by Matt Lubbers-Moore

Book Cover: Murder and Mayhem: An Annotated Bibliography of Gay and Queer Males in Mystery, 1909-2018
Editions:Paperback: $ 39.95
ISBN: 978-1951092153
Size: 1.67 x 5.50 in
Pages: 668
Kindle: $ 24.95
Pages: 923

Librarian and scholar Matt Lubbers-Moore collects and examines every mystery novel to include a gay or queer male in the English language starting with the 1909 Arthur Conan Doyle short story “The Man with the Watches,” which is included in its entirety. Authors, titles, dates published, publishers, book series, short blurbs, and a description of how involved the gay or queer male character is with the mystery are all included for a full bibliographic background.

Murder and Mayhem will prove invaluable for mystery collectors, researchers, libraries, general readers, aficionados, bookstores, and devotees of LGBTQ studies. The bibliography is laid out in alphabetical order by author for the ease of the reader to find what they are looking for and be able to read the blurb and author notes to determine if the book is what they are looking for whether a hard boiled private eye, an amateur cozy, a suspenseful romance, or a police procedural. All subgenres within the mystery field are included within including fantasy, science fiction, espionage, political intrigue, crime dramas, courtroom thrillers, and more with a definition guide of the subgenres for a better understanding of the genre as a whole.

A ReQueered Tales Original publication, this 2020 edition contains a bonus story by Arthur Conan Doyle.


How to use the bibliography:

In the bibliography the entries are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name, then in chronological order based on publication dates and in the event of a series the entire series will be listed altogether and then a standalone book, or another series will follow based on the first publication date of the first book in the series. For example, if an author had a series start in 1990 with a last book in the series coming out in 2000 and a standalone book that came out in 1995, the standalone book will follow the 2000 title.

The entries read as follows;

  • last name, first name (real name and/or birth/death dates),
  • title of the book,
  • publisher,
  • date first published.
  • If part of a series the name of the series as well as book number in the series is listed next.
  • (Mystery Genre)
  • Then the book blurb borrowed from Goodreads, Amazon, Gunn, Slide, Evans, or a website description of the book. Some blurbs have been edited for space, grammar, and/or spelling.
  • After the blurb I will include information about the book, whether it has been updated, revised, reprinted, any factual information that I believe is important, and if the book has won any major awards such as a LAMBDA or an Edgar.
  • The last aspect of the entry is the valuation of involvement of a gay character;
    • 1 has very little, such as a gay character offering a clue or being a suspect but his homosexuality plays no part in the story other than to add supposed depth to the character,
    • 2 is a gay character who is helpful in solving the mystery but not the main character,
    • 3 is the main character is gay, transgender, or bisexual.
  • A note about publishing dates. I based the publication dates on when the book was first published. Also, if the title was originally published as an eBook in 2005 but a physical copy came out in 2010, the 2010 publication date is the one I use as the physical copy is the most stable and longer lasting.

Mystery Genre Definitions:

  • Amateur Sleuth: The amateur sleuth tries to solve the murder of someone close. Either the police have tried and failed or misread the murder as an accident/suicide. Both the loss and need for a solution is personal. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
  • Bibliomystery: Mystery stories set in the world of books; libraries, bookstores, or those who deal with books; authors, book collectors, book sellers, editors, or publishers.
  • Caper: A caper is a comic crime story. Instead of suave and calculating, the caper chronicles the efforts of the lovable bungler who either thinks big or ridiculously small. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
  • Classics: Classics are often written by authors in the late 19th and early 20th century, i.e. Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Raymond Chandler, Daphne du Maurier, Dashiell Hammett, Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. These are the authors that all mystery is built on.
  • Courtroom Drama/Legal Thriller: Lawyers make effective protagonists since they seem to exist on a plane far above the rest of us. Although popular, these tales are usually penned by actual lawyers due to the demands of the information presented. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
  • Cozies: The cozy, typified by Agatha Christie, contains a bloodless crime and a victim who won't be missed. The solution can be determined using emotional or logical reasoning. There is no sex or swearing, and the detective is traditionally heterosexual or asexual. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
    • Modern Cozies: Unlike classic cozies, modern cozies include some swearing, discussions of sex, and can have a homosexual detective.
  • Crime Drama: Suspense in the crime story comes from wondering whether the plan will work. We're rooting for the bad guys because they are smart, organized, and daring. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
  • Espionage (definition provided by MM): Spy novels
  • Fantasy (definition provided by MM): Fantasy mysteries involve being transported through time or having super human abilities. Similar but slightly different than paranormal mysteries.
  • Fictionalized True Crime: Fictionalized true crime novels are based on real events.
  • Foreign Mysteries: Mysteries that are written by an author in different country and set in that country and then translated into English.
  • Historical: Written in contemporary times but the plot is set decades or centuries prior.
  • Horror: Supernatural beings killing or terrorizing people and those people have to figure out how to stop the supernatural beings. Dark and gritty compared to paranormal.
  • Journalism: Reporters/journalists are the detectives solving the crime.
  • Military: An investigation performed by military police or a member of the military.
  • Paranormal: Paranormal mysteries involve vampires, ghosts, werewolves, psychics, or other supernatural being. Usually lighter than horror and is similar to fantasy.
  • MM: When these are in front of a genre it means that the romance takes precedence over the genre.
    • MM Mystery: The mystery is tertiary to the characters and romance.
  • Political: Mysteries set around the world of politics; may involve a senator, a president, governor, or other political leader. Often set behind the scenes.
  • Private Detectives: The Private Eye is as much an American icon as the Western gunslinger. From the hardboiled PIs of the 30s and 40s to the politically correct investigators of today, this sub-genre is known for protagonists with a strong code of honor. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
    • Hard Boiled Private Eye: these are serious detective novels that take on serious cases and issues.
    • Soft Boiled Private Eye: these are often comical detective novels that do not deal with serious cases or issues.
  • Police Procedurals: The police procedural emphasizes factual police operations. Law enforcement is a team effort where department politics often plays a large role. -Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.
  • Psychological: Psychological mysteries are often more about the main character than the mystery or plot. The main character solves the mystery using the mind, skills, and wit and can involve a psychiatrist as the detective. These are often cerebral mysteries.
  • Pulp Fiction: Fiction dealing with lurid or sensational subjects, often printed on rough, low-quality paper manufactured from wood pulp. –Definition provided by Merriam Webster.
    • Modern Pulp: Fiction that deals with lurid or sensational subjects but is no longer printed on rough, low-quality paper.
  • Science Fiction: A mystery dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.

-Definition provided by Merriam Webster.

  • Sherlock Holmes: A mystery novel that has Sherlock Holmes as the central character.
  • Speculative: Similar to Science Fiction, speculative mysteries are set in alternative universes.
  • Suspense: Instead of the sleuth pursuing the criminal, in suspense the protagonist is the one being pursued. You often hear the point of view of both the protagonist and antagonist.

-Definition provided by Stephen D. Rogers.

  • Thriller: Similar to suspense and horror, antagonists hunt the protagonist until the main characters are able to turn the chase around and win the day.
  • Unreliable Narrator: A narrator of the story that gives the reader mistruths, mis-directions, or outright lies to throw the reader off the scent of who committed the crime.

The definitions provided by Stephen D. Rogers are from and are used with his expressed permission.