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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices

by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing

Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun

Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead

Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry

2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence

Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions

Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights

Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido

Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

The Secret Tunnel

by James Lear

Book Review by Kathleen Bradean


gay erotic stories

When I was a teen, I read every book Agatha Christie wrote, as well as every Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L Sayers, and PD James in my local library. This background made me a prime audience for The Secret Tunnel, James Lear’s gay erotic pastiche of cozy mystery novels.

Lear introduces his amateur sleuth, Edward “Mitch” Mitchell in The Back Passage (Cleis Press). Like me, Mitch is a fan of mystery novels. Although he’s a medical student, he gets a bit carried away with the idea of playing detective. In The Back Passage, he’s invited to a country house for a weekend right out of an Agatha Christie story. During a game of sardines, a body falls out of a cabinet, and the game is afoot. Somehow, Mitch manages to solve that mystery, as well as having sex with almost every man in the house and nearby village.

Mitch is back in The Secret Tunnel. He leaves his lover Vince in Edinburgh to visit his Cambridge roommate and fuck buddy Boy Morgan. Before the Flying Scotsman even leaves the station, Mitch manages to procure a grateful, slutty Belgian stowaway as a sidekick. Before they can get down to some mutually satisfying fun, they meet their fellow passengers: a drug addicted movie star, her gay (of course) leading man and their shady entourage; the requisite titled dowager with harried secretary in attendance; an unhappy family on holiday; four lusty Scottish soldiers; a porter with a magnificent ass for rent only to first class passengers; and other assorted players from English murder mystery central casting. 

Everybody on the train has secrets, and the only place to hide them from prying eyes seems to be the First Class lavatory. The door is always locked, even though it’s doubtful anyone is using it for its intended purpose. When a pool of blood seeps under the door though, Mitch swings into action.

Being easily distracted by his cock, most of the action Mitch partakes in is of the hairy bums and squirting loads variety. He admonishes himself for being so easily distracted by sex, but that doesn’t stop him from being sidetracked every time. Although Lear constantly reminds the readers of the very real threat of imprisonment for sodomy in England at the time, in his world, every man is at least bisexual and willingly engages in oral and anal sex given the opportunity. Mitch, being hot, young, hung, and full of come, is the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.

My only real quibble with this book is that while there’s a lot of sex, it’s not sensual enough to be erotic or salacious enough to be porn. My preference is quality over quantity, but that’s not Lear’s style. That didn’t stop me from enjoying this story. It’s almost impossible not to.

Mitch is absolutely confident in his sexual prowess, but he’s humble enough about his detective skills that he’s a charming character. When Mitch gets all the primary characters together in a classic Hercule Poirot style denouement, albeit in the middle of a masked gay orgy with the who’s who of London society, he’s not exactly sure what happened or why. That doesn’t stop him from presenting a rather convoluted tale of motives and methods.

As I read Mitch’s version of what happened on the train, I had a momentary flashback to Neil Simon’s wonderful screenplay Murder By Death where Lionel Twain harangues the assembled detectives for introducing crucial characters in the last pages and for cheating their readers by withholding vital clues. Maybe it is cheating, but solving the whodunnit isn’t going to be any reader’s top priority with this book. Besides, it’s in keeping with the spirit and style of classic cozy mysteries to wrap up the case with a big improbable bow. I don’t know enough about Dame Agatha Christie to guess if she would have been horrified or amused by rampant gay sex scenes in The Secret Tunnel, but if she had any sense of humor, she probably would have enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek delivery of James Lear’s murder mysteries. I certainly did.

Kathleen Bradean
February 2009

The Secret Tunnel by James Lear
(Cleis Press, October 1, 2008; ISBN-10: 1573443298)
Available at  / Amazon UK

© 2009 Kathleen Bradean. All rights reserved.

About the Author:
Who is Kathleen Bradean? Read her bio on the Erotica Readers & Writers Association website.

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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky

'09 Book Reviews


A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai


A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Vincent Diamond


Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister