Sunset Island by Elliot Mackle, a former US Air Force captain turned journalist and novelist, is the 3rd novel in his Caloosa Club Mysteries series of historical investigative mystery with m/m romantic elements, free for a limited time courtesy of LGBT specialty publisher Lethe Press.
This is the series for which the author was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for the 1st novel, and won the International Rainbow Award for the second in the Best Gay Mystery/Thriller category. The series is set in 1950s Florida, specifically dealing with post-WWII fallout military/civilian societal fallout issues and assorted war-related crimes, starring an ex-Navy officer turned hotelier of the aforementioned club and an ex-Marine turned county detective. This installment continuing their investigative adventures, apparently featuring several sets of cases rather than focusing on a single overarching crime.
Offered DRM-free worldwide, available at Amazon.
Free for a limited time, available DRM-free worldwide @ Amazon
February, 1950. Lee County, Florida. In the freewheeling, celebratory aftermath of World War II, survivors and veterans are starting new lives, resuming old ones, or just picking up the pieces.
Former Navy officer Dan Ewing feels safer than any gay man might expect in a segregated, dry county where the Ku Klux Klan is still strong. Managing an ultra-private club-hotel in Ft. Myers with a mixed-race staff, untaxed alcohol, high-stakes card games and escorts of both sexes, he’s been acting like he has nothing to lose: business is good and his romantic life is better. Lee County Detective Bud Wright, a former Marine sergeant and Dan’s secret lover, is outwardly strong and brave, but uneasy with the knowledge that, every time he and Dan get naked together, they’re breaking laws he’s sworn to uphold. It’s nothing that a few drinks can’t get him past, especially when moonlighting as security for Dan’s hotel.
Both men have their work cut out for them, however, once a hurricane evacuation brings to the hotel wealthy, well-connected non-members who happen to own Sunset Island, a secluded resort fronting the Gulf of Mexico. Their arrival sets in motion a turnover of hotel staff, sensual and sordid seductions, brutal assaults, the discovery of looted art from Holocaust victims, and, of course, murder. After drowned men start washing ashore on nearby beaches, Dan and Bud must set to work unraveling war-related mysteries and exploring the implications of a rapidly changing society in those postwar years.