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Dave Brandstetter Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dave Brandstetter Books

Fadeout (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Claims (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Troublemaker (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man Everybody Was Afraid Of (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skinflick (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gravedigger (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightwork (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brandstetter and Other Stories (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Little Dog Laughed (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Early Graves (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Obedience (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boy Who Was Buried This Morning (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Country of Old Men (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Dave Brandstetter” series by author Joseph Hansen is the series he is most known for writing. It is a ground breaking series, due to the fact that there were not many homosexual main characters in fiction, certainly not in hard boiled detective fiction. This is the first of two private investigator characters that Hansen would create (the other being an ex-cop that is named Hack Bohannon). It is about a gay man who is also an insurance investigator and private investigator. At the same time, he still resembles the no-nonsense and tough personality that is found in so much of hard boiled crime fiction protagonists. It seems that he is great at seeing how other people are feeling at a given moment, but is not so great at seeing his own. Dave is also a bit of an enigma.

The series started in the year 1970, with the release of “Fadeout”. After that, eleven more novels came out over the next twenty-one years. This includes five novels that came out in the seventies, five that came out in the eighties, and two that came out in the nineties. The series ended in the year 1991 with the release of “A Country of Old Men”.

He won Lambda Literary’s Award for Gay Man’s Mystery for the final novel in the “Dave Brundstetter” series, which is called “A Country of Old Men”. Private Eye Writers of America gave him their Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 1992.

“Fadeout” is the first novel in the “Dave Brandstetter” series and was released in the year 1970. Fox Olson (who is an entertainer), when his car goes off a bridge in a storm is declared dead (a claim is filed). There is still one question left to find the answer to. Where is the body of Olson? Brandstetter questions everyone who knew the man: fans, family, and people who did not like him. It makes him more certain that Olson did not die when his car went off the bridge in the storm. That and he must find him before the guy that tried to kill him does.

Fans of the novel found that this was written by a compelling writer and quite the craftsman as a writer. Hansen was a very exciting and most effective writer in the private eye novel field. Some feel that whether you are a reader or a writer, you should read this book; even if you are neither, you should still read it. This novel added so much to the genre of the hard boiled novel. This book, despite its short length, still packs quite the punch, the writing has a lyrical quality to it. The main character is melancholic but does not get sappy. It even features a good mystery to it, too.

“Death Claims” is the second novel in the “Dave Brandstetter” series and was released in the year 1973. April Stannard is certain that her lover, John Oats’s death was no accident. He washed up on the beach and was found. Brandstetter concurs. Partly because Oats’s college age son went missing, and he was the beneficiary of the life insurance policy that Oats had.

Fans of the novel found that this was better than the first novel in the series. This series makes some feel like they are improving their intelligence; there is high class writing here and this is first rate fiction. Fans like the complex character that has been created, there is a lot of depth here to Brandstetter. It shows both the time that it was written in, but still is able to be relevant to this very day.

“Troublemaker” is the third novel in the “Dave Brandstetter” series and was released in the year 1975. Rick Wendell is a gay man, but also a nice one; he is also the owner of a bar. So who would want to kill him? Larry Johns could have, he is an attractive man that was wiping his finger prints off the gun that was used to kill Rick. And just why is Larry naked? Wendell had withdrawn a big sum from the bank account that the bar has; what has happened to that money?

Fans of the novel found that through the words that Hansen uses that you can see, feel, and hear what Dave is experiencing in the book, which just adds to the whole experience. The similes and metaphors do not jar the reader, but they add to the experience too. The mystery was a winner too. Those are the two most important thing that a mystery novel must have. Good writing, and a good mystery. The mystery helps keep the pages turning, and that is what this novel will provide for readers.

“The Man Everyone Was Afraid Of” is the fourth novel in the “Dave Brandstetter” series and was released in the year 1978. The police chief, Ben Orton, has been bludgeoned to death with a large and heavy flower pot. It stuns the citizens of La Caleta, and not because they are sad he is dead but because they themselves did not do it first. He was bruising and violent and had a commitment to having order; one that did not always take the law into consideration. Brandstetter finds out that the brutality and corruption in Orton’s police force did not end with him. A young activist has already been arrested for murdering the chief, and this is just when Dave arrives in the dying fishing town. There is only thin evidence against the guy, and no one really seems to care about that but Dave. La Caleta’s people try hard to shut his investigation down, but Dave is going to do everything that it takes to catch whoever killed Ben Orton.

Fans of the novel enjoyed the mystery here, this is a complex story with many suspects who could have killed the chief of police. Some found that once again, Hansen was able to write a killer novel, with a great mystery that had them hooked throughout. He does a great job, not just of telling a great story, but also continuing to develop Dave’s character as he comes to grips with being a gay man.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Dave Brandstetter

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