It’s winter 1984, Private Investigator Nick Nowak has allowed his life to fall to pieces: he’s stopped taking cases, given up his apartment and taken a job as a bartender at a sleazy joint tucked under the El. All he wants to do is stay hidden and lick his wounds after the death of his lover, Detective Bert Harker. But, when the least likely person in the world shows up at the bar and asks him to take a new case he finds himself investigating the very un-suspicious heart attack death of a priest. Nick is convinced he’s wasting his time until the clues begin to add up to something entirely unsuspected. Release date: May 23rd, 2014.
Excerpt available at Goodreads.
My Fiction Nook: Best of 2014
I’ve written a mainstream mystery under then name J.T. Moss and submitted it to the Kindle Scout program. If you’re unfamiliar with the program, readers nominate books which increases their chances of being selected for publication. When the book comes out the reader gets a a free copy.
At sixty-three, former jazz musician Wade Lovett finds himself something of a trailer park Lothario carrying on affairs with three different women. But when circumstances prompt Carol Smitzky to make a compelling case for a marriage arrangement, he agrees. The next morning he visits girlfriend number two, Peggy McCallister, to tell her the news — and finds her lying dead on her kitchen floor. Shortly after Peggy’s death, Wade is surprised to learn that she left him guardianship of her prized cat, Prince Albert. Even more surprising, she named Wade as beneficiary of her life insurance, which provokes her son to demand an autopsy. As a natural death seems less and less likely, Wade becomes the prime suspect in her murder forcing him to investigate the crime himself. Was Peggy killed by one of her two children, the park manager, a mystery second boyfriend, or was it Wade’s third paramour, Sue Mullins?
In the first full-length novel of the Boystown series, it’s late summer 1982 and private detective Nick Nowak is asked to find a retired gentleman’s long lost lover.
Instead, he finds himself embroiled in a decades old murder connected to the man who wants tobe Chicago’s next mayor. Meanwhile, an ambitious young reporter develops a friendship with Nick’s lover Bert, making Nick wonder exactly where their relationship may be heading.
Honorable Mention, 2012 Rainbow Awards – Best Gay Mystery/Thriller
The Boystown Mysteries will begin to re-release January 9th, 2015 and will be available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
Martin Dixon’s carefully constructed peaceful life is turned upside down when his super Christian eighteen year-old nephew Carter shows up unexpectedly on his doorstep and announces that he’s gay, Martin’s first impulse is to send him back to his parents. But when he discovers that Carter has been in a mental hospital to cure his gay-ness he realizes he’s stuck with the boy. Unfortunately, the two get on each other’s nerves, each driving the other to distraction. Independently, they each arrive at the same conclusion. The other would be much less annoying if he only had…a boyfriend.
Runner-Up Rainbow Award, Best Contemporary Gay Fiction
LGBT 2014 Favorite Books – Impressions of a Reader
The Favorite Books of 2014: Elisa’s Friends Name Their Favorites
If you haven’t already begun the Boystown Mysteries you can same it by reading the prequel novella, “Little Boy Dead.”
A former Chicago police officer turned private investigator, Nick Nowak is haunted by a traumatic break-up and his abrupt departure from the department after being gay-bashed. In this Boystown prequel, it’s fall 1979 and Nick has just received his P.I. license but has no clients. Short on funds, he takes a temporary job as a driver for Film Fest Chicago. In a very short time, Nick deals with stalking fans, a crowd of protesters, and a critic’s stolen wallet that leads to murder.
Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
Two-time finalist for the Lambda Award for Gay Mystery, the Boystown Mystery series follows the cases of former-police officer turned private investigator Nick Nowak. Set in Chicago during the early 1980s, Nowak is haunted by his abrupt departure from the CPD and the end of his relationship with librarian Daniel Laverty. He moves through a series of casual relationships until he meets homicide detective Bert Harker with whom he begins a tentative relationship.
“A pretty terrific set of mystery stories. Those of you who like their detectives hard-boiled, cynical and downbeat will love Nick Nowak.” — 4 1/2 Stars, Jenre at Three Dollar Bill Reviews
“Thornton’s writing is very tight indeed, spare and economical, and beautifully edited… He’s clearly an author of skill and strong dedication to research. This is a collection of stories which offers a good deal to enjoy.” — Ann Somerville, Outlaw Reviews
“I adored the voice in Boystown. It’s 1st person–some people are born to write it, Marshall Thornton being one of them, in my opinion–and carries you along through Nick’s world and current case. There are three cases in this book, all wonderful, all equally interesting, and I couldn’t put the damn book down.” Miz Love Reviews Top Pick
“Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries by Marshall Thornton is the first book in this well-written and gritty detective series that is reminiscent of hardboiled crime fiction. The book is a compilation of three novella-length mysteries all set in Chicago, circa 1980-1981. The mysteries are engaging, and the writing features a captivating main character and sets an excellent overall mood for the stories.” Indie Reviews “The pre-AIDS haze of casual sex evoked by the books is destined to come to an end, as the reader knows, and Thornton — knowing that we know it — integrates the start of the AIDS crisis into his stories as smoothly as the hot scenes of sex between Nowak and his hookups. This is compelling stuff on two levels, both as detective stories and as dramatic literature.” Kilian Melloy – Edge Magazine Available in paperback, ebook and audiobook.