Tag Archives: bathhouse setting

Review & Blog Tour: A Body In The Bathhouse Guest Post from Brad Shreve

A Body In The Bathhouse | Brad Shreve

Mitch O’Reilly Mysteries #1

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: UmeWorks

BodyInBathhouseCover.png

Blurb

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall.

After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break.

A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

 

A Little History About Bathhouse Culture

Some people have been curious why I wrote a mystery that takes place in a bathhouse. The answer to that is simple. It seems, unlike many authors who tell me they struggle to come up with titles to their novels, I have the opposite problem. The titles hit me and then I must work a story around it. Not the easiest route, but it’s what works for me.

I don’t know when or where the title A Body in a Bathhouse hit me, but I knew right away I had to use it.

Once I decided to write a mystery involving a bathhouse that’s where the fun began. I learned about the history of bathhouses and bathhouse culture. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. The history is long. The early Greeks and Romans made public baths part of their culture around 20 BC. Some were large enough to hold 600 people. But those aren’t the types of baths I’m talking about, and I don’t have enough space for 2,000 years of history. 

Gay bathhouses showed up in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. Many old traditional Turkish baths built small private rooms for gay men to use. American’s first police raid of a bathhouse was in 1903 in New York City and 23 men were arrested and 7 were sentenced to long-term prison sentences.  

For decades bathhouses were a safer, though not safe, place for gay men to meet others for sex. 

Modern gay bathhouses sprouted up in the 1950s. These supplied not only a sexual outlet, but social as well. Men could be themselves around other gay men, with no fear of blackmail or harassment. When men had sex, it was without the need for secrecy or fear of judgement. There was still the fear of raids and arrests, but they were safer than public parks and restrooms. 

Gay bathhouses hit their heyday in the late 1960s and 1970s when they became fully licenses business. With the advent of the gay liberation movement, many became the hub of the gay community, offering pride events, voter registration, and plenty of entertainment. Bette Midler got her start performing in bathhouses. One time she was accompanied on the piano by Barry Manilow. “Bathhouse Betty” performed at the Continental Baths that opened in 1968 and included cabaret shows, disco dancing, an Olympic size swimming pool, held 1,000 men, and, of course, had plenty of small private rooms.

The glory days of bathhouses ended in the 1980s with the advent of the AIDS epidemic. During the 1970s, there were as many as 30 gay bathhouses in San Francisco. When the epidemic led the city to outlaw club sexual activity in 1984, the last one within the city closed in 1987. Before the epidemic there were about 200 bathhouses nationwide; today there are less than 70.  

One challenge of bathhouses today is after the 1980s they were no longer social centers and reverted to nothing more than safe places for anonymous sex. With the advent of the internet and applications like Grindr, they are less needed, and clubs close every year. Hell, sometimes all you need is to catch another fella’s eye while in the supermarket. Something unheard of not long ago. 

I cover much of this in A Body in a Bathhouse though in a more entertaining way than this history lesson. Today’s bathhouses know if they continue to only hand out towels at a small fee for men looking for sex they will not survive. To continue, they will need to return to the days of being a social and cultural center. Many clubs are making the effort, how many will succeed only time will tell.

Blog Tour

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 About The Author

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.

He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.

In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.

He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.

Website/Newsletter Sign Up:  www.bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor


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Book Blitz: A Body In The Bathhouse by Brad Shreve

A Body In The Bathhouse | Brad Shreve

Mitch O’Reilly Mysteries #1

RBBanner-58.jpg

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Universal Link

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 Length: 65,000 words approx.

Cover Design: UmeWorks

BodyInBathhouseCover.png

Blurb

On the verge of bankruptcy, private investigator, Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way, while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall.

After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to operating his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break.

A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.

As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, charismatic bathhouse operator, Trent Nakos, enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.

Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.

Excerpt

Trance music, which I hate, blared into the streets from the club. Since I hadn’t been dancing in West Hollywood since college, walking into Euphoria was surreal. The faces were different, but nothing had changed.

The bartender yelled over the music, “What can I get for you?”

“A Rolling Rock,” I yelled back. I gave him my credit card and told him I’d run a tab.

Near the bar was a platform where a go-go boy was dancing. He was young, scrawny, pasty white, and had a red mohawk. The crowd paid no attention, and he frowned. I made a mental note to tip him on my way out.

Further back in the bar, another dancer dominated the crowd’s attention. I recognized his rich, dark, perfectly defined body from Club Silver Lake’s security videos. What got him the most attention was what he was packing below. His thong had to have been custom made. It wasn’t possible for him to fit into something off the shelf.

“Is that Christian?” I yelled to the bartender.

“If you’re asking, you must be from out of town, or you don’t get out much,” he hollered back.

“Touché,” I replied. “What’s his usual?”

“A tequila shot with a Corona chaser.”

“Set them up for me for his next break,” I said, thinking it might be necessary to loosen him up before questioning.

I grabbed the three drinks—his tequila and chaser, and my beer—and moved to a table near Christian. He rolled his magnificent stomach, then turned and shook his bubble butt at the crowd. Cheers drowned the music as he played with his honey-colored thong—pulling it down just enough to throw them into a frenzy, then raising it again to groans of disappointment. His face was rugged yet boyish with his wide smile and deep dimples. The bucks were flying.

Christian stepped off the platform as I downed the last of my beer. I grabbed his drinks and rushed behind him, through the rows of sweaty men, to the back of the bar. I was too slow. He entered his dressing room before I could catch him.

I knocked.

The door opened. “What?”

“I ordered these for you.”

He took the tequila shot from my hand and downed it, then grabbed the beer. “Thanks,” he snapped and closed the door.

I knocked again.

The door flew open. “Thanks for the drinks,” he shouted, “but I’m on break and need my space.”

I held out my hand to shake. “Hi, Christian. I’m Mitch O’Reilly. I–—”

I narrowly escaped him cutting off my hand as he slammed the door shut.

I was shocked that he actually opened the door when I knocked again, and I stuck out my foot so he couldn’t slam it again. “Not to disappoint you, but I’m not here as a fan. I’m the private investigator hired to look into Victor Verboom’s murder.”

He took the business card I held out and tossed to the floor. The room was nothing more than a closet with a single wooden chair, and a bookcase stacked with clothing.

“What do you want?”

“You were at Club Silver Lake the night he was murdered.”

“Yeah. What of it?” His voice was smoky.

“I’m meeting with all the suspects.”

He turned his head quickly. “I’m a suspect?”

“You were there, weren’t you?”

“Uh, yes.” He looked back and forth through the club and took a step back. “I’ll put some clothes on, and we’ll go to my car. Meet me out front.”

I wasn’t on the sidewalk long before he trotted out wearing jeans and a white tank top. He motioned me to follow him to a light blue Mustang. It looked new. “When I can’t get any peace in there, I come out here on my breaks.”

“Nice car. Not a bad ride for a nightclub dancer. You must do pretty well on that platform.”

“Screw the car. What do you want?”

 About The Author

After growing up in Michigan and North Carolina, Brad Shreve criss-crossed the country while working in the hotel industry. In addition to working in hotels as a bellman, front desk clerk, and reservation call center director, he’s managed coffee houses, waited tables, sold potato chips off a truck and even hocked pre-burial funeral plans.

He credits Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak for developing his interest in art and storytelling. He’d spend hours on the floor sketching and painting and writing stories. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George gave him his first inklings that he’d like to be a novelist someday.

In addition to perpetually thinking of how to kill people, he’s a proud dad, a beach bum, and coffee house squatter.

He currently lives in the Los Angeles South Bay with his husband, Maurice.

Website/Newsletter Sign Up:  www.bradshreve.com

Facebook Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/bradshreve

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bradshreveauthor


Giveaway

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Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions