Home' LOTL : April May 2015 Contents 20 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
REVIEWS | BOOKS
Lauren Vellequette is a successful, but somewhat bored, real estate agent with a passion for solving mysteries.
With a career selling houses chugging comfortably along, Lauren starts a side business in private investigation.
She takes advice from her friend and PI expert, 65 year old Rollie Austin, and along the line somewhat reluctantly
acquires a rebellious teenaged intern called Sasha, who pretty much employs herself and then places demands
on the childless Lauren that she is definitely not used to!
The main plotline in this novel revolves around our protagonist solving the mystery surrounding the hit and
run death of young Jessica Stasinowski. Jessica’s mother engages Lauren’s services as the police seem to
be no longer particularly interested in the case. But there are also subplots and backstories that flesh out the
characters and keep our interest with smaller cases that come along and are solved within a few chapters. We
learn about Lauren’s past significant relationships, why she is currently single, and why Sasha is so secretive
but also so very demanding.
The clues in the mystery are tantalisingly revealed and the plot is very tight, such that you’re kept questioning
right up until the final chapter. It’s clever, sassy and definitely entertaining. I’m not one that usually has the
patience to stick with mystery novels – I just want to know what happens! But this one kept me reading and
interested - needing to know just how super sleuth Lauren Vellequette was going to put this all together. This is
the first of a new series, and I’ll be looking for the new novels as they come out. Being a hopeless romantic I am
also looking forward to that one book when enough space is cleared in her busy schedule for Lauren to find love!
Just Girls is the second novel by Rachel Gold that tells the story of what it’s like to be a young trans*woman
in today’s world. American teenager Leelah Alcorn’s experience as a trans*woman was full of pain and
misunderstanding, while our protagonist is a young trans*woman with wonderfully supportive (but often over-
protective) parents. Ella Ramsey is a college freshman about to venture into the world of campus life – one which
includes studying hard, making new friends, discovering her sexuality and growing into adulthood.
But it’s not all SO easy for Ella. Firstly, she’s the only freshman on campus to have her own private room –
courtesy of the admin’s concern about how the other girls might feel sharing with someone who is trans*; and
secondly, because word is out that there is a trans*person on campus – and the transphobia (and homophobia)
that follows makes coming out all that much harder.
Enter Jess Tucker – an outwardly tough (but inwardly vulnerable) lesbian who unwittingly stands up for Ella, and
the two soon become roommates and fast friends. Jess – or Tucker as she prefers to be called – hasn’t had an
easy upbringing and she enjoys hanging out with Ella and visiting her family on weekends. Ella gravitates towards
the campus LGBTQIA group, and begins to get closer to her sweet, funny, straight gamer friend Shen, while
Tucker begins to question her relationship with her controlling girlfriend Lindy.
The novel covers all manner of sex, sexuality and gender identities and is an excellent educational tool, as well
as a very good read. The character of Nico, particularly, is used well as an exemplar of what it means to blur
the boundaries of gender and not conform to the “accepted social norms” of the gender binary. Throughout, the
reader never knows if they are are cis-male or cis-female and that’s the whole point.
KILLED IN ESCROW
A Lauren Vellequette Mystery by Jennifer L. Jordan
Follow the smart lesbian protagonist, Lauren Vellequette in this well constructed mystery novel.
by Rachel Gold
A novel facing LGBTQIA teens.
BY SANYA FRANICH
BY SANYA FRANICH
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