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  • Blackmail, My Love

  • A Murder Mystery
  • By: Katie Gilmartin
  • Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Blackmail, My Love cover art

Blackmail, My Love

By: Katie Gilmartin
Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
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Summary

Josie O'Conner travels to San Francisco in 1951 to locate her gay brother, a private dick investigating a blackmail ring targeting lesbians and gay men. Jimmy's friends claim that just before he disappeared he became a rat, informing the cops on the bar community. Josie adopts Jimmy's trousers and wingtips, battling to clear his name, halt the blackmailers, and exact justice for the many queer corpses. Along the way she rubs shoulders with a sultry chanteuse running a dyke tavern called Pandora's Box, gets intimate with a red-headed madam operating a brothel from the Police Personnel Department, and conspires with the star of Finocchio's, a dive so disreputable it's off limits to servicemen - so every man in uniform pays a visit.

Blackmail, My Love is a murder mystery deeply steeped in San Francisco's queer history. Established academic and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin's diverse set of characters negotiate the risks of same-sex desire in a tough time for queers. Humor leavens the grave subject matter. Set in such legendary locations as the Black Cat Cafe, the Fillmore, the Beat movement's North Beach, and the sexually complex Tenderloin, Blackmail, My Love is a singular, visually stunning neo-noir experience.

©2014 Katie Gilmartin (P)2014 Audible Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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Audio Noir

Where does Blackmail, My Love rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was good. It ranks equal with other books I've given five star ratings to.

What did you like best about this story?

There were lots of things I liked about it. It was a gripping story in a great setting (San Francisco) and a very interesting period for LGBT rights (just pre- Stonewall). It had a film-noir-ish feel to it, which I enjoyed. And some of the characters were really lovable.

What does Eva Kaminsky bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I thought overall, she was a really good narrator. I wasn't entirely sure about the way she voiced the main character, she had a fairly dry, drawling delivery that sometimes sounded a bit bored to me, though that may just be my British ear not picking up the nuances as well as an American listener would. I certainly wouldn't mark her down for that, because she more than made up for it with her voicing of the other characters, - which I thought, were brilliant.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the gay school teacher very moving.
Also the passages where Jo is remembering her brother.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this audiobook and would strongly recommend it to listeners. It reminded me of how hard won our rights are as LGBT people and how brave our forebears were in fighting for them in the face of terrible prejudice and abuse.
It's also a jolly good story! :0)

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen, good story

really enjoyed this book, interesting story and unexpected twists, hope to find more by Katie.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pithy and funny

This was among the "included" audiobooks that was flagged as lesbian and it's a giant cut above the terrible interminable romances that comprise most of the other output. (No offence to any of the writers putting stuff out for us.) Anyhow. Some great pastiche Chandler lines, particularly concerning a key character's arse. That's what gets it a 5 from me- some really good writing and atmospheric setting (not just the ass). So although it's pretty sad in terms of what it deals with, it's a really enjoyable listen with lots of twists and turns (maybe slightly too many, but I kinda like them to go on so all good for me). Didn't have a problem with the reading at all - fluent and unobtrusive - and I'm quite picky.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

recommend!

The murder mystery plot was good, not mind-blowing twists and turns. This book was great to listen to because of the characters and the writing.

recommend!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome writing and storytelling

The awesome writing and storytelling from Katie Gilmartin is very badly let down by voice artist Eva Kaminsky who does not have a great delivery and often speaks in a very monotonous way. For much of the novel she cannot decide on which accent/voice she should use when. Aside from this confusion, the worst is when the Irish-American accent Kaminsky is supposed to use to differentiate the main character, who often tells her story in the first person, pops up inappropriately throughout the novel when other characters are speaking or there are general descriptions, scene setting etc in which the main character is not actually telling the story. Conversely, when we should be hearing the main character's Irish-American we hear some generic American instead. This is a great shame because it often destroys a superb piece of storytelling.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Struggled but was ok

Struggled to finish. Found the characters and story hard to follow. Was reflective to think about the age when police were arresting men for being themselves.

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