Andrea Speed Looks At The Little Death

“There was a lot in his story that didnt make sense, but I was still intrigued. Okay, mainly by those rock-hard pecs barely constrained by the taut fabric of his T-shirt and the noticeable bulge in the crotch of his jeans like he was trying to smuggle a salami through customs. But hey, I’m only human.” – The Little Death

  If I’m known at all, it’s for my Infected series for Dreamspinner Press, where an ex-cop turned detective tries to solve crimes and keep his sanity, since he’s also infected with a virus that makes him turn into a lion. While it’s fairly hard boiled, with the protagonist being macho and gifted with a flippant sense of humor, it’s not quite a hard boiled detective tale in the classic sense. This is where my novella The Little Death comes in.

Released last year, it’s my direct homage to Raymond Chandler, the father of all hard boiled detectives. Only the detective in the Little Death, Jake Falconer, is gay. There isn’t a femme fatale, there’s a homme fatale, but everything else is still the same:  he’s a two fisted, hard drinking sad sack, a knight in tarnished armor, trying to do right in the world while constantly stumbling into the wrong. And always embracing a snarky sense of humor.

Heat was just what I expected: noisy, hot, filled with wannabes and never-weres, posers who thought all they needed were designer jeans and too-tight shirts to make up for their fatal lack of personality. I should have asked if it worked, ’cause I could use all the help I could get.

Jake does have a love interest. An ex-boyfriend named Kyle Gomez, who is, of all things, a cop. Not only that, but a squeaky clean do-gooder kind, a Boy Scout, the only honest cop in a precinct full of dirty ones, Jake’s polar opposite. And he’s the guy he can’t forget, even though he knows they’re doomed as a couple. But when has love ever been logical?

Read an excerpt 

He was genuinely worried about me? Wow. But I dont know why I was surprised; he was always a soft touch. Cops were supposed to be hard and jaded, but Kyle was a dough boy, soft and squishy, full of marshmallow fluff. He’d been on the job for three years, but he still believed in people. I had no idea how he did that. After a moment, he asked, “Why did you go to Heat?”

“Tryin to trace Sanders last steps.”

“Howd that go?”

I heard something in his voice, a sort of flat tone, and I studied him, unable to keep from smirking. “You jealous?”

“No. Why the hell would I be jealous?” he snapped.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit his jealousy made me happy. So he still cared, even though he dumped me.


Writing Jake’s escapades as he searches for his client’s missing twin, a simple case which quickly devolves into murder and a secret blackmail ring tied to the city’s biggest villain, was a lot of fun. I’d never claim to capture Chandler’s voice, because there’s no way I could – I’m not that good of a writer. But I hope I captured the tone. It was a lot of fun, and I let it be known that if readers like him and Kyle as much as I did, I would write another Jake story down the pike. So if you check it out and like it, let me know! And maybe Jake Falconer, Kyle Gomez, and Jake’s bartender will return for further hard boiled adventures in Echo City.



He ran around Heat, cutting down a side alley between it and a closed Chinese takeout. I followed, but more warily, as it seemed like the perfect setting for a mugging or a gang rape or a mugging during a gang rape. But I had my gun, so at least it was unlikely to happen to me.



Check out the rest of The Little Death here:

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One Response to “Andrea Speed Looks At The Little Death”

  1. Sarah says:

    Read this a while back and loved it – would be fantastic if you were to write a sequel 🙂

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