Title: Fadeout (Dave Brandstetter Mystery, #1)
Author: Joseph Hansen
Publisher: Soho Press
Release Date: January 11, 2022
Genre(s): M/M Murder Mystery, Historical
Page Count: Rating: 5 stars out of 5
There's a singular joy in discovering a "new to you" author and then learning the book is only the first of twelve (12) books in the Dave Brandstetter Mystery series.
Set in California in the mid 1960's, Dave is mourning the loss of his lover Rod with whom he shared 20 years. He is open about his homosexuality and honest about his grief. "He'd made up his mind to live now. Hadn't he? Live and forget - at least until he could remember without pain. And that would happen someday. Sure it would. All the books said so."
But what the characters in Fadeout initially see is a 40's-ish tall, slim elegant man with a keen mind, and a quiet determination to get to the bottom of this case. He's Don Draper without the family issues, alcohol issues, and well .... issues.
Dave, a death claims investigator for Medallion Insurance, is investigating the disappearance of local celebrity Fox Olson, a man who we slowly learn has closed himself off from his past, and allowed his own grief to remain quietly unexamined. And as Brandstetter unfolds the mystery layer by methodical layer, it all becomes almost overwhelming in its sadness for what may have been.
Simply put, Joseph Hansen is a stellar writer who tells what appears on the surface to be an unsentimental murder mystery in the most heart-breaking sentimental way possible. 5 stars.
I received an ARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.