Gravedigger (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #6) (Paperback)

Gravedigger (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #6) By Joseph Hansen Cover Image
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Description


CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF DAVE BRANDSTETTER

A cult leader named Azrael perpetrates a brutal mass murder and afterwards a slimy lawyer is trying to claim the life insurance policy for his missing daughter; it's the early '80s in Los Angeles and private investigator Dave Brandstetter has a new love in his life as exciting as this case is dreadful.

Two years ago Charles Westover disgraced himself and his family when he was disbarred for bribery. Westover’s daughter Serenity, disgusted with her once beloved father, ran away to a cult founded by a mesmerizingly handsome young man, a self-appointed messiah going by the grimly grandiose name of Azrael. The whereabouts of Serenity pass unknown for years until the police raid Azrael’s compound and discover that the cult leader lived up to his ghastly “Angel of Death” moniker.

Thinking his daughter has been murdered, Charles Westover claims her life insurance, and then he too vanishes. Insurance companies don’t like to cut a check without a body and especially don’t like cutting a check to someone who is also missing. Hired as a private investigator for Banner Insurance, David Brandstetter quickly finds himself in a complicated maze of lies and hidden histories. And Dave suspects that, just like in the labyrinths of old, there will be a monster at the end of it.
 
It's not all bad times and extreme hazard for our man Dave. A passionate romance has entered his life with the reappearance of Cecil Harris, a handsome young African American investigative reporter for the local news station looking to get to the bottom of a different kind of story.

About the Author


Joseph Hansen (1923–2004) was the author of more than twenty-five novels, including the twelve groundbreaking Dave Brandstetter mystery novels. The winner of the 1992 Lifetime AchievementAward from the Private Eye Writers of America, Hansen was also the author of A Smile in His Lifetime, Living Upstairs, Job's Year, and Bohannon's Country. He was a two-time Lambda LiteraryAward-winner.
 

Praise For…


PRAISE FOR THE DAVE BRANDSETTER NOVELS

"In an auspicious event for mystery readers, Syndicate is reprinting all 12 of Joseph Hansen’s pioneering Dave Brandstetter novels over 12 months. “Fadeout,” the first in the series featuring the comfortably gay World War II vet and L.A. insurance investigator, was published in 1970. As Michael Nava points out in his insightful new introduction, that’s when gay sex was a criminal act in 49 of the 50 states. Through grit and sheer talent, Hansen found a wide audience… Crime fiction fans who don’t know Hansen’s work are in for a treat."
—The Washington Post

“Joseph Hansen is not only one of America’s best mystery writers, he is a great American writer. Period. Full stop.”
—Michael Nava

"I can only applaud the republication of Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter books. I've increasingly come to regard the phrase 'an important writer of crime fiction' as oxymoronic, but if one's going to use the label, Hansen's not an unreasonable bearer of it."
—Lawrence Block

“Incredible books, much overlooked.”
—Jeff Abbott
 
"The Brandstetter books are classics of the private eye genre... It's great to see them available again."
—Peter Robinson
 
“First published over fifty years ago now, Hansen’s novels are not just clever and compelling stories, but to my mind they are also a feat of incredible bravery. I wish I’d discovered him sooner.”
—Russ Thomas, CrimeReads
 
“Hansen is one of the best we have… [He] knows how to tell a tough, unsentimental, fast-moving story in an exceptionally urbane literary style.”
—New York Times Book Review
 
“After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor.”
—The Times (London)
 
“Mr. Hansen is an excellent craftsman, a compelling writer.”
—The New Yorker
 
“Apart from its virtues as fiction, Hansen’s Early Graves is a field correspondent’s breathtaking dispatch from a community in the midst of disaster.”
—Time
 
“Read in the order written, [the Brandstetter mysteries] are remarkably linked through symbol, incident, and character, to the point that one sees them as a single, multi-volume novel, by which one may learn a great deal about what it means to be homosexual and male in modern America.”
—The New Republic
 
“Hansen is quite simply the most exciting and effective writer of the classic California private-eye novel working today.”
—Los Angeles Times
 
“No one in the history of the detective novel has had the daring to do what Joseph Hansen has done: make his private eye a homosexual…who is both a first-rate investigator and one of the most interest series characters in the history of the genre.”
—David Geherin, The American Private Eye

“The first thing I ever read by Joseph Hansen was Fadeout (1970). It’s the seminal novel in a mystery series about a smart, tough, uncompromising insurance investigator by the name of David Brandstetter. He is a Korean War vet and ruggedly masculine. He’s educated, principled, compassionate — but willing and able to use violence when nothing else works. He represents the (then) new breed of PI — the post–World War II private investigator. There are no bottles of rye in Dave’s desk, there are no sleazy secrets in his past, and the dames don’t much tend to throw themselves at him. He is neither tarnished nor afraid. Oh, and one other thing. He’s gay…. He was not the first gay detective to hit mainstream crime fiction, but he was the first normal gay detective, and that — as the poet said — has made all the difference.”
—Josh Lanyon, from The Golden Age of Gay Fiction
Product Details
ISBN: 9781681990569
ISBN-10: 1681990563
Publisher: Soho Syndicate
Publication Date: May 31st, 2022
Pages: 165
Language: English
Series: A Dave Brandstetter Mystery