New-to-me gay mystery: The Nick Hoffman Mysteries

I belong to a gay mystery group on Facebook. I get the best recommendations from them, and introductions to authors that I wasn’t aware of. The most recent is Lev Raphael, author of (among other work) the Nick Hoffman Mysteries. The first is called Let’s Get Criminal. There are seven or eight in the series, I think.

Nick Hoffman is an assistant professor of English and composition at the State University of Michigan, a poorly disguised version of Michigan State University. His partner, Stefan, is a successful novelist who is the writer-in-residence at the university; Nick got his job because he was Stefan’s partner. He doesn’t have tenure, and his position in the department is somewhat precarious as a result.

Nick keeps stumbling across dead bodies – the victims are usually connected to his department – and gets dragged into the investigations in spite of his reluctance. The mysteries themselves are entertaining, but what I enjoy most about the books is the academic setting. Raphael’s descriptions of college and departmental politics are right on the nose. He also makes a lot of literary references, which I like. For non-academics it might be too much, but not for me.

The other reason I like these is that Nick and Stefan have been together 15 years. There have been bumps along the way, but I love the depiction of a well-established gay couple who still can’t get enough of each other.

It gives me hope for Pete and Jamie. 😀

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “New-to-me gay mystery: The Nick Hoffman Mysteries

  1. Hi: There are actually eight books in the series and I’m glad you’re enjoying what you’ve read, though I’m not attempting to “disguise” MSU at all. I’m freely inventing a university with some aspects of that school, just as my town of Michiganapolis has some similarities with East Lansing and Lansing but isn’t either one. Here’s a link to the newest book, which ups the action to suspense: http://www.levraphael.com/assault.html Have fun!

  2. Alex

    I have read the first book of the series and I have to say I like Jamie and Pete a lot more because they are more personal. I really like series and hoped to find a new one but I think I will not read the next books. It was also difficult for me as a German to understand the academic setting. For me it was not worth the price of 5 Euros for 200 pages.

    • I’m sure the academic scene in the US is quite different. I’m glad you like Jamie and Pete!

      • Wie Schade! Hier in den Vereinigten Staaten finden Leser Nick und Stefan ganz toll, echt, und ziemlich “personal.” Über Geschmack lässt sich nicht streiten. Sie könnten meine anderen Bücher auf Deutsch genießen, aber vielleicht nicht. Ich habe viele glückliche Leser in Deutschland auf meinen Lesereise gehabt, aber mann kann nicht jeden erfreuen. So sieht dass aus. 🙂

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