Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Top ten queer protagonists in crime fiction

Russ Thomas grew up in the 80s reading anything he could get his hands on, writing stories, watching television, and playing videogames: in short, anything that avoided the Great Outdoors. After a few ‘proper’ jobs, he discovered the joys of bookselling, where he could talk to people about books all day. Now a full-time writer, he also teaches creative writing classes and mentors new authors.

Thomas's new novel is Nighthawking.

At CrimeReads he tagged his "top ten list of the most memorable queer protagonists of crime fiction." One title on the list:
Leonard Pine

The 90s brought us Hap and Leonard, two best friends who have now been raising hell together across Texas for thirty years. It’s true to say they both break the mould. Hap Collins is the sensitive, brooding working-class labourer who avoids violence at almost any cost, while Leonard Pine is a gay black Vietnam veteran with a violent streak, who’s more than happy to shoot any man who underestimates him. We meet the pair in Joe R. Lansdale’s Savage Season (1990), a book chock full of memorable characters, sharp dialogue, and dark suspense. But it’s Leonard Pine who stands out as something special, a gay protagonist in the mystery genre who breaks every stereotype in the book.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue