and I was remembering walking into Moe’s first thing in the morning for a cup of joe, sitting down at the counter to look over the newspaper before I went outside and took a sharp left toward the waterfront. Maybe that’s what drew me to this place: the promise of cold salt air and the tang of the sea in my nostrils, the bustle of the waterfront, and ships coming and going at all hours of the day and night. I loved the idea that I could do the same, just go whenever I wanted to, anywhere I liked in the world, and not have to answer to anybody. If I felt like it, I could hop a freighter to some other place and work my way across the world. It was something Moe and I had talked a lot about whenever I was in there. You thinking of going somewhere? He’d always refill my coffee cup without my having to ask, and I’d always leave a tip. Thinking of leaving old Philly, huh? Right up until the last, I wasn’t sure. Even after it happened, I figured I could just keep on the way I was, doing all the things that I’d been doing. I figured I was strong enough to take it, right up until I stood on the Delaware River Bridge one morning, looking down into the swirling water and wondering if I had the nerve.

You want to know what stopped me? (continue reading…)

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The 38 Million Dollar Smile by Richard Stevenson

by on Aug.30, 2009, under New Releases

The 38 Million Dollar Smile by Richard Stevenson

Title The 38 Million Dollar Smile
Donald Strachey Mystery Series
Author Richard Stevenson
ISBN# ISBN# 978-1-60820-013-9(print) $14.99
ISBN# 978-1-60820-014-6 (ebook) $5.99
Release Date August 2009
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz

Gadfly scion of Albany old money Gary Griswold goes missing in Thailand, and his ex-wife wants him found – with his 38 million dollars. Soon Albany’s only gay PI, Don Strachey, is out of his element, and lover Timmy is out of his comfort zone combing the Land of Smiles for a man with unerring weakness for the poorest possible choice and a daft plan to buy 38 million dollars worth of good karma.


Chapter One

“Mr. Strachey, do you believe in reincarnation?”

“I’ve never given it much thought.”

“So you won’t mind my telling you, I think the whole idea is perfectly absurd.”

“Go ahead.”

It had been Ellen Griswold’s idea to meet in the bar at the Albany airport at six thirty. She was picking her husband up from the US Airways flight from Washington that theoretically got in at seven forty but sometimes arrived around nine or ten. So we had plenty of time for going over the mysteries of life.

“I know you’ve spent time in Southeast Asia,” she said. “So I assume you know something about Buddhist philosophy.”

She was nicely turned out in a beige linen suit, the sea green silk wrap she had been wearing against the early April chill now slung over the chair next to her. Still on the underside of fifty, I guessed, Mrs. Griswold was raven haired, with clear dark eyes, a handsome beak, and apparently had had some minimal cantilevering and other structural work done on her chin and cheeks, though nothing that would have overtaxed Le Corbusier.

I said, “I was in the war there, so I know a little. But even in Army Intelligence, my thinking was focused and practical. The larger questions relating to the Asian psyche were left to the deep thinkers at the Pentagon. How did you know I was in Vietnam?”

“Bob Chicarelli told me.”

A lawyer I knew. “I’ve done work for Bob.”

“And have played squash with him. He also says you’re gay. That’s good, because so is my ex-husband, who is the problem here, I think.”

“Ah, the problem.” (continue reading…)

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Deadly Slumber by Victor J. Banis

by on Aug.19, 2009, under New Releases

Deadly Slumber by Victor J. Banis

Title Deadly Slumber
#4 in the Deadly Mystery Series
Author Victor J. Banis
ISBN# 978-1-60820-090-0 (print)  $14.99
978-1-60820-091-7 (ebook) $5.99
Release Date August 2009
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz

The House of the Dead: a mortuary whose directors are drop dead gorgeous and terminally horny-and one of them up to mischief. Stanley and Tom try to separate the naturally dead from the murdered dead and find themselves awash with coffins-until they come to the one Stanley’s name on it.   Deadly Slumber indeed.


Chapter ONE

The House of the Dead.

He hadn’t known, when he made the appointment, how appropriate that old sobriquet would be before the day, before the hour, even, was out.

That’s what they had called Bartholomew’s Mortuary when David Solomon was growing up just a few blocks from here—never dreaming that one day he would be standing outside like this, looking up at the pseudo-Italian palazzo, and summoning his courage to go inside for a job interview.

“You’re going to work at the House of the Dead?” his sister Rose had asked, laughing.

“I hope. And live there too, if I get the internship.”

“Won’t you feel, you know, icky? All those dead people?”

“Dead people are just dead, Rosie. You want icky, I’ll take you to a gay dinner party or two. You’ll come to welcome a non-bitchy corpse.” (continue reading…)

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A Conspiracy of Ravens from MLR Press by William Maltese

by on Jun.29, 2009, under New Releases

A Conspiracy of Ravens from MLR Press by William Maltese

Title Conspiracy of Ravens
Author William Maltese
ISBN# 978-1-60820-061-0 (ebook)
Release Date June 2009
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz
Paperback: 174 pages
Sexual Content: Rated Explicit
Available At: MlrBooks (ebook)

Inside the grounds of the infamous Tower of London. Patrick whose Irish lover, Ian, was killed by an English homicidal butcher behind the wheel of a speeding car. Tad whose American parents have sent their erring son to live with Brit relatives, one of whom is a Tower yeoman. Six Tower Ravens, the subjects of legend that predicts-they gone, the British Empire soon to follow. A man and five Tower Ravens murdered. One man determined to see the sixth bird dead, no matter the consequences.



Patrick Mulligan’s hand, with red-hair knuckles, pulled a handful of loose outer flesh down around the more solid inner core of Ian Riley’s cock. He couldn’t help wondering what they would say back in the States if they could see him naked and playing with another man’s healthy young dick. His mother would have cried, his father would have been boiling mad, and his closest friends would have suddenly begun seeing him as something less than a man. Even his grandmother, whose savings had been responsible for sending him to school in Ireland, wouldn’t have understood. She had expected, indeed hoped sincerely, that exposing her green-eyed, red-hair, little darling to his roots would make him a different man, but her definition of different did not go so far as to encompass homosexuality.

Homosexual sex was the last thing that Patrick expected to encounter in Londonderry. Even when he began to learn that his new mates looked upon male sex with a good deal more acceptance than did Patrick’s family and friends back home in Middle America, he never dreamed that within a few months of his arrival in Ireland he would be rooming with an openly gay Irishman he could admit to loving.

Ian Riley stirred in his sleep, his leg and chest muscles elongating in a stretch that didn’t disturb his erotic dreaming. Had he known what Patrick was thinking, he would have been amused. Ian had been aware of his own personal sexual preference for men since shortly after exploding into puberty. Not only had he recognized his particular passions, but also he had straight away set out to satiate them. He’d quickly found more than his share of those willing to assist him. Even at an early age, he hadn’t looked young. He’d always had the butch, dark-complexion, square-jaw, cleft-chin good looks and stocky build that made anyone who picked him up confident he was someone above the age of consent, even when he had been significantly underage. (continue reading…)

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Drag Queen in the Court of Death by Caro Soles

by on Jun.26, 2009, under New Releases

Drag Queen in the Court of Death by Caro Soles

Title Drag Queen in the Court of Death
Author Caro Soles
Release Date June 2009
Cover Artist Deana C. Jamroz
Paperback: 253 pages
Available At: MlrBooks (ebook)
B&N — coming soon
Amazon–coming soon

Was his ex-lover really a twisted killer?

While cleaning out his dead ex-lover Ronnie’s apartment, staid history professor Michael Dunn-Barten makes a grisly discovery–a mummified corpse in a trunk. Suddenly Michael must travel back 25 years to find answers by revisiting everybody who knew Ronnie. Back to the 1960s, back to the realization of his sexuality and the boy he loved. Back to the troubling time when his wife threw him out and his family disowned him. Back to uncover disturbing answers amidst drag queens and murky memories–and to reveal whether or not his first real love was truly a twisted killer. Drag Queen in the Court of Death is a taut thriller about a man who needs to face his past in order to forge a future. He must unravel a mystery that’s a quarter century old–no matter how painful the truth may be.


Chapter One

The last time I climbed up these stairs was exactly three weeks ago. I would have stayed away longer, but Ellis was insistent, pining over all those gorgeous gowns and shoes and wigs; imagining great bolts of flashing silks and glittering lengths of magical cloth that ran through your hands like a sigh.

“And the makeup,” Ellis said, behind me on the stairs. “There’s probably mountains of the stuff.”

“No doubt,” I said. “Remember, he left most of it to Wilde Nights.”

“Well, I’m in Wilde Nights,” Ellis said.

“So am I.” That was his friend. Some young thing named Jaym or Jayce. A non-name. An effort at re-creation that I might have appreciated in my younger days. Now it just annoyed me. (continue reading…)

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