Dodging and Burning

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Product Details

Pegasus Crime
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.7 X 1.1 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

John Copenhaver is the author of Dodging and Burning, which won the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel and garnered Anthony, Strand Critics, Barry, and Lambda Literary Award nominations. Copenhaver writes a crime fiction review column for Lambda Literary called "Blacklight," is a co-host on the House of Mystery Radio Show, and is the six-time recipient of Artist Fellowships from the Washington, DC, Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He's a Larry Neal awardee, and his work has appeared in CrimeReads, Electric Lit, Glitterwolf, PANK, New York Journal of Books, Washington Independent Review of Books. He lives in Richmond, VA, with his husband, artist Jeffery Paul.


Complex and multilayered, Copenhaver's outstanding debut combines a murder mystery with a coming-of-age tale. Copenhaver's darkly lyrical exploration into the consequences of war--and prejudice--in small-town America will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.
LGBTQ crime-writing has its heroes. John Copenhaver lists many of them. He may have to add himself to that list now.
The mystery also becomes an examination of gay life in the 1940s. The setting is well realized, and, interestingly, in its diction and syntax, the book reads as if it might itself have been written in the 1940s.
Copenhaver beautifully renders the lives of four young people through alternating lenses of photographs, letters, diary entries, notes, and other documents.
Copenhaver beautifully addresses the difficulties faced by two gay men in this time period, and the dangers of such a love, a story that will break readers' hearts.
Copenhaver's debut novel gives readers a gorgeous, critical look at the LGBTQ community in post-WWII society, revolving around a murder. This is a book that must be read and discussed with as many people as possible. Very highly recommended.
I'm a big fan of John Copenhaver's elegant work. He's a sophisticated stylist who can break your heart right before he turns devilish. Highly recommended.--Luis Alberto Urrea, author of 'Into the Beautiful North' and 'The Water Museum'
Dodging and Burning is a beautifully rendered coming of age story, a compelling exploration of a young man's struggle with his sexual identity amid the evils of war, and an impeccably executed crime novel that keeps you guessing and ultimately strikes a deep and resounding emotional cord.--Ayelet Waldman, author of 'Love & Treasure' and 'A Really Good Day'