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The Back Passage Paperback – May 5, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; First edition (May 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573442437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573442435
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Very well written.
KC
And if you're looking for a really fun read with mystery, humor and erotica, then this is the book you're looking for.
E. Jett
Highly recommended, especially for fans of Gosford Park, Agatha Christie novels, Sherlock Holmes, etc.
24/F Review

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on June 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Cleverly done, THE BACK PASSAGE explores relations between upstairs and downstairs at Drekeham Hall, a British country estate near Norfolk in the year 1925, on the eve of the General Strike that solidified labor and brought globalism to a halt for a few brief, ecstatic weeks. Like a Henry James heroine, young Edward Mitchell is an American student at Cambridge, is the "heiress to all the ages." At Cambridge he has been taken up by Harry "Boy" Morgan, his college roommate, an aristocrat bred to the bone who has been engaged to Lady Belinda for a year and a half. Mitchell (who insists his new UK friends call him "Mitch," with breezy American familiarity) accompanies his mate to a weekend party and soon finds himself face to face with a corpse in the stately home. Thus begins one of the more eccentric Golden Age mysteries I've read in some time, and I've read a zillion of `em.

The working class men of England need protection both from the upper classes who exploit them sexually, and from the police system, in which an avaricious sergeant takes money from Sir James Eagle to keep the common people in line and to whip up false charges should any of them complain. "Mitch" can't imagine similar injustices occurring in his home town of Boston, but we note that this is during the same period in which the governor of Massachusetts ordered the execution of two convicted anarchists, Sacco and Vanzetti, despite an international uproar protesting this injustice.

Whopper Hunt, a sleek Englishwoman with pots of money, is engaged to Sir James' handsome son Rex, who flees the mansion as soon as Boy and Mitch discover the body of Reginald Walworth.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jem TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A outrageous romp! If you enjoyed the movie Gosford Park, or like Agatha Christie novels with a twist, this is for you. A tongue-in-cheek mystery set in 1925, in England. Mitch is a handsome wannabe sleuth who's attempt to solve a mystery nets him sex around every corner! Witty, fast-paced. Read it in one night.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Karr on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ridiculously fun.

Fun, fast and frantic - there is a ridiculous amount of sex and SO much of it, but somehow still well-written and always maintaining a very nice level of heat.

Featuring the seemingly ridiculous character of 'Mitch' Mitchell, this quick read is immensely satisfying and hits a surprisingly emotional note as it ends.

Because there's a catch.

The catch is Mitch himself. With the exception of 'Boy' Morgan, Mitch, despite initial impressions, is conveyed with a certain depth and shading which I absolutely had not expected when I began reading.

When an author is able to make you love a character who cuts more than just a swathe (a crevasse? canyon, perhaps?) through multiple partners and then grasp firm hold of your heart by the end (as opposed to grasping other things, but there is plenty of that, as well) - THAT is writing well-done.

I usually enjoy a certain amount of pain and soul-searching in whatever genre I read - but 'The Back Passage' throws all that aside as having already been done or as being almost completely immaterial, and rushes gleefully to its ending.

HIGHLY recommended.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jim B. on March 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Usually I find that gay 'erotic' novels are a series of sex scenes built around a theme rather than being a 'novel' built around a story line. Lear manages to not only include a great range of very hot scenes, he does it totally in the context of a plot line. Sure, the plot may seem to have some gaps, but the author manages those with his tounge placed firmly in his cheek. In other words, you have a book with great sex, a plot, and humor. And the humor even infiltrates the sex scenes, not as a distraction, but to make them all the more real, interesting, and fun - and the best sex always includes a few laughs, not just who put what where "oh baby oh baby feels so good..."

The authors ability to mix the genres of the English Country House Mystery and the Erotic Novel is impressive. This book could have been a mess, but his skill creates a structure to hold it all together. (Another great, fun book that manages this is "Hardball" by T. Hitman - a great mix of baseball, sex and humor!)

I had expected one more sex scene to help tie up the plot, but my hope is that the absence is in indicator that this fun story with well drawn characters will continue!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charly T. Anchor VINE VOICE on April 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warning: This review might contain what some people consider SPOILERS.

Disclaimer:
* I read books in every genre, but I have a soft spot for romances that are more about feelings than sex. If a book has lots of lust-filled, dispassionate sex, I'm not impressed. If the sex is a manifestation of love, bring it on.

Rating: 7/10

Pros:
- Good plot. Not quite as twisty-turny as an Agatha Christie novel, but close.
- Funny. As in, FUNNY.
- Several likeable characters, if somewhat simple (this contributes to the story's humor).
- Sex scenes that are (and this is unique, from what I've read in m/m erotica, romance, whatever) integral to the plot.

Cons:
- Lots of sex that didn't do it for me. Again, the sex scenes are used as plot devices--and cleverly done--but they are much more graphic than say, those in Alex Beecroft's Captain's Surrender, and much less affecting. Why? Because they're just sex; there's very little feeling on the part of either character in any of them.
- Possible SPOILERS here: Tries to be a bit of a romance at the end but fails to create enough backstory between the main character and the other guy to fully succeed. Their sex scene is less than a page, for crying out loud (whereas others with despicable characters are several pages long and quite detailed)!
- I saw a few of the plot twists coming.

Overall comments: Worth reading if you like mysteries and either enjoy or don't mind gay sex, sometimes crudely described. Not for you if you're looking for sweet, tender gay romance.
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