Beach, beach, beach

Headed for a holiday in the sun and sand? Make sure to pack one of these hot summer titles in your tote bag.

BY Anne Stockwell

May 21 2006 11:00 PM ET

Mystery & murder


The Pale Blue Eye
by Louis Bayard (HarperCollins, June 1,
$24.95) A grisly murder in old New York
challenges a young sleuth named Edgar Allan Poe. Yes,
the one who later wrote the horror stories. One of the
buzziest books of the season by the out author of the
awesome Mr. Timothy.


The Art of Detection
by Laurie R. King (Bantam, June 6, $24)
In her fifth outing, lesbian San Francisco detective Kate
Martinelli is torn between domestic bliss and a case
that evokes eerie memories of Sherlock Holmes.


Favas Can Be Fatal
by Priscilla Royal (Alyson, now on sale,
$13.95) A nasty food critic drops dead in a
restaurant. The owner’s best friend leaps in to
solve the crime, uncovering twists, turns, and a way-strange
murder weapon.


Women of Mystery: An Anthology,
edited by Katherine V. Forrest (Harrington Park,
now on sale, $19.95) Fourteen bite-size whodunits
by top lesbian authors. Yum!

Divas/dramas


Barbra: The Way She Is
by Christopher Andersen (William Morrow, now on
sale, $25.95) If this ain’t a beach read,
honey, what is? Streisand is a superstar among
superstars, but the showbiz lore is just part of what makes
her life story so compelling. This unauthorized
bio—written by an out former editor of People
magazine whose previous best sellers include tell-alls
on Princess Diana and the Kennedys—digs deep for
surprising insights on La Streisand, her lovers
(Prince Charles?), her fears, her politics, her AIDS
activism, and, let’s not forget, her gay son, 2001
Advocate cover boy Jason Gould.


The Romanian
by Bruce Benderson (Tarcher/Penguin, now on sale,
$16.95) Here’s a story that’s got
it all: bruised 20-ish Romanian hustler; jaded older
American gay man with dollars; Budapest, Paris, New York;
even a Céline Dion subplot. Sample quote:
“Are you crazy!… This cream is not for
eye!”


Tweaked
by Patrick Moore (Kensington, June 6, $15) A
scarifying first-person account of one man’s trip to
crystal meth hell and back again.


I’m Coming to Take You to Lunch
by Simon Napier-Bell (Wenner, now on sale,
$14.95) The inside story of music-biz hustle and
gay chutzpah from the big-time music manager who
decided to make Wham! (the duo featuring a very young
George Michael) the first Western pop group to play in
mainland China. A major hoot.

Fierce fiction


Vellum
by Hal Duncan (Del Rey, now on sale, $14.95)
Already a hit in the United Kingdom, this sci-fi tour de
force comes from the imagination of a gay Scottish
blogger discovered for the U.S. market by a
Web-surfing literary editor.


Now Is the Hour
by Tom Spanbauer (Houghton Mifflin, now on sale,
$26) The veteran gay indie novelist re-creates
the summer of love in San Francisco through the eyes
of an Idaho farm boy out to learn the truth about the
world and his own desires.


Divas Don’t Yield
by Sofia Quintero (One World/Ballantine, now on
sale, $13.95) “Chica lit” gets a
welcome new entry with this story of four women
friends, gay and straight, who hit the road for a
women’s conference and arrive at insight
instead.


Hard
by Wayne Hoffman (Carroll and Graf, now on sale,
$14.95) In 1990s New York, sex-positive and AIDS
activist politics collide: Moe Pearlman loves him some
bathhouses. Gay newspaper publisher Frank DeSoto is
helping the mayor close them down. Who’s right?
Who’s wrong? It’s going to take a lot of
sex to find out.

Codetalkers


Gay 2 Zee
by Donald F. Reuter (St. Martin’s, May 30,
$11.95) From twink to tighty whities, the meaning
and origin of those words that move the boys of
summer. Illustrated with Reuter’s trademark yummy
pencil sketches.


Queer Cowboys
by Chris Packard (Palgrave, now on sale,
$12.95) We know there were cowboys who loved each
other back in the Wild West days, so it stands to
reason the writers of the era did too. Packard reads
between the lines of writers like Mark Twain to round up the
dirt.

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