• Blackmail, My Love

  • A Murder Mystery
  • By: Katie Gilmartin
  • Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (242 ratings)

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Blackmail, My Love  By  cover art

Blackmail, My Love

By: Katie Gilmartin
Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
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Publisher's Summary

Josie O'Conner travels to San Francisco in 1951 to locate her gay brother, a private dick investigating a blackmail ring targeting lesbians and gay men. Jimmy's friends claim that just before he disappeared he became a rat, informing the cops on the bar community. Josie adopts Jimmy's trousers and wingtips, battling to clear his name, halt the blackmailers, and exact justice for the many queer corpses. Along the way she rubs shoulders with a sultry chanteuse running a dyke tavern called Pandora's Box, gets intimate with a red-headed madam operating a brothel from the Police Personnel Department, and conspires with the star of Finocchio's, a dive so disreputable it's off limits to servicemen - so every man in uniform pays a visit.

Blackmail, My Love is a murder mystery deeply steeped in San Francisco's queer history. Established academic and first-time novelist Katie Gilmartin's diverse set of characters negotiate the risks of same-sex desire in a tough time for queers. Humor leavens the grave subject matter. Set in such legendary locations as the Black Cat Cafe, the Fillmore, the Beat movement's North Beach, and the sexually complex Tenderloin, Blackmail, My Love is a singular, visually stunning neo-noir experience.

©2014 Katie Gilmartin (P)2014 Audible Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Blackmail, My Love

Average Customer Ratings
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  • CJ
  • 06-14-15

Fine Writing, Beautifully Read

Where does Blackmail, My Love rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best. A well-written story and wonderful narration.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Blackmail, My Love?

Don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read, so I'll just say the butch who spoke at the funeral moved me to tears.

Which scene was your favorite?

Hard to pick just one but I liked Lucille talking with Jo about sex

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, but not because I wasn't enjoying it. Sometimes I needed to absorb a bit or recover from a very emotional scene before I was ready to go on.

Any additional comments?

I like historical fiction anyway, but would absolutely recommend this book. It might be especially instructive for younger readers, to get a view of what it was like "in the life" in the McCarthy era. Katie Gilmartin can really turn a phrase and beautifully captures the tone of classic1950's detective stories. Eva Kaminsky did a fantastic job of bringing the story to life.

10 people found this helpful

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love this reader!!!

I found this book via another book that was good solely because of the audio performance. it's a great story that few could pull off. She nails the 1940s classic detective Rex Stout vibe.

3 people found this helpful

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Why did I wait so long to listen?!

The writing of Katie Gilmartin is so good.
The story will stay with me for a while.
The narration of Eva Kaminsky... she didn’t read this story to me. She transported me into this world and brought the characters to life. I heard them, not her voicing them.

I don’t know why I waited to listen to this title. I’m so glad I finally took the plunge. I wish there was more from this duo.

Really, really, so good.
The content was hard and has affected me. I will carry it with me. And isn’t that about the highest praise there is for a writer?! Wouldn’t have been the same with a lesser narrator. Excellent match.
Seriously, not enough good things to say about this one.

2 people found this helpful

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Art!!

This entire book from start to finish is a work of art, poetry and originality. Usually after I read a book, I delete it from my library but this will be among the books I share with my friends and family. Beautiful beautiful beautiful!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Intense and poignant

The story was poignant and painful in how it reflected the way things were for lgbtq people in the 50s, the characters memorable, the narration excellent. Would enjoy a follow-up or spin-off. I recommend this!

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Worth it!

This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to all year! Great plot, well rounded characters and historically accurate.

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I have no words for how good this book is

The narration, the story, everything was absolutely perfect ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I had so many emotions listening to this book and this time period until now and to think how things change but stay the same. Minority groups are still dying by the hands of people that are suppose to serve and protect. The fear that the LGBTQ+ community go through. its heart breaking. I can on and on but its to much for this review.

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A roller coaster trip thru SF

Yes, it’s a murder mystery, but really it’s a love letter and cry of grief for the gay community of the 1950s. The mutual support, the finding oneself, and yet the constant fear of discovery, of losing everything to a police raid. The glamorous queens, the self-denial, the mistreatment, and the carving out of safe spaces. Beautifully evoked, heartbreaking.

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More please?

I am looking forward to more of their collaboration. The narrator is fantastic and the book was good.

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I love this story.

The narrator made me want to cast myself back in time to defend those who lived through the hell that many of us now take for granted. I was not sure what to expect with this story, but this first release by Katie Gilmartin was, I thought, wonderfully written. It is not the norm, and I think that is what made it an even better story.

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  • Yorkie
  • 07-31-15

Audio Noir

Where does Blackmail, My Love rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was good. It ranks equal with other books I've given five star ratings to.

What did you like best about this story?

There were lots of things I liked about it. It was a gripping story in a great setting (San Francisco) and a very interesting period for LGBT rights (just pre- Stonewall). It had a film-noir-ish feel to it, which I enjoyed. And some of the characters were really lovable.

What does Eva Kaminsky bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I thought overall, she was a really good narrator. I wasn't entirely sure about the way she voiced the main character, she had a fairly dry, drawling delivery that sometimes sounded a bit bored to me, though that may just be my British ear not picking up the nuances as well as an American listener would. I certainly wouldn't mark her down for that, because she more than made up for it with her voicing of the other characters, - which I thought, were brilliant.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the gay school teacher very moving.
Also the passages where Jo is remembering her brother.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this audiobook and would strongly recommend it to listeners. It reminded me of how hard won our rights are as LGBT people and how brave our forebears were in fighting for them in the face of terrible prejudice and abuse.
It's also a jolly good story! :0)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zenith
  • 09-24-22

recommend!

The murder mystery plot was good, not mind-blowing twists and turns. This book was great to listen to because of the characters and the writing.

recommend!

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  • Pen
  • 06-11-22

Pithy and funny

This was among the "included" audiobooks that was flagged as lesbian and it's a giant cut above the terrible interminable romances that comprise most of the other output. (No offence to any of the writers putting stuff out for us.) Anyhow. Some great pastiche Chandler lines, particularly concerning a key character's arse. That's what gets it a 5 from me- some really good writing and atmospheric setting (not just the ass). So although it's pretty sad in terms of what it deals with, it's a really enjoyable listen with lots of twists and turns (maybe slightly too many, but I kinda like them to go on so all good for me). Didn't have a problem with the reading at all - fluent and unobtrusive - and I'm quite picky.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison Miller
  • 06-06-22

Struggled but was ok

Struggled to finish. Found the characters and story hard to follow. Was reflective to think about the age when police were arresting men for being themselves.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SVC
  • 01-25-22

Great listen, good story

really enjoyed this book, interesting story and unexpected twists, hope to find more by Katie.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • FC51
  • 12-08-21

Awesome writing and storytelling

The awesome writing and storytelling from Katie Gilmartin is very badly let down by voice artist Eva Kaminsky who does not have a great delivery and often speaks in a very monotonous way. For much of the novel she cannot decide on which accent/voice she should use when. Aside from this confusion, the worst is when the Irish-American accent Kaminsky is supposed to use to differentiate the main character, who often tells her story in the first person, pops up inappropriately throughout the novel when other characters are speaking or there are general descriptions, scene setting etc in which the main character is not actually telling the story. Conversely, when we should be hearing the main character's Irish-American we hear some generic American instead. This is a great shame because it often destroys a superb piece of storytelling.