Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery by Katie GilmartinBlackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery by Katie Gilmartin

Blackmail, My Love: A Murder Mystery

byKatie Gilmartin

Paperback | November 18, 2014

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Lambda Award 2015 for Best Gay Mystery!

Josie O'Conner travels to San Francisco in 1951 to locate her gay brother, a private eye investigating a blackmail ring targeting lesbians and gay men. Jimmy's friends claim that just before he disappeared he became a rat, informing the cops on the bar community. Josie adopts Jimmy's trousers and wingtips, to clear his name, halt the blackmailers, and exact justice for too many queer corpses. Along the way she rubs shoulders with a sultry chanteuse running a dyke tavern called Pandora's Box, gets intimate with a red-headed madam operating a brothel from the Police Personnel Department, and conspires with the star of Finocchio's, a dive so disreputable it's off limits to servicemen - so every man in uniform pays a visit.

Blackmail, My Love is an illustrated murder mystery deeply steeped in San Francisco's queer history, as established academic and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin's diverse set of characters negotiate the risks of same-sex desire in a dangerous era. Set in such legendary locations as the Black Cat Cafe, the Fillmore, the Beat movement's North Beach, and the Tenderloin, Blackmail, My Love is a singular, stunning introduction to a new author and to gay noir.
Katie Gilmartin received a Ph.D. in cultural studies from Yale, with an emphasis in queer history. After teaching the history of sexuality and queer studies for a decade at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of California, Berkeley, and The New College, she became a printmaker. Her prior publications are academic ...
Title:Blackmail, My Love: A Murder MysteryFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:232 pages, 8.9 × 6.38 × 0.83 inShipping dimensions:8.9 × 6.38 × 0.83 inPublished:November 18, 2014Publisher:Cleis PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1627780645

ISBN - 13:9781627780643

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Editorial Reviews

Lambda Award 2015 for Best Gay Mystery!Blackmail, My Love is a cross-genre softcover: murder mystery, pulp fiction, historical fiction, romance, picture book. In her protagonist, author and illustrator Katie Gilmartin has cut a fearless, peerless figure who is realistic but not fatalistic, sharp as a fedora, and grittier than the underworld.Joe's delight in transposing genders invites readers into the gay areas shadowing and overshadowing San Francisco's black-and-white heat. The nuanced nonchalance of the narration is juxtaposed with the desperation and determination experienced by our hero, whose straits will Mildred Pierce your soul. Fast-paced, this story puts the 'out' in 'out of the past,' a past that, according to the author, 'inhabits the future.' If you like your gumshoes with gumption, this novel is right up your alley. Just keep an eye out for suspicious characters who may be lurking?and smirking?in the shadows."-Curve Magazine"I loved this book because of its writing and the cinematic vividness with which Gilmartin creates a believable, authentic historical setting. Beyond that, I think that every LGBTQ person under 40 ought to read 'Blackmail, my Love,' because this well-crafted novel is also a healthy, if painful, history lesson."-Prism Book Alliance'This is the Katie Gilmartin's first work of fiction, and she clearly drew on her academic work: interviews she conducted with lesbians about their lives in the 1940s and 1950s. That work paid off. Her future in fiction is bright.'-New York Journal of Books"Katie Gilmartin's auspicious debut offers keen and diverse pleasures. A gripping tale of murder, corruption and bittersweet revenge, hauntingly punctuated by the author's evocative illustrations,Blackmail, My Love is at the same time a compelling look at a moment in queer history when an oppressed and fearful minority began to discover its secret wellsprings of courage and resolve. I cherish this novel as much for its recovery of our neglected history as for its sharply drawn characters and deftly orchestrated plot."-Paul Russell, author ofImmaculate Blue andThe Unreal Life of Sergey NabokovForeword Reviews' 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Winner"This intriguing noir novel captures a cultural moment, set in 1950s San Francisco at a time when gays and lesbians established a strong sense of community, despite being harassed and often arrested by law enforcement simply for congregating.Blackmail, My Love will entertain fans of the noir genre, but its social themes and messages about love and redemption will also appeal to a wider audience."-ForeWord Reviews"Historian and practicing artist Katie Gilmartin has outdone herself withBlackmail, My Love. This gripping and beautifully-written detective novel is actually a well-researched piece of historical fiction, illuminating San Francisco's post-World War II era, when bars were the primary mode of queer socializing and police raids really did ruin people's lives. Gilmartin has an eye for detail-as detectives and historians must-and she sets her story at a time in San Francisco's history when queer communities, often segregated by race and class, matured into new modes of political consolidation and resistance. Taking seriously the idea that queer social movements emerged out of bars rather than formal homophile organizations, Gilmartin's novel charts the lives of a cast of characters (some right out of history) who work together to trap the entrappers. As a bonus, Gilmartin supplements the text with illustrative prints that enliven her already vivid prose.Blackmail, My Love is a must-read for anyone who enjoys queer history!"-Nan Alamilla Boyd, author ofWide Open-Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 and Professor of Women and Gender Studies at SFSU"Although it is a dark tale of a harrowing time-the queer world in San Francisco in the early 1950's-the narrative voice inBlackmail, My Love is fresh, keenly observant and even charming. I highly recommend Katie Gilmartin's wonderful debut novel and I am eager to see what she does next."-Michael Nava, author of theHenry Rios mysteries"Gilmartin's magisterial command of her historical period ensures that the reader will be effortlessly immersed in the instant paranoia, mistrust and betrayal so typical of that pre-liberated gay era. A darkly entertaining mystery,Blackmail, My Love also grounds us in why the Stonewall Revolution would shortly afterward happen-as well as why it had to happen."-Felice Picano, editor ofBest Gay Romance 2015"Katie dives so deep (and convincingly) into the still-somehow-familiar details of the city's hidden past that you'll feel like you've time-traveled. That's how you know you've had a history lesson that's tough and precious as a '50s femme."-Carol Queen, author ofThe Leather Daddy and The Femme"A hardboiled homage and detailed, nostalgic romp through post-WWII San Francisco,Blackmail, My Love reveals and revels in the City of 1951 through a GLBT lens, and the history is spot-on."-Kelli Stanley, award-winning author ofCity of Dragons"What else do I love about this book? I love that Gilmartin writes with a smooth, tough-girl smokiness-she sets the noir tone she establishes in the opening lines and never falters throughout. I love that Gilmartin gets it right-the mise-en-scene, the history, the lesbians and gay men and drag queens and bisexuals and, of course, the villains-the people who put us in those closets and hidden bars and speak-easy-style clubs and forced us into the underground demimonde most LGBTpeople inhabited until well past Stonewall.So yes-I loved this book. I loved it as a writer and a professor, as an historian and a lesbian activist. You will love it, too."-Victoria Brownworth,Lambda Literary"Set in North Beach and the Tenderloin in 1951, the noir-influenced story is an inspired cocktail of fiction and historical fact, juxtaposing real places such as the Black Cat with fictional ones, like the lesbian bar Pandora's Box. The potent mix includes dollops of blackmail, butch/femme identities, McCarthyism, bar raids and police extortion."-Jim Van Buskirk,The San Francisco Examiner "