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Vermilion (Valentine & Lovelace Mystery #1)
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(Valentine & Lovelace Mystery #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A dead young hustler is found on the lawn of a queer-baiting legislator. Boston's political and queer communities are up in arms about the matter, and police are bent on finding the killer -- fast. Best friends Daniel Valentine and Clarisse Lovelace team up and hit the streets of Boston. Through a sinister underworld of bars and baths, bondage and blackmail, they're out to ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Alyson Books (first published 1980)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  116 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Alannah Davis
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published and taking place in the early 1980s, this book is a bit of culture shock when it comes to representing the gay scene. Very un-PC. But that is also a big part of what I love about these vintage books: they represent the times as they were.

Hustler/gay male prostitute Billy was freezing on the streets of Boston, trying to earn his living. When his body is later found on the lawn of a viciously homophobic Boston politician, the gay community is buzzing.

Dan Valentine, bartender at the Bona
Adam Dunn
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
Good. I think it's better with age. I liked the eighties setting and the characters. I felt like Valentine was well developed but about halfway through I was like "Who is the other chick?" and apparently then the author remembered Lovelace and brought her in for the second half. It was a little confusing when she was called by her first name and he by his last.
Added a star for the pulp format and the period, and the locations are strong. The characters, particularly the secondary characters, are
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. Quick beach read on my Swiss ski trip and I felt like I was watching a campy gay movie

Fun and to think it took place when I was a 5 month old fetus. The one-liners are as fresh as if I were reading a book written today. Many other literary references which is what makes Nathan a great writer. Looking forward to the others in his queue

P.S. not great for book groups... great for beaches, ski slopes, road trips, Appalachian hikes, cruises, delayed airline flights, ... otherwi
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, very early 80's - looking forward to reading the other three in the series.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, mystery
This was a surprisingly good read. Set in the early '80s, so beware of an almost unbearable homophobia!

I really liked the pulp format and the portrait of the queer scene at that time. I also enjoyed Valentine and Lovelace friendship, and the fun Lovelace brings to an otherwise dark story.

Valentine is a gay bartender who spent time in prison and now is set in helping other ex-cons. Lovelace is a straight woman, who works in real state and has a refreshing view of what's really important in life :
Isaiah Vianese
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great little mystery full of humor set in gay 80s Boston. Valentine is a real heart-throb, and Clarisse is a great co-sleuther.

Overall, this a fun series, and an intriguing time capsule of 80s gay culture.
I enjoyed the story but I felt it got off track in the middle pages.
Good. Pre-aids, witty promiscuous fag/faghag drinking and sleuthing in Boston.
Starts with a long chapter accompanying the future victim, and together with Valentine's hatred of the necessary fitness studio regime were some details that made me like this more (unlike the editor of the rerelease, who left out this one and loves the others for the funfunfun). I can't judge if it really is a bit more grim, but despite looking smaller it felt longer and is perhaps the one most concentrated on the cri
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a standard, decent mystery novel, just a little Scooby Doo-ish, but it's more fun to read than the three stars indicate because it takes place in Boston in the late 70s gay scene. It's a very quick read and a fun one for the beach - although you might want to wait for the winter to read it, since that's when it takes place!
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually I finished re-reading this book, this morning. Found it on my shelves and didn't remember anything about it except it is the first in a series & he is gay and she is straight.
so odd to recognize all the Boston places and know they are all but a couple gone.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just a fun, campy romp through '80s Boston gay life as the setting for this Thin Man style noir reluctant detective novel.
Matthew Tufts
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Shelves: mystery
Part of a series of VGood mysteries
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Michael McDowell [1950-1999] & Dennis Schuetz [1947-1988]

Aka Axel Young

Other books in the series

Valentine & Lovelace Mystery (4 books)
  • Cobalt (Valentine & Lovelace Mystery #2)
  • Slate (Valentine & Lovelace Mystery #3)
  • Canary (Valentine & Lovelace Mystery #4)