FFB: Troublemaker - In Reference to Murder

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August 26, 2016


George Kelley

FADEOUT and TROUBLEMAKER made a big impact when they were first published. I liked the Brandstetter series because they were solid mysteries.

BV Lawson

Yes, I think "solid mysteries" describes these pretty well, George. He was incredibly brave to write these at the time - nowadays we even have LGBT literary awards (Stonewall, Lamba, et al), but back then there was mostly hostility and suspicion.


The neo-Macdonald style is not really to my taste - the description makes the books feel a little less than dynamic - but there's no question that they're terrific books. I've read a couple and have Fadeout somewhere. I should dig it out.

Also, is it just me, or does it seem that Hansen was basically forgotten the moment he died? You used to hear him mentioned among the greats but he seems to have fallen into obscurity.

J F Norris

A very good series. Very important one, too. It's no exaggeration that he opened doors in genre fiction for gay writers who wanted to write about real gay lives and problems. I read these when I was a freshman in college, I think. Most of them were reprinted in paperback in 1979 or 1980 which made them easy to buy. Still conflicted about my view of the world, my sexual attractions, they really helped me get a handle on myself. Hansen's is a much healthier outlook to take in than Vidal's self-loathing THE CITY AND THE PILLAR.

BV Lawson

I'd like to think, John, that his books helped a lot of folks during that time period (and also later, with the reprints), especially in smashing apart old and harmful stereotypes, both on the human level and in the literary realm. Hansen also did his part to fight the hysteria that AIDS caused, in his novel, "Early Graves."

BV Lawson

I'm not sure why Hansen faded into relative obscurity after his death, Graham, but I'm pleased to see that Open Road Media is re-issuing the Dave Brandstetter series:



I have Fadeout and a few more of his books and I have got to get to reading those. I enjoyed this post will all the addition information about the author.

BV Lawson

Hi, Tracy! I have yet to read "Fadeout," myself, but my To Be Read pile is enormous, so it may be a while. Still, I think it would be worth the time if I can find it (time, that is).

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