Lev AC Rosen's upcoming novel, Lavender House, is a delightfully queer historical fiction set in 1950s San Francisco full of mystery, self-discovery, and found family.
Evander "Andy" Mills was tossed off the San Francisco Police Department after he is discovered in a gay bar during a raid. Morose and suicidal, Andy is approached by the grieving wife of a prominent family to quietly investigate the suspicious death of matriarch Irene Lamontaine, the head of a fancy floral soap dynasty. Andy takes the job and after moving into the Lavender House where he finds others like him living the kind of life he had only dreamed of. Behind closed doors, the members of the house are free to love who they wish as long as they keep up the public image of a "normal" heteronormative family. Irene's wife, Pearl, is willing to do anything to find out who killed her wife. The other family members are not so sure that Irene was murdered and Andy has his work cut out for him trying to discover if foul play was afoot.
This was such a fun, lighthearted mystery! It's so easy to forget that in our recent history, LGTBQ+ people had to hide who they were much more than they do today. I truly enjoyed getting to know Andy and the others and it was heartwarming to see how they all looked out for each other, even if they didn't necessarily like each other all that much. The plot was engaging and the writing pulled me in and kept me interested up until the end. A wonderfully queer whodunit! Well done! And that cover! Gorgeous!
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys 1950s crime fiction, mysteries (cozy or not), and LGBTQ+ historical fiction.