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The Back Passage [Paperback]

James Lear
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Back Passage + The Secret Tunnel + Sticky End (A Mitch Mitchell Mystery)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press (4 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573442437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573442435
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Hardcore sex and scandal meet in this brilliantly hot and funny whodunnit. A seaside village, an English country house, a family of wealthy eccentrics and their equally peculiar servants and a determined detective - all the ingredients are here for a cosy Agatha Christie-style whodunnit. But, Edward "Mitch" Mitchell is no Hercule Poirot, and "The Back Passage" is no "Murder on the Orient Express". Mitch is a handsome, insatiable 22-year-old hunk who never lets a clue stand in the way of a steamy encounter, whether it's with the local constabulary, the house secretary, or his school chum and fellow athlete Boy Morgan, who becomes his Watson when they're not busy boffing each other. When Reg Walworth is found dead in a cabinet, Sir James Eagle has his servant Weeks immediately arrested as the killer. But, Mitch's observant eye pegs more plausible possibilities: polysexual chauffeur Hibbert, queenly pervert Leonard Eagle, missing scion Rex, sadistic copper Kennington and even Sir James Eagle himself. Blackmail, police corruption, a dizzying network of spy holes and secret passages, watersports, and a non-stop queer orgies mark this hilariously hardcore mystery by a major new talent.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh So Entertaining 14 Mar 2007
"Graphic" is the first word that springs to mind, and indeed the second and third. Well-written, good continuity, consistently humourous, appealing characters, appalling character twists-- an enjoyable and easy read. Perhaps a must-have, certainly a must-borrow-from-library.

The main character is a randy American college student in England in 1925 relating the murder mystery that began just feet from him while he was rather adamantly "otherwise occupied." Generally the premise feels real, if startlingly unlikely, and the reader will find himself torn between anticipation at the next R-rated moment and curiosity about the identity of the murderer. Not one to leave lying around when children are present, but a smashing good read otherwise.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great sexy romp! 10 Mar 2007
By Erastes
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable. This book very clearly makes the point that gay historical fiction needn't be po faced, full of deep meaningful literary merit and serious as hell. This is a romp, from start (hero found groping his friend in an understairs cupboard) to the finish which I won't spoil. Imagine how I squeed when I read the first page and found that it was set about 10 miles from where I sit right now, on the North Norfolk coast in 1925.

There's a lot of sex in this book, and I mean a LOT. This is the kind of book where the reader can be happy that there's sex in every chapter and it isn't boringly escalated, you know what a mean, starts with a grope, moves on to a blow job, then a 69 and so on - the Hero "Mitch" takes advantage of every opportunity.

And there's PLENTY of opportunity. Even though you must suspend your belief at the door, although, to be honest, a remote Norfolk aristocratic family - I wouldn't be at all surprised if this house set-up hadn't actually happened, so it's actually quite plausible and the reasons for why everyone seems to be gay are very cleverly explained. It's not just the power of Mitch's sex-appeal that gives him the sex-filled week of his life!

It's a classic who-dunnit, too. Big house in the middle of no-where with a cast of larger than life characters, unexplained murder and it could be any one of the occupants, like all of Christie's stories I was hopelessly led down one blind alley after another, suspecting everyone in turn and happy doing so.

What I particularly liked was the lovely little touches of the language. When Mitch talks he says ass, and when Boy Morgan speaks he says arse. I heartily approve of this.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
An entertaining gay detective romp!!

Imagine an American Poirot, but a lot less straight laced... in fact our 'hero' is well and truely bent, and spends more time out of his clothes than in them during the course of the story. His partner in crime-solving would also make a great Hastings!!

Set in the 20's, it's not exactly a historical thriller romance, but it is nice if you're looking for something a little different. Has some great twists at the end of the story, some of which I wasn't expecting in a million years... a great bedside table book!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giggle fest almost the whole way through! 3 Oct 2007
With the exception of a brief interlude of (appropriate to context) police brutality, I laughed the whole way through this book! I read it when working nightshift and my co-workers thought I was mad. Written in a great 1920's style it is very explicit and the sex scenes are very intense (and unrelenting). However, the humour in evident on every page. If you want a nice whodunnit buy agatha christie - want a whodunnit with wit and bite? Try this! Ok, as a straight woman I am maybe not the intended audience but as random purchases go, I am so glad I bought it. Hilarious.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Miss This Gem 5 Jan 2007
At last, a new novel by one of my favourite authors. I've read several of Lear's "so-called" porn books. I say "so-called" because I'm of the opinion that writing this good, despite how much yummy sex the book contains, shouldn't really be called porn. And he does it again in this one - I wish I knew his secret! This book stands alone as a good country house thriller - you know the sort of thing: house guest discovers a body; everyone in the house is a suspect.... It's a great read, written with tongue-in-cheek humour all the way through. And, added to a great mystery, you have the sex.... Phew, Lear can write humour and plot, but when he writes sex he shifts into another gear. You get every quirk and position and all written with sheer fun and delight. He describes sex scenes like you choreograph them in your head sometimes. They're never up and in and out; you have deliciously sexy foreplay and genuine titillation that lifts each scene way above the often mechanistic level of porn.

The hero of the book, Mitch, is an American in England at a country house weekend because he's desperately trying to seduce his college chum Boy Morgan. The novel is packed with really amusing American views on the English and delightfully non-PC class distinctions. Mitch has a fondness for the "lower orders" and scenes with the local bobby (policeman) and chauffeur really hit the spot if you harbour latent servant/master fantasies. The mystery deepens around him until Mitch's life is in serious jeopardy. Can he win Boy from his fiancée and save him from a life of heterosexual gloom? Can he solve the mystery and free the innocent butler?

Buy this and then go off and order Lear's two other works of art: The Palace of Varieties (my favourite - a totally absorbing novel) and The Low Road. Writing this good should be supported.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Homerotic porn at its best - you can tell that James Lear is an ...
Homerotic porn at its best - you can tell that James Lear is an experienced author and you should read his other books in the same genre
Published 2 months ago by J. D. Willmott
2.0 out of 5 stars scurrilous
This must be the most scurrilous book that our group has discussed and, amazingly, was chosen by a young member who usually looked down his nose at silly or over-erotic books. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. D. P. Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Never fails to disappoint with his brand of sexy humour-filled mystery stories. The characters are always amusing and suitably the stuff of fantasy for a range of readers. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mr. J. R. T. Rogers
3.0 out of 5 stars Back Passage
A good real but I would not put it on the shelf with the great "who done it" books. Good light weight novel.
Published 17 months ago by Ralph
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh so surprising! A joy!
Ok, this is the first gay erotic novel I have ever read; and, as such, I have to admit to expecting nothing but sex sex sex; and, while there is a lot of sex, this book is so much... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Pantheon
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, very dirty, very good
I adored this book. It made me laugh out loud from the start and I barely stopped. Lear captures the mood and the characters perfectly, though I'm not sure it will be as well... Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by Tristram La Roche
2.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Idea, Admittedly
I don't mean to sound like a whiner, but I didn't think this book was very praiseworthy. I loved the idea of combining a murder mystery with erotica, but I think in this case it... Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by JD Gamble
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and funny!
My first ever read of a gay novel and laughed all the way though, very Hot too!
Published on 13 Jun 2009 by G. S. Findlay
5.0 out of 5 stars A right ripping yarn!
All the intrigue of Agatha Christie, all the fun of a game of Cluedo, all the innuendo of a Carry On film with plenty of homoerotic scenes thrown in for good measure. Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2008 by Annie Fur Lactic
4.0 out of 5 stars The Back Passage
A Funny, sexy "Who dunnit" book, with quite graphic sex in every chapter.
The main character Mitch takes every opportunity (and there are many) to enjoy his sexuality. Read more
Published on 15 May 2008 by Cazzi
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