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Murder by Tradition (Kate Delafield, #4)
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Murder by Tradition (Kate Delafield #4)

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  305 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
LAPD homicide detective Kate Delafield is summoned to a scene of savagery: a restaurant kitchen awash in the blood of a young gay man found dead from multiple stab wounds. But finding his killer is only the first of Kate's challenges. Shielding her young lover from this brutal crime with its seemingly ever-widening consequences, she contends with a homophobic partner who s ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 1st 1993 by Naiad Press (first published 1991)
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Murder at the Nightwood Bar by Katherine V. ForrestMurder by Tradition by Katherine V. ForrestThe Beverly Malibu by Katherine V. ForrestHunter's Way by Gerri HillFragmentary Blue by Erica Abbott
Lesbian Police Fiction
2nd out of 24 books — 2 voters
Death by the Riverside by J.M. RedmannHunter's Way by Gerri HillThe News in Small Towns by Iza MoreauMadness in Small Towns by Iza MoreauDeaths of Jocasta by J.M. Redmann
best lesbian mysteries
118th out of 148 books — 51 voters

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Community Reviews

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Feb 26, 2012 Sally rated it it was amazing
Oh this one was absolutely stellar! I love how it was half investigation, then half court-room drama... just like an awesome episode of SVU. Aw man, I miss SVU.

Totally giving this one five stars, because it really is my favourite so far. I've liked each one more than the last, funnily enough! And as incredible as #3 was, it was the fact that this one actually went to court for the second half of the book that made it win.

Btw I love the descriptions of Linda as having stylishly frizzy hair and ov
May 19, 2014 Levi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, mystery
I got this at the Baltimore Free Library. Their LGBT fiction (which is mostly of 1970s-1990s vintage) is split about evenly between gay male romance novels and lesbian detective novels. That phenomenon was much more interesting to me than Murder By Tradition turned out to be.

Murder By Tradition sounds like it should involve secret societies and arcane rituals, but it's actually a very mundane Law and Order episode, set in the 1980s, with a lesbian detective and an out gay murder victim. Extremel
This was more court room drama than murder mystery but I still found myself enjoying it immensely. The book focuses on the homophobia in society and how that hate can be used to justify murder by an ordinary straight person. The book is so visually written it's like watching an episode of a tv show. It is a fascinating portrayal. The murder is horrific but as the murderer doesn't divulge from his initial story I was left wondering why he had done it. The answer must have been that he knew the vi ...more
Lexxi Kitty
Every book up until this one involved an investigation into murder. This time it's Law and Order. Opens with murder. Shortly thereafter the police arrest a man for the crime and he confesses. Rest of book is the murder trial.

One of the big points that pop up in both the defense of the defendant and among police officers who are supposed to be investigating the case is the "Homosexual Defense". Two-fold: 1) guy deserved to die because he was gay; 2) defendant deserves to get off due to how a "no
Kathleen Hagen
Murder by Tradition, a Kate Delafield Mystery: by Catherine V. Forrest, a-minus, Borrowed from National Library Services for the Blind.

This is an excellent book. In this one, Kate finally comes out, as it were, to her fellow officers. A gay man is killed by someone he takes home with him. There is definitely enough evidence to indict the guy, but his lawyer throws up all kinds of smoke screens-he had to kill the guy in self defense, he didn’t know the guy was gay until he “groped” him, he was so
Apr 27, 2012 DC rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
The book is the story of the investigation of a crime and the prosecution of the suspect; chiefly the latter, in fact, since the suspect is found very quickly (really, it seemed almost unbelievably quickly — but I suppose most criminals are caught because they are stupid). The crime in question is the horrific slaughter of a gay man in the kitchen of his restaurant (slaughter is the word: 39 stab wounds). Detective Kate Delafield tracks down the suspect, manages to get a confession out of him (a ...more
Richard Dagneau
May 28, 2015 Richard Dagneau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of her VERY best, and that's saying something. Everyone should read this book, as it delves into the personal story of how our lives are affecting in the legal system by things like the "gay panic" defense, and the idea of outing yourself in your own defense. Not to mention just a riveting and suspenseful court drama (which is something of a departure from the usual detective story)
See the comments in the Lesbian Mystery Reading Group, found here: Lesbian Mysteries.
Aug 26, 2007 Bett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katherine V. Forrest fans, anyone else who loves goof murder mysteries
Arguably the best of the eight Kate Delafield novels, along with Apparition Alley and Murder at the Nightwood bar. If you read The Beverly Malibu first, then these three, that's the core of the Kate Delafield character. Katherine V. Forrest evokes the La scene as no other has since maybe Raymond Chandler.
Freyja Vanadis
Dec 28, 2011 Freyja Vanadis rated it really liked it
This is a courtroom drama rather than a mystery; the question of whodunit is never in doubt. Forrest does a pretty good job, although she does let things get too cheesy and emotional at the end when the verdict is read and everyone magically comes together in gay solidarity. That part is too unrealistic, and it's what causes me to give this a 4 out of 5 stars. Still a good book though.
Cassaundra Aunna
A friend bought this for me not knowing it was a lesbian fiction novel. I am not into that kind of thing, but the story itself was pretty enjoyable. I think that a lot of people who are into this would enjoy it more than I did. I chose to read it because I don't judge a book before I know anything about it, and I am glad I read it. It was a very good story.
Jul 20, 2012 Cat. rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Good and different. It starts with a murder mystery, but quickly turns into a courtroom drama. The whole "drama" part of that comes from the fact that the victim was gay and the murderer is claiming self-defense because (view spoiler) Well-plotted.
May 10, 2014 Josy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jul 05, 2008 Terry rated it really liked it
I love lesbian mysteries and this is the series that got me started when I first came out. Murder by Tradition is my favorite of the Katherine Delafield series.
Jun 10, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, glbtq
Forrest just keeps getting better and better with every book. Painful at times, but ultimately triumphant- a fantastic book.
Gina Barnett
May 29, 2008 Gina Barnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good murder mystery
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Katherine V. Forrest is the groundbreaking author of Curious Wine, the Kate Delafield mystery series and the Daughters science-fiction series. She’s also known as a prolific editor with anthology and non-fiction credits in her own name as well as the editor of hundreds of novels. Dozens of lesbian writers count her among their mentors. Selected as the 2009 recipient of the Publishing Triangle’s Bi ...more
More about Katherine V. Forrest...

Other Books in the Series

Kate Delafield (9 books)
  • Amateur City (Kate Delafield, #1)
  • Murder at the Nightwood Bar (Kate Delafield, #2)
  • The Beverly Malibu (Kate Delafield, #3)
  • Liberty Square (Kate Delafield, #5)
  • Apparition Alley (Kate Delafield, #6)
  • Sleeping Bones (Kate Delafield, #7)
  • Hancock Park (Kate Delafield, #8)
  • High Desert (Kate Delafield, #9)

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