Cover image for The boy who was buried this morning
The boy who was buried this morning
Hansen, Joseph, 1923-2004.
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New York : Viking, 1990.
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Author Notes

Joseph Hansen was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, on July 19, 1923. He attended Pasasdena City College. Hansen's fiction began to appear in the 60s. He published under the pseudonym James Colton because of the homosexual characters and themes of his work. He had published five novels and a collection of short stories when "Fadeout," the first of the Brandstetter mystery novels, was released. It is this series of 12 novels, which was published from 1970 to 1991 for which Hansen was most well known.

Hansen wrote almost 40 books, which included novels and a series of semi-autobiographical works. He also taught fiction workshops, published poems in The New Yorker and produced a local radio show in the 60s called "Homosexuality Today." In 1965 he founded the pioneering homosexual journal Tangents.

In 1974 Hansen was awarded a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 he won the lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America. Joseph Hansen died on November 24, 2004 at the age of 81 from heart failure.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Fans of Hansen's gay sleuth Dave Brandstetter, breathe easy. He may have retired last time around (Obedience [BKL N 1 88]), but here he is, capering away once again and better than usual, thanks finally not to the plot (which is definitely okay, though) or the characters (who are okay, too) but to Hansen's considerable writing talents. Small-town, conservative-to-the-point-of-fascist Southern California--trying to make a killing in housing developments and new "sports" fads like combat games (as long as they don't have to sell to "those people," that is)--comes dryly, loathsomely to life through Hansen's lean, simile-phobic prose. Reading this book is like watching a topflight, downbeat TV or B-movie mystery; it's a gritty treat for the mind's eye. The plot? Oh, yeah, it's about how Dave discovers just who among a crowd of unsavory right-wingers killed a soldier-playing junior Nazi and his girlfriend. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

For mystery readers mysteriously unacquainted with Hansen's Dave Brandstetter, this will be a good introduction. Brandstetter, officially retired as a private eye, accedes to his lover Cecil's request to investigate the death of Vaughn Thomas, a co-worker at Channel 3 shot in a ``combat pursuit'' game by a real gun, not a paintball. Traveling to the home town of the young woman Thomas lived with, Brandstetter arrives just after she's murdered and her young son wounded. On a course marked by a right-wing paramilitary group, a jealous ex-husband and Thomas's hard-driving marketing-consultant stepmother (none of them nice), Hansen guides us in spare, smooth prose to a satisfying conclusion. Brandstetter's homosexuality is treated lightly--a boy in the paramilitary group has ``pretty arms''--and his age isn't avoided: he needs his reading glasses. A worthy addition to classic Southern California detective stories. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Insurance investigator Dave Brandstetter adds yet another adventure to his list when he attempts to find out who shot an arrogant young man at an outdoor war games center near Los Angeles. Newscaster/lover Cecil remains in the background as Dave questions the dead man's wealthy parents, follows the man's jumpy girlfriend to Winter Creek, runs afoul of a dangerous, neofascist military group in the area, and outwits the not-so-clever-after-all culprit. Hansen is completely familiar with his characters and the mechanics of plotting, and he offers a tightly woven, motion-filled (but largely emotionless) construct that should appeal to many. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.