Front cover image for Blackmail, my love : a murder mystery

Blackmail, my love : a murder mystery

Katie Gilmartin (Author, Illustrator)
"Josie O'Conner travels to San Francisco in 1951 to locate her gay brother, a private dick 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's nascent resistance to raids, graft, and brutality. Josie adopts Jimmy's trousers and wingtips as well as his investigation, battling to clear his name, halt the blackmailers, and exact justice for the mounting number of 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 madame 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. Established academic and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin's diverse set of characters negotiate the risks of same-sex desire in what can arguably be called the Dark Ages of Queerdom. Humor leavens the grave subject matter. The novel's action is fueled by a little-known 1951 California Supreme Court ruling that homosexuals have a right to congregate: the decision incited tavern owner resistance to customary payoffs in exchange for police protection, but also provoked new surveillance tactics to justify raids and extortion. Set in such legendary locations as the Black Cat Cafe, the Fillmore during its heyday as jazz capitol of the west, the Beat movement's North Beach, and the sexually complex Tenderloin, Blackmail, My Love is neo-noir novel that distills history and fiction into a singular, visually stunning experience"-- provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2014
First edition View all formats and editions
Cleis Press, Berkeley, CA, 2014