||Boystown 3: Two Nick Nowak Novellas
by Sally Parsons
By Marshall Thornton, $5.99; Torquere Press; 192 pages
If you're new to this series, as I am, grab Boystown and Boystown 2 right away for a complete collection. You'll become addicted to the main character Nick Nowak and hungrily wait for more adventures to come.
Nowak is a gay gumshoe ( and former Chicago cop ) . His escapades are even more appealing as: 1 ) they take place in Chicago, and 2 ) they take place in Chicago of the 1980s ( when the author resided here ) . This allows for fun references like Nowak's musing over "… the new microcomputers available for home usethough what you'd do with a computer at home was a mystery to me since most people didn't put out a payroll."
Nowak is conflicted in his personal life on whether to commit. At the start of Boystown 3, he is still entangled with an old flame while his current one recuperates in his garden apartment from a bout of "weird pneumonia." Add Nowak's many casual sexual encounters to the mix, and, well, it's the '80s.
Little Boy Boom, the first novella in Boystown 3, finds Nowak searching for someone trying to kill him after his Plymouth Duster is blown up on Roscoe near his apartment. Nowak builds lists of possible suspects, chases down leads and tromps ( and tramps ) the Chicago landscape, introducing us to a bunch of characters along the way. In the end, things aren't quite as they first appeared when the car exploded. However, as Nowak would say, life can be like that.
Little Boy Tenor, the second novella in this compilation, is less grittya sweeter tale. Here Nowak is forced to deal with his feelings for Harker, the police detective boyfriend who is still recuperating on Nowak's sofa. Has Nowak taken on too much this time? He seeks the murderer of the star tenor of a church choir at the pastor's pleading, while simultaneously searching for the reason behind the death of a friend's lover.
Thornton's writing style crackles with crisp, vivid imagery and sass. The stories and characters are complex and colorful enough to hold your interest and the sex is graphic and frequent. ( This, remember, is during the years when AIDS was known as GRID. )
Factoid of interest about the author found on his publisher's blog: Thornton once worked briefly as "a sort of gossip columnist" for the Chicago Sun-Times, roaming society parties for tidbits. He claims he was terrible at it.
Thornton is currently working on his next Nick Nowak mystery. Those readers who long for a fuller adventure than the novella format provides will be pleased to know the fourth book in the series, half completed, is to be a full-length novel. Also, notes for a fifth Nowak mystery are already accumulating. It looks like Nowak will be with us for awhile.
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world 2021-05-05|
- Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...
Lambda Literary Awards to take place June 1 2021-05-03|
- The 33rd Annual Lambda Literary Awardswhich celebrates LGBTQ+ books and authorswill take place Tuesday, June 1, 6-8 p.m. Typically held in person in New York City, this year's Lammys will be presented virtually for the first ...
|1971: The Chicago Daughters of Bilitis 2021-05-03|
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - An excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life, a new book by St Sukie de la Croix. You can buy the book from Amazon.com, all good bookstores, and for a signed copy, rattlinggoodyarns.com ...
|SHOWBIZ 'Master of None,' children's book, Kristen Stewart, expectant couple 2021-05-02|
- Master of None is coming backbut this time, the series will focus on Lena Waithe's character, Denise, out.com noted. Master of None, created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang for Netflix, starred Ansari for the first ...
|1970: The Police Murder of James Clay 2021-04-26|
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - " … One month after Finnie's Ball, a Chicago Defender headline read, 'Female Impersonator killed by cop in W. Side street brawl.' The Chicago Sun-Times headline read, 'Man slain fleeing police in bizarre W. Side clash.' ...
|'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual talk on May 16 2021-04-22|
- On Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. CT, Women and Children First will host the virtual panel discussion "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" on its Crowdcast Channel. Centering on the release of Diana Souhami's new book No Modernism ...
|Joan E. Biren aka JEB talks Portraits of Lesbians book journey and re-issue 2021-04-21|
- In an era where lesbian visibility was almost non-existent, activist and photographer Joan E. Biren (or as she is also known, "JEB") self-financed and self-published a photography book called Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians. Biren's ...
|Bechdel, Rannells among upcoming CHF guests
- The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced its line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, scholars and cultural icons in late April and throughout May. Among LGBTQ participants/guests will be Fun ...
|BOOKS Chicago After Stonewall available May 11
- Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life—a detailed account of how LGBTQ's in Carl Sandburg's "City of the Big Shoulders" responded to the Stonewall Riots—will be available May 11. This book pulls together jigsaw pieces ...
|SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock 2021-04-18|
- Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...
|Trans, non-binary youth influencers launch book collection with "A Kids Book About" 2021-04-12|
--From a press release - Chicago, IL - April 12, 2021 - While many teens took e-learning as an opportunity to level-up their gaming skills, a group of young people chose instead to write a collection of books about their lives. ...
|Windy City Times publishes book of historical newspaper covers 2021-04-14|
- Windy City Times newspaper, founded in 1985, is publishing a limited-edition, four-color book featuring hundreds of covers from its own archives, plus covers from other LGBTQ Chicago media, including Outlines, BLACKlines, En La Vida, Identity and more ...
|The Amazon Trail, How to Write a Book 2021-04-10|
- I'm not giving away any secrets here. Not saying it's simple or that anyone can do it if they send $25.00 to Post Office Box 1,2,3. Nope, it's a personal journey and every story has a story. Here's mine, about the ...
|Yvonne Zipter's historical novel 'Infraction' out June 1 2021-04-01|
- The lesbian historical fiction work Infraction, by Chicagoan Yvonne Zipter, will be out June 1. The publisher is Rattling Good Yarns Press. Set in socially turbulent St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1875, the work follows Marya Zhukova, ...
|Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility 2021-03-31|
- The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...