Nathan Aldyne

This information comes from the jacket of a recent reissue of one of Aldyne's books:

    "Nathan Aldyne is the pseudonym of Michael McDowell and Dennis Schuetz. McDowell is a novelist and screenwriter (Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas) living in Boston. Schuetz, also from Boston, died of complications from AIDS iin 1989. They also published two novels under another collaborative pseudonym, Axel Young."

    The detective here is Daniel Valentine, and his sidekick is Clarisse Lovelace. Daniel is a bartender, though he was once a social worker and still seems to long for that occupation now and then. Clarisse starts out as a Realtor and then goes to law school, but she continues to hold a torch for Daniel, who is most resolutely gay. He's also the most promiscuous gay detective I've run across, and his bed-hopping seems pretty eerie knowing what we do now about AIDS.

Vermilion        

When a gay hustler is killed shortly after Daniel sees him on the street, our dynamic duo find they have to discover the killer to make sure the poor boy's death is avenged. A nice debut for this series.

         Ballantine Books, 1982

Cobalt        

Jeff has the most arresting cobalt eyes, and when he turns up dead a lot of people in Provincetown turn out to have a motive for his death. Daniel and Clarice are summering in P-town; he's working at a bar and she's at a kitschy gift shop, and she discovers Jeff's body on an early morning walk along the beach. From then on, these two are committed to figuring out whodunit. Makes me want to visit Provincetown-- particularly when Daniel is tending bar.

         Ballantine Books, 1982

Slate        

Slate is the name of the bar that Daniel and Clarisse open, backed by money from Clarisse's rich gay uncle. Everything is going swimmingly until the bodies start piling up. Gay men with some connection to Slate start turning up strangled, and the bar's business takes a nose dive. Fun and lively.

         Ballantine Books, 1984

Canary                

Daniel and Clarisse are still running Slate, and their unofficial mascot seems to be a tiny canary in a cage. Talk about stretching to keep a series title gig going! But the mystery is solid and the characters keep the book moving.

         Ballantine Books, 1986

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