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The Affair of the Porcelain Dog (Ira Adler #1)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
London, 1889. For Ira Adler, former rent-boy and present plaything of crime lord Cain Goddard, stealing back the statue from Goddard's blackmailer should have been a doddle. But inside the statue is evidence that could put Goddard away for a long time under the sodomy laws, and everyone's after it, including Ira's bitter ex, Dr. Timothy Lazarus. No sooner does Ira have the ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Bold Strokes Books (first published June 2011)
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Nov 09, 2011 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, victorian
It says something about today's publishing market that someone thought this would sell better billed as m/m romance than as what it really is: a mystery. Yes, there are homosexuals in the book, but if you go in expecting either Hott Sexxxy Times or Love Conquering All Odds you will be gravely disappointed. What you will get instead is Ira Adler running (or walking, or riding in carriages) around various mostly grimy parts of London trying to figure out who is blackmailing his crime lord lover/em ...more
Mar 06, 2013 MLE rated it really liked it
This is most definitely not a romance, and I found I didn't miss it at all. The mystery to this story is compelling, and well developed. Although the book was slow building, I found myself drawn into the world of the characters, and was fascinated by their relationships, and interactions. The characters themselves are well developed, and richly nuanced. I like how well set in the time period this book feels, and how it doesn't fall victim to a rosy or romanticized view of the past, and avoids be ...more

If this book will become a movie one day- and I hope very much it will-I would recommend Guy Ritchie as a director! (For those who don't know: an English film-maker, well-known for his Sherlock Holmes movies, though I prefer his Snatch.) And, honestly, it'll be such a shame not to film this story!

Great action packed historical mystery, very atmospheric and very hard to put down.

Just some keywords:

London 1889.
Opium trade.
Child trafficking.
Criminal activities and organisations.
Sodomy as a crimi

Phew what a ride, this was one hell of an action packed story. At times I thought I was watching reading a Die Hard episode. Breathless stuff.

Told by Ira, a pragmatic fellow with any romantic notions deeply hidden but when push comes to shove, Ira shows what he is made of, heroic steel. Romantic fantasies cannot be given heed when your first priority is food and shelter.

I like Faraday’s take on the Sherlockian lore. She takes us to the other side (view spoiler)
May 19, 2011 Erastes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-historical
Not your normal Holmes clone, that’s for sure. Although this story is set in late Victorian London, and around the Baker Street area, there’s a highly enjoyable twist.

The point of view is told, first person, by Ira Adler. But instead of being a Doctor Watson clone,and the companion of a great detective, Ira is the live-in companion, “private secretary” and lover of Cain Goddard, the dread “Duke of Dorset Street.” Goddard is a crime lord, so in some respects, he’s a Moriaty clone. But not quite.
Aug 13, 2012 Leanne rated it really liked it
A solid, entertaining read. The MC has a wonderfully wry, self-deprecating way of looking at his pampered life as a crime lord's kept man. As things heat up in the race to find the porcelain dog, Ira finds himself knee deep in opium lords and evil doctors - murder and mayhem ensues! There is no onscreen sex and no HEA as such but the ending is satisfying.

I'll definitely be reading more of Jess Faraday's work.
Ije the Devourer of Books
Feb 13, 2015 Ije the Devourer of Books rated it it was amazing
This was great!

A historical mystery with a frisson of romance, lots of suspense and shady characters, and a series too.

And also really well written. I do love a good mystery that keeps me guessing to the end and the author did that. I also liked the back stories of the characters and the twists and turns of their past and I liked the fact that there are no obvious heroes.

Everyone is kind of tainted to a greater or lesser degree but in seeking to do the right thing some of the characters develo
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Jess Faraday shows off her beautiful, skillful writing skills in this unique historical mystery. It is most certainly not a romance book, though, if you are interested solely in that. It reminded me a great deal of the Lord John series (starting with Lord John and the Private Matter), which is what got me interested in M/M in the first place.

I'm not a mystery lover but I enjoyed it, even if I was a bit lost at times. I felt like I got a great sense for the time period and I quickly got into the
As far as mysteries go, this was a gripping one. A tangled mess of illegal activities, old secrets, blackmailing and cruel villains, packed with action to boot, it was a nail-biting suspense.

However, my romantic heart was thoroughly disappointed. (view spoiler)
Nathan Burgoine
Jan 17, 2013 Nathan Burgoine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: glbt, audiobooks
I'm a lover of audiobooks. Even if I were able to physically read on the bus - I can't, it makes me feel ill - there's still something so incredibly wonderful about the spoken word, and the experience of listening to a great story being told. Usually, I do this to make the time pass by on the long trek to and from work, or when I'm doing something tedious like the laundry or dishes. For "The Affair of the Porcelain Dog" I was instead scurrying around, trying to find any excuse to be able to keep ...more
Heather C
Feb 15, 2014 Heather C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather C by: Rhys Ford

There are NO words to portray how truly amazing this book is! Dammit, but I have to try. Here goes…

Its London, summer of 1889. Ira Adler has spent the last two years playing live-in-lover to the wealthy crime lord Cain Goddard. After two years of warm baths, luxurious clothes and Egyptian tobacco, Ira has no plans of going back to his former life of selling his ass in order to survive. But Goddard is being blackmailed…blackmailed with something that will send him to prison and Ira back
Aug 16, 2013 PaperMoon rated it really liked it
Ira Adler - what a lovely name, it rolls of the tongue so nicely (shades of a Sherlock H character perhaps). Ira is young, he’s gorgeous, he’s gay and he’s a survivor. His childhood (which is revealed slowly throughout the book) is full of traumatising memories, deep hurts, abandonment and broken promises. After selling body and soul for years, Ira has finally climbed his way to security and success – for the past two years, he’s been the current live-in lover for Cain Goddard, failed academic a ...more
Reviewed By BlackTulip for Booked Up

I've always been fond of Victorian era mysteries and this one is not only good it is simply outstanding! Jess Faraday takes you into a very bleak, dangerous and inhuman realm. A world without mercy. But despite all this, she's able to deliver a beautiful and romantic story.

This wild ride begins when Ira Adler is sent by his lover, crime lord Cain Goddard, to retrieve a certain porcelain dog from a blackmailer which contains dangerously incriminating evidence l
J.L. Merrow
Mar 03, 2013 J.L. Merrow rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this historical not-quite-romance, and felt transported back to the days of Labouchere's Amendment.
Ron Fritsch
Sep 22, 2012 Ron Fritsch rated it it was amazing
The Affair of the Porcelain Dog, Jess Faraday’s auspicious debut novel, is set in London in 1889—Oscar Wilde’s world.

Dr. Cain Goddard is a night lecturer at King’s College, hoping to become a professor. He sponsors and takes part in an athletic group known as the “Fighting Arts Society.” He’s also, secretly, a powerful crime lord known as the Duke of Dorset Street who owns brothels, gambling houses, and opium dens. A blackmailer who suddenly surfaces has evidence hidden in a porcelain dog that c
Elisa Rolle
I really, really liked this historical adventure/mystery novel, despite all the ugliness it dealt with it managed to be also sweet and romantic, but I cannot avoid to think the author was a little too severe with one of her characters and I hope she will come back to these men and time.

Former whore Ira Adler is now well nestled with crime lord Cain Goddard. Ira knows Cain’s affair are probably against the law, it was the reason why he ended up with him: Cain was one of Ira’s usual customers, and
Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
This review will be filled with rambliness.
I don't know why I took so long to read this. I'm not sure I can explain why it pulled me in so much. The Sherlock references (huge fan)? Starting with the MC's name, Ira Adler? His bittersweet relationship with criminal underlord Dr. Goddard? The web of secrets and intrigue that Ira finds himself stumbling into and which had me absorbed in reading for the entire day? I was just hooked. I loved that I was expecting this to be just a simple, typical MM h
Nov 08, 2012 Denise rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of both mysteries and gay literature
I'm hard pressed to remember the last time I read such a "Goldilocks" book -- everything was just right. The right amount of gritty, the right amount of sweetness, the right amount of humor, the right amount of backstory, the right amount of action. All the elements of a good story were present and well balanced.

As other reviewers have noted, this is billed as a "gay book," when it's really more a mystery. The only reason I can think of that this book is not more widely read and rec'd is that i
Feb 25, 2014 Don rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the book tremendously. Faraday does a great job in putting you there.. (view spoiler)

Faraday is very ambitious and the book is very busy, but she ties it all up nicely and everything is connected.

I just noticed that there is a second book that very recently came out in this series. Looking forward to
Nisie draws
WHAT A GREAT BOOK!! A++ recommend! It's a fun romp through a Sherlock Holmes-type story from the perspective of a lovable rent boy/thief/former street urchin who teams up with a "Watson" and has background "Sherlock" and a couple of "Moriartys" and many wondeful background characters. It was so much fun I didn't even notice the lack of on-page sex until I reached the end and realized it never happened. SHOCKING!
k reads
Mar 03, 2014 k reads rated it really liked it
Very well done mystery set in Victorian times. Gritty and not romanticized, with good pacing. The stakes are high and there are no easy answers.
I hope there are more books coming in this series.
Valerie Kubiak
Mar 22, 2014 Valerie Kubiak rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Affair of the Porcelain Dog is a book I will recommend to many. All of the characters have their own unique individuality, no two characters are alike. The description and first chapter had be believing I understood everything that was going on, and perhaps I even thought it'd be a bit...unexciting? Or at the very least, wouldn't catch me by surprise.

But I am happy and surprised to say, I was wrong. Incredibly wrong. This book had not a single dull moment. Unlike most books, which have some
Chris Apolant
Jan 28, 2016 Chris Apolant rated it it was ok
Ugh. This began as one of those books that, despite an inconsistent beginning, seemed as it progressed to hold such a glimmer of promise... only to utterly shatter every hope you had that it wouldn't turn out the way you initially thought it might. And after suffering through that ending, I am NOT.AMUSED.

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Honestly, this is one instance where I truly do not understand the glowing reviews. Certainly, it was well written, but not only was the plot, at times, unnecessarily convoluted, with the main
Nov 17, 2014 Alison rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It was completely gripping and I enjoyed reading it so much. Not a romance, this is more of a coming-of-age story based around an exciting mystery. The mystery was interesting and complex and kept me well engaged. The setting (late 19th century London) was so well done and I loved the wonderful detail and atmosphere. However, I think what made this book so enjoyable is Ira Adler himself. He's a fascinating, delightful, very flawed character, and he's incredibly like ...more
K Leung
Sep 12, 2016 K Leung rated it really liked it
To my admittedly untrained eyes, the London in this book is so convincing it is almost habitable with its treacherous villains and repugnant gutters. However inconsequential the atmosphere maybe to the 'actual' plot of a thriller, it certainly allows us to look deeper into who our protagonists are and what has made them so, which I believe is the whole point of this book.

The characters of Ira Adler, Tim Lazarus and Cain Goddard are especially well realised. The rest are less explored but never 2
Felice Stevens
Mar 25, 2015 Felice Stevens rated it it was amazing
This book was all kinds of amazing. It would make a wonderful introduction for someone looking to break into the world of Gay Fiction. The sex is only alluded too, but you feel the connection between Ira and Cain.It isn't a romance, but it is. It isn't a mystery but it is. I loved the setting-late Victorian. The writing is superb; it really sets the stage for London in the late 1800s and the desperate poverty people lived in that would make them do things they never dreamed.
I'm off to read the n
Sep 18, 2013 Kay rated it it was amazing
I have to say I really, really love this book. I first got contact with it through the audiobook and it is definitely worth a listen, the narrator is excellent. The story is really fun and there were a lot of great twists and turns. I will probably have to write a more comprehensive review at another time, but at the moment I will say that this book is currently one of my favorites.

Great characters, exciting plot, and a great setting come together to make a very enjoyable read.
Feb 13, 2015 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-lending, aaa-2
I disagree with the above blurb.

I didn't find Dr. Timothy Lazarus at all bitter. I found him heartbroken.

What bugs me is when a heartbroken GAY man "suddenly" finds happiness in a heterosexual relationship.

Aug 01, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this mystery novel. The protagonist was quite appealing and the action went at a good pace between revelation of information and action. I did get a little confused at a couple of times but wasn't sure whether that was too many characters or the author's writing style.
For mystery lovers this is well done and I can recommend it easily.
Michael Adam Reale
Mar 22, 2014 Michael Adam Reale rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be spellbinding. I read on the way to and from work on the train. I found myself almost missing my stop. I had a hard time putting the book down. Well written and exceedingly enjoyable.
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The Backlot Gay B...: The Affair of the Porcelain Dog – Jess Faraday 11 37 Jun 18, 2016 10:26PM  
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Jess Faraday is the author of the award-winning Ira Adler historical mysteries , the standalone steampunk adventure The Left Hand of Justice and a number of historical adventures in short story and novella form.

Her novel Fool's Gold won a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Historical, and was a runner-up for Best Gay Novel. The previous year, Turnbull House was a runner-up for Best Gay Historical, and The
More about Jess Faraday...

Other Books in the Series

Ira Adler (3 books)
  • Turnbull House (Ira Adler #2)
  • Fool's Gold (Ira Adler #3)

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