Death Claims (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #2) (Paperback)

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Description


CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF DAVE BRANDSTETTER

Death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter enters a world thespians and booksellers as he uncovers the true story behind the death of a rare book dealer in this noir-spun masterpiece of California crime fiction.

 
Since a burning accident that left him painfully disfigured, John Oats, a well-liked collectible book dealer, has been self-isolating at his beach house in Arena Blanca, California. An avid swimmer, John Oats had taken to night swimming to hide his injuries from daytime beachgoers. When his body is found one morning smashed against the rocks at the treacherous point near the house, the authorities rule it “Death by Misadventure.”  

Insurance companies don’t much care for verdicts like that and therefore Medallion Insurance, the policy holder for Oats’s substantial life insurance policy, sends out its best investigator, Dave Brandstetter, to poke holes in the story. The night Oats died there was a dangerous storm along the coast, and Brandstetter finds it hard to believe that the bookseller, a lifelong swimmer, would have gone out. As his investigation reveals more of John Oats’s sad story Brandstetter learns that the motives for murder are many.
 
But Brandstetter has his own problems to deal with. Still mourning the death of his partner, Rod, Dave is navigating his own twilight world of grief. His new lover, Doug, is also grieving, and the two men must come to a reckoning of whether their love is an ersatz stand-in for their lost partners or something more.

About the Author


Joseph Hansen (1923–2004) was the author of more than twenty-five novels, including the twelve groundbreaking Dave Brandstetter mystery novels. The winner of the 1992 Lifetime AchievementAward from the Private Eye Writers of America, Hansen was also the author of A Smile in His LifetimeLiving UpstairsJob's Year, and Bohannon's Country. He was a two-time Lambda LiteraryAward-winner.

Praise For…


PRAISE FOR THE DAVE BRANDSETTER NOVELS

"In an auspicious event for mystery readers, Syndicate is reprinting all 12 of Joseph Hansen’s pioneering Dave Brandstetter novels over 12 months. “Fadeout,” the first in the series featuring the comfortably gay World War II vet and L.A. insurance investigator, was published in 1970. As Michael Nava points out in his insightful new introduction, that’s when gay sex was a criminal act in 49 of the 50 states. Through grit and sheer talent, Hansen found a wide audience… Crime fiction fans who don’t know Hansen’s work are in for a treat."
—The Washington Post

“Joseph Hansen is not only one of America’s best mystery writers, he is a great American writer. Period. Full stop.”
—Michael Nava

"I can only applaud the republication of Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter books. I've increasingly come to regard the phrase 'an important writer of crime fiction' as oxymoronic, but if one's going to use the label, Hansen's not an unreasonable bearer of it."
—Lawrence Block


“Incredible books, much overlooked.”
—Jeff Abbott
 
"The Brandstetter books are classics of the private eye genre... It's great to see them available again."
—Peter Robinson
 
“First published over fifty years ago now, Hansen’s novels are not just clever and compelling stories, but to my mind they are also a feat of incredible bravery. I wish I’d discovered him sooner.”
—Russ Thomas, CrimeReads
 
“Hansen is one of the best we have… [He] knows how to tell a tough, unsentimental, fast-moving story in an exceptionally urbane literary style.”
New York Times Book Review
 
“After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor.”
—The Times (London)
 
“Mr. Hansen is an excellent craftsman, a compelling writer.”
—The New Yorker
 
“Apart from its virtues as fiction, Hansen’s Early Graves is a field correspondent’s breathtaking dispatch from a community in the midst of disaster.”
—Time
 
“Read in the order written, [the Brandstetter mysteries] are remarkably linked through symbol, incident, and character, to the point that one sees them as a single, multi-volume novel, by which one may learn a great deal about what it means to be homosexual and male in modern America.”
—The New Republic
 
“Hansen is quite simply the most exciting and effective writer of the classic California private-eye novel working today.”
—Los Angeles Times
 
“No one in the history of the detective novel has had the daring to do what Joseph Hansen has done: make his private eye a homosexual…who is both a first-rate investigator and one of the most interest series characters in the history of the genre.”
—David Geherin, The American Private Eye

“The first thing I ever read by Joseph Hansen was Fadeout (1970). It’s the seminal novel in a mystery series about a smart, tough, uncompromising insurance investigator by the name of David Brandstetter. He is a Korean War vet and ruggedly masculine. He’s educated, principled, compassionate — but willing and able to use violence when nothing else works. He represents the (then) new breed of PI — the post–World War II private investigator. There are no bottles of rye in Dave’s desk, there are no sleazy secrets in his past, and the dames don’t much tend to throw themselves at him. He is neither tarnished nor afraid. Oh, and one other thing. He’s gay…. He was not the first gay detective to hit mainstream crime fiction, but he was the first normal gay detective, and that — as the poet said — has made all the difference.”
—Josh Lanyon, from The Golden Age of Gay Fiction
Product Details
ISBN: 9781681990491
ISBN-10: 1681990490
Publisher: Soho Syndicate
Publication Date: January 11th, 2022
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: A Dave Brandstetter Mystery