Format Hardcover
Publication Date 06/04/24
ISBN 9781639366507
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 336

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Hall of Mirrors

A Novel

John Copenhaver

When a popular mystery novelist dies suspiciously, his writing partner must untangle the author’s connection to a serial killer in award-winning John Copenhaver’s new novel set in 1950s McCarthy-era Washington, DC.

*A Washington Post and must-read book selection*

In May 1954, Lionel Kane witnesses his apartment engulfed in flames with his lover and writing partner, Roger Raymond, inside. Police declare it a suicide due to gas ignition, but Lionel refuses to believe Roger was suicidal.

A month earlier, Judy Nightingale and Philippa Watson—the tenacious and troubled heroines from The Savage Kind—attend a lecture by Roger and, being eager fans, befriend him. He has just been fired from his day job at the State Department, another victim of the Lavender Scare, an anti-gay crusade led by figures like Senator Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover, claiming homosexuals are security risks. Little do Judy and Philippa know, but their obsessive manhunt of the past several years has fueled the flames of his dismissal.

They have been tracking their old enemy Adrian Bogdan, a spy and vicious serial killer protected by powerful forces in the government. He’s on the rampage again, and the police are ignoring his crimes. Frustrated, they send their research to the media and their favorite mystery writer anonymously, hoping to inspire someone, somehow, to publish on the crimes—anything to draw Bogdan out. But has their persistence brought deadly forces to the writing team behind their most beloved books?

In the wake of Roger’s death, Lionel searches for clues, but Judy and Philippa threaten his quest, concealing dark secrets of their own. As the crimes of the past and present converge, danger mounts, and the characters race to uncover the truth, even if it means bending their moral boundaries to stop a killer.

John Copenhaver is the recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for four consecutive years. In 2015, he launched and continues to maintain a crime fiction column for the Lambda Literary website called “Blacklight.” His short fiction has appeared in Glitterwolf Magazine, Roanoke Review, and Gaslight, the Lambda Emerging Voices Anthology. He won the 2015 Larry Neal Writers’ award for short fiction, and was first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest and the Narrative Magazine Winter Story Contest. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"[HALL OF MIRRORS] has haunted me since I’ve finished it. As Copenhaver details with breathtaking skill, full exposure, however terrifying, flings open the closet doors to truth." Sarah Weinman, The New York Times Book Review
"Set in 1954, Hall of Mirrors is a stunner and something rare for a historical mystery. Copenhaver has alchemized the intimacies and pain of midcentury queer characters into something more universal and timeless, reflecting back to us the closets in which marginalized people have been forced to live, and their righteous struggles to break free."
Los Angeles Times, Paula Wood
'“Hall of Mirrors delivers a skillful historical mystery. We hope that Copenhaver continues this exciting series beyond three novels."

Oline Cogdill, The Sun Sentinel
"Set in 1950s McCarthy-era Washington, DC, Hall of Mirrors is a gripping mystery with secrets, danger, and a race to uncover the truth."
"But the two parties might be more interconnected than they realize. Set against the backdrop of 1950s Washington, D.C., Hall of Mirrors is a riveting mystery imbued with secrecy and a relentless pursuit of truth." Byron Lane, author of Big Gay Wedding
"An excellent continuation of Copenhaver’s series, richly detailed and with convincingly realized characterizations." CrimeReads
"A Rubik’s Cube of a period mystery—readers will become increasingly obsessed about the intersection of a biracial ghostwriter seeking justice for his dead partner and two fans who have been on a hunt for a serial killer. Prevailing McCarthy-era attitudes about race and sexual orientation inform the story, yet characters reign supreme. By the end of Hall of Mirrors I cared desperately for the well-being of all three seeking to embrace their truth under oppressive circumstances." Naomi Hirahara, author of Mary Higgins Clark award-winning Clark and Division 
“Copenhaver keeps things moving at a relentless pace as he introduces multiple narrators and a plethora of plot twists. Queer history aficionados will find the depiction of the period’s antigay political paranoia fascinating. This series deserves a long life.” Publishers Weekly
"The second in the Nightingale trilogy, following The Savage Kind, is a mystery, but the historical elements add complexity as the author explores issues of passing as straight or white, concealing an identity at a time of physical and emotional violence toward LGBTQIA+ and Black people." Library Journal