You are here

Skinflick (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #5) (Paperback)

Skinflick (A Dave Brandstetter Mystery #5) By Joseph Hansen Cover Image
Email or call for price.



Death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter navigates the opposing realms of evangelical Christianity and the porn business while tracking a lost girl in late 1970s Los Angeles.

Lon Tooker certainly fits the profile: big, strong, a Marine Corps veteran, and recently the target of evangelical crusader Gerald Dawson’s wrath. Tooker’s adult toys and pornography store on the local skid row has recently become the target of Dawson’s church men’s group and their destructive masked raids on “un-Christian” businesses. When Dawson is strangled to death by someone of Tooker’s size and ability, the police see a smut-peddler with a motive. Case closed.

But death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter doesn’t like it. By all accounts Tooker is a softy incapable of such a crime. Actual evidence is nonexistent and assumptions many. And Dave particularly doesn’t care for assumptions based on someone’s sex life.

But Dave is also navigating new personal territory. His father’s death has left him bereaved and for the first time in a long time without a job. Dave quit the insurance company his father built and has struck out on his own as a private investigator. Add in his breakup with his recent partner and he’s a man unencumbered. It’s the late 1970s and Dave may be aging a bit but he’s still handsome, wealthy, and recently in possession of a new convertible Triumph. Looks like it’s not all hard work.

About the Author

Joseph Hansen (1923–2004) was the author of more than twenty-five novels, including the twelve groundbreaking Dave Brandstetter mystery novels. The winner of the 1992 Lifetime AchievementAward from the Private Eye Writers of America, Hansen was also the author of A Smile in His Lifetime, Living Upstairs, Job's Year, and Bohannon's Country. He was a two-time Lambda LiteraryAward-winner.

Praise For…


"In Brandstetter, Hansen has created a hero worthy of such predecessors as Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Macdonald's Lew Archer... Book after book, we're happy to walk down the mean streets in his company."
—John Powers, NPR's Fresh Air

"In an auspicious event for mystery readers, Syndicate is reprinting all 12 of Joseph Hansen’s pioneering Dave Brandstetter novels over 12 months. “Fadeout,” the first in the series featuring the comfortably gay World War II vet and L.A. insurance investigator, was published in 1970. As Michael Nava points out in his insightful new introduction, that’s when gay sex was a criminal act in 49 of the 50 states. Through grit and sheer talent, Hansen found a wide audience… Crime fiction fans who don’t know Hansen’s work are in for a treat."
—The Washington Post

“Joseph Hansen is not only one of America’s best mystery writers, he is a great American writer. Period. Full stop.”
—Michael Nava

"I can only applaud the republication of Joseph Hansen's Dave Brandstetter books. I've increasingly come to regard the phrase 'an important writer of crime fiction' as oxymoronic, but if one's going to use the label, Hansen's not an unreasonable bearer of it."
—Lawrence Block

“Incredible books, much overlooked.”
—Jeff Abbott
"The Brandstetter books are classics of the private eye genre... It's great to see them available again."
—Peter Robinson
“First published over fifty years ago now, Hansen’s novels are not just clever and compelling stories, but to my mind they are also a feat of incredible bravery. I wish I’d discovered him sooner.”
—Russ Thomas, CrimeReads
“Hansen is one of the best we have… [He] knows how to tell a tough, unsentimental, fast-moving story in an exceptionally urbane literary style.”
New York Times Book Review
“After forty years, Hammett has a worthy successor.”
—The Times (London)
“Mr. Hansen is an excellent craftsman, a compelling writer.”
—The New Yorker
“Apart from its virtues as fiction, Hansen’s Early Graves is a field correspondent’s breathtaking dispatch from a community in the midst of disaster.”
“Read in the order written, [the Brandstetter mysteries] are remarkably linked through symbol, incident, and character, to the point that one sees them as a single, multi-volume novel, by which one may learn a great deal about what it means to be homosexual and male in modern America.”
—The New Republic
“Hansen is quite simply the most exciting and effective writer of the classic California private-eye novel working today.”
—Los Angeles Times
“No one in the history of the detective novel has had the daring to do what Joseph Hansen has done: make his private eye a homosexual…who is both a first-rate investigator and one of the most interest series characters in the history of the genre.”
—David Geherin, The American Private Eye

“The first thing I ever read by Joseph Hansen was Fadeout (1970). It’s the seminal novel in a mystery series about a smart, tough, uncompromising insurance investigator by the name of David Brandstetter. He is a Korean War vet and ruggedly masculine. He’s educated, principled, compassionate — but willing and able to use violence when nothing else works. He represents the (then) new breed of PI — the post–World War II private investigator. There are no bottles of rye in Dave’s desk, there are no sleazy secrets in his past, and the dames don’t much tend to throw themselves at him. He is neither tarnished nor afraid. Oh, and one other thing. He’s gay…. He was not the first gay detective to hit mainstream crime fiction, but he was the first normal gay detective, and that — as the poet said — has made all the difference.”
—Josh Lanyon, from The Golden Age of Gay Fiction

Product Details
ISBN: 9781681990545
ISBN-10: 1681990547
Publisher: Soho Syndicate
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: A Dave Brandstetter Mystery