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Murder, Corruption, and The Unthinkable in The 1950s Heartland Suddenly Resonate Today…

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fiction/mystery/gay literature

Thunderfoot Press announces its premier title, “Midland Club.”

December 12,  2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Since November 8th, LGBTQ citizens have come to fear a surge in hate crimes after reports of homophobic attacks, some verbal, some physical. Sadly, the potential is evident.

But in 1958, that potential was a frightening certainty, especially in Midwestern cities where homosexuals were considered “perverts” and “degenerates” and law officers ignored assaults on them – law officers not unlike the fictitious Sheriff Pat Brundy, who quickly pronounced the death of an old, gay, black man as suicide. No investigation. Case closed.

In Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano, one man refuses to believe Puce Bordeaux’s death was suicide, despite Sheriff Brundy’s assertion. That man is Rich St. Pierre, a member of the wealthy, white First Family of the town who was locked up, along with Puce, after a raid on a dive where the town’s otherwise hidden homosexuals hung out. He’s certain that Puce, the quiet, genteel “Negro” who served as a waiter in the exclusive Midland Club for decades, was killed. He’s certain that the subsequent death of Puce’s priest, Monsignor Corliss, was murder.

Ostracized by his influential family, Rich St. Pierre also knows that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to prove his assumptions by unraveling the town’s secrets, lies, and corruption.

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Author Mark Spano

“I set this book in the neighborhood of my childhood,” said Spano, a gay man who knew life before the Stonewall riots of 1969. “I came of age in the era of gay liberation. My story is a glimpse back at how it used to be.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Spano’s 120-page book is a quick page-turner that suddenly stops the reader in his or her tracks with such moments as art dealer and self-described “queen” Luther Beaumont’s drunken rant on human instincts:

“We were taught that the only two instincts we humans have are self-preservation and species preservation.

“That is not so. There are more than those. The third instinct is just as primitive but has somehow been ignored by all these research people as being part of the human creature. It’s the preservation by the tribe of those things beautiful about the tribe. That’s why we’re decorators and designers and art dealers. While the rest of the world is cranking out babies like there’s no tomorrow, queers are at home saving what’s beautiful in the world so there’ll be something to look at or listen to tomorrow.”

Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.


Review copies of Midland Club are available by contacting

publicist Kim Weiss at Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

Paperback and Kindle editions are available for purchase on Amazon.


About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

Media Contact:

Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR

919.819.0064; blueplatepr@gmail.com

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