book cover of The Adventures of Isabel
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The Adventures of Isabel

(2020)
(The first book in the Epitome Apartments Mystery series)
A novel by

 
 
Book one in a new playful and trope-bending mystery series featuring a queer, nameless amateur detective.

“Candas Jane Dorsey’s terrific mysteries are what would happen if Raymond Chandler and Frank N. Furter collaborated on cozies and the heroine were a pansexual private detective with heart, smarts, and a T-shirt saying MASCARA IS THE NEW NOIR.” — Sarah Smith, author of the New York Times Notable Book The Vanished Child.

Rescued from torpor and poverty by the need to help a good friend deal with the murder of her beloved granddaughter, our downsized-social-worker protagonist and her cat, Bunnywit, are jolted into a harsh, street-wise world of sex, lies, and betrayal, to which they respond with irony, wit, intelligence (except for the cat), and tenacity. With judicious use of the Oxford comma, pop culture trivia, common mystery tropes, and a keen eye for deceit, our protagonist swaggers through the mean streets of — yes, a Canadian city! —  and discovers that what seems at first to be just a grotty little street killing is actually the surface of a grandiose and glittering set of criminal schemes.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"In The Adventures of Isabel, we see Candas Jane Dorsey obviously having as much fun writing as the reader will have reading. A little Hammett, a little Hiaasen, a little Lot 49, this is the first book in a series that demands to be read with writerly intention. Unlike Robbe-Grillet or Eco, Dorsey doesn’t want to destroy the detective novel with her postmodern take on the form. She seeks instead to shake the reader out of submission and into a clearer vision and examination of the underpinnings of the genre - the real crime and grime and meanness of the streets on which it’s set. The laughs are thrown in for free." - Janice MacDonald

"Candas Jane Dorsey’s terrific mysteries are what would happen if Raymond Chandler and Frank N. Furter collaborated on cozies and the heroine were a pansexual private detective with heart, smarts, and a T-shirt saying MASCARA IS THE NEW NOIR. There’s female bonding, sex (lots of it), and a cat or two. You’ll scream with laughter, you’ll checkmark phrases. And then, if you’re a nice person and love your friends, you’ll put these books in their hands and insist they read them too." - Sarah Smith


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