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Dodging and Burning
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Pegasus Books 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
A lurid crime scene photo of a beautiful woman arrives on mystery writer Bunny Prescott's doorstep with no return address—and it's not the first time she's seen it.Fifty-five years earlier, in the summer of 1945, Ceola Bliss is a lonely twelve-year-old tomboy, mourning the loss of her brother, Robbie, who was declared missing in the Pacific. She tries to piece together his life by rereading his favorite pulp detective story "A Date with Death" and spending time with his best friend, Jay Greenwood. One unforgettable August day, Jay leads Ceola and Bunny to a stretch of woods where he found a dead woman, but when they arrive, the body is gone. They soon discover a local woman named Lily Vellum is missing and begin to piece together the threads of her murder, starting with the photograph Jay took of her abandoned body.As Ceola gets swept up playing girl detective, Bunny becomes increasingly skeptical of Jay. She discovers a series of clues that place doubt on the identity of the corpse and Jay's story of how he found it, and journeys to Washington, D.C. in search of Lily. In D.C., Bunny is forced to recognize the brutal truth about her dear friend, and sets off a series of events that will bring tragedy to Jay and decades of estrangement between her and Ceola.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/06/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781681777153
ASIN:
B074D4S7XP
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

John Copenhaver. (2018). Dodging and Burning. Pegasus Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

John Copenhaver. 2018. Dodging and Burning. Pegasus Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

John Copenhaver, Dodging and Burning. Pegasus Books, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

John Copenhaver. Dodging and Burning. Pegasus Books, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:47:17
Date Updated:
Mar 03, 2020 17:24:59
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: John Copenhaver won the 2019 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery for Dodging and Burning and the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Best Mystery for The Savage Kind. He is a co-founder of Queer Crime Writers and an at-large board member of Mystery Writers of America. He cohosts on the House of Mystery Radio Show. He's a faculty mentor in the University of Nebraska's Low-Residency MFA program and teaches at VCU in Richmond, VA.

      • name: John Copenhaver
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2018-03-06T00:00:00-05:00
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title
Dodging and Burning
fullDescription
A lurid crime scene photo of a beautiful woman arrives on mystery writer Bunny Prescott's doorstep with no return address—and it's not the first time she's seen it.Fifty-five years earlier, in the summer of 1945, Ceola Bliss is a lonely twelve-year-old tomboy, mourning the loss of her brother, Robbie, who was declared missing in the Pacific. She tries to piece together his life by rereading his favorite pulp detective story "A Date with Death" and spending time with his best friend, Jay Greenwood. One unforgettable August day, Jay leads Ceola and Bunny to a stretch of woods where he found a dead woman, but when they arrive, the body is gone. They soon discover a local woman named Lily Vellum is missing and begin to piece together the threads of her murder, starting with the photograph Jay took of her abandoned body.As Ceola gets swept up playing girl detective, Bunny becomes increasingly skeptical of Jay. She discovers a series of clues that place doubt on the identity of the corpse and Jay's story of how he found it, and journeys to Washington, D.C. in search of Lily. In D.C., Bunny is forced to recognize the brutal truth about her dear friend, and sets off a series of events that will bring tragedy to Jay and decades of estrangement between her and Ceola.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Erica Wright, author of 'The Red Chameleon' and 'The Granite Moth'
      • content: John Copenhaver's bold mystery confronts the consequences of love and war with unflinching candor. The characters may twist themselves up in lies, but the writing never does, offering a piercing glimpse into small town taboos. This novel flirts with and ultimately subverts the expectations of pulp fiction to create something wholly original—David Lynch meets Harper Lee while she's having drinks with Truman Capote. Nothing is as expected in this America of the 1940s when men were expected to be men and women were expected to be wives. Dodging and Burning is a memorable, brilliant debut.
      • premium: False
      • source: Ayelet Waldman, author of 'Love & Treasure' and 'A Really Good Day'
      • content: Dodging and Burning is a beautifully rendered coming of age story, a compelling exploration of a young man's struggle with his sexual identity amid the evils of war, and an impeccably executed crime novel that keeps you guessing and ultimately strikes a deep and resounding emotional cord.
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal (Starred Review, Debut of the Month)
      • content: Copenhaver makes a powerful debut with this unconventional novel that mixes a coming-of-age tale with a puzzling mystery and a haunting portrait of the experiences of the LGBTQ community in the 1940s. Admirers of William Kent Krueger's Edgar Award–winning stand-alone, Ordinary Grace, may appreciate this candid story.
      • premium: False
      • source: Stop, You're Killing Me!
      • content: A photograph of a dead girl prompts some savvy amateur detective work in post-World War II Virginia, but Dodging and Burning ultimately explores deeper mysteries as well: about who we are, who we want to be, and how the bonds of friendship—and of betrayal—can tie people together forever. Copenhaver's first novel also focuses on storytelling, on the stories we tell others, and ourselves, to survive, all of it brilliantly interwoven, with twists mounting even in the final pages. A superior debut—suspenseful, substantial.
      • premium: False
      • source: Art Taylor, Agatha Award–winning author of On The Road with Del & Louise
      • content: A riveting debut. The intricate plot melds a coming-of-age story, a coming-out tale and a mystery with realistic characters who want to be accepted for themselves. The brisk pace is augmented by the character studies and an in-depth look at gay rights. Gay and lesbian mysteries have been published for decades. Columnist and short story writer Copenhaver brings a new voice to this genre with Dodging and Burning.
      • premium: False
      • source: Oline Cogdill, Associated Press
      • content: I'm a big fan of John Copenhaver's elegant work. He's a sophisticated stylist who can break your heart right before he turns devilish. Highly recommended.
      • premium: False
      • source: Luis Alberto Urrea, author of 'Into the Beautiful North' and 'The Water Museum'
      • content: Copenhaver beautifully renders the lives of four young people through alternating lenses of photographs, letters, diary entries, notes, and other documents.
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Independent Review of Books
      • content: The mystery also becomes an examination of gay life in the 1940s. The setting is well realized, and, interestingly, in its diction and syntax, the book reads as if it might itself have been written in the 1940s.
      • premium: False
      • source: Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice)
      • content: LGBTQ crime-writing has its heroes. John Copenhaver lists many of them. He may have to add himself to that list now.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred)
      • content: A masterwork of tone and voice. Dodging and Burning will linger in the minds of fans for a long time; a beacon for voices too often stifled, both then and now.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from January 15, 2018
        Complex and multilayered, Copenhaver’s outstanding debut combines a murder mystery with a coming-of-age tale. In 2000, Bunny Prescott, a mystery author living in Washington, D.C., receives an old crime scene photo in the mail from an anonymous source. The photo, which she recognizes, moves her to get back in touch with a person she knew long ago, Ceola Bliss. Flash back to the summer of 1945 in Royal Oak, Va. Jay Greenwood, a wounded soldier and avid photographer, shows Bunny, then 18, and Ceola—the 12-year-old sister of his best friend, Robbie, who died in WWII—a picture he took of a dead woman he found in the woods outside Royal Oak. When the three go look for the body, they find only a pair of bloody shoes. Jay’s connecting the photo to a missing woman in a nearby town raises more questions that Jay is hesitant to answer. Copenhaver’s darkly lyrical exploration into the consequences of war—and prejudice—in small-town America will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned. Agent: Annie Bomke, Annie Bomke Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        January 1, 2018
        Virginia, 1945. Young photographer Jay Greenwood arrives for an appointment to photograph a young woman, only to find her lying dead in a forest clearing. Quickly he photographs the corpse and, hearing a noise in the woods, flees the scene. Later he returns with friends, 12-year-old Ceola and the wealthy Bunny, only to find the body gone! Whodunit and then who removed the corpse? Quixotically, the three decide to solve the two-pronged mystery themselves. It's subsequently revealed that Jay is gay and that he and Ceola's older brother, missing in action in the war, had been lovers. Thus, the mystery also becomes an examination of gay life in the 1940s, a story that is arguably more interesting than the mystery itself, which is unnecessarily diffuse. The setting, however, is well realized, and, interestingly, in its diction and syntax, the book reads as if it might itself have been written in the 1940s. Though motivations are sometimes shaky, and the ending requires a strenuous suspension of disbelief, the story is interesting enough to hold readers' attention to its problematic end.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from February 1, 2018

        Fifty-five years after the events that turned their lives upside down, Bunny Prescott writes to her childhood friend Ceola Bliss, asking if she also received a photograph of a murdered woman. In alternating chapters, the two women recount what happened in the summer of 1945 in a small Virginia town. Mourning the loss of her brother who had gone down with his ship in the Pacific, 12-year-old Ceola spends time with his best friend, Jay Greenwood, who shows Ceola a photo of a woman he found dead in the woods. Bunny tags along with them, and the trio discover the body has disappeared. While Ceola wants to play detective, the slightly older Bunny suspects there's something more happening. Family secrets, fears, and hatreds are uncovered, and events escalate until they explode in violence. VERDICT Copenhaver, who writes a crime fiction column for the Lambda Literary website, makes a powerful debut with this unconventional novel that mixes a coming- of-age tale with a puzzling mystery and a haunting portrait of the experiences of the LGBTQ community in the 1940s. Admirers of William Kent Krueger's Edgar Award-winning stand-alone, Ordinary Grace, may appreciate this candid story.--Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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shortDescription
A lurid crime scene photo of a beautiful woman arrives on mystery writer Bunny Prescott's doorstep with no return address—and it's not the first time she's seen it.Fifty-five years earlier, in the summer of 1945, Ceola Bliss is a lonely twelve-year-old tomboy, mourning the loss of her brother, Robbie, who was declared missing in the Pacific. She tries to piece together his life by rereading his favorite pulp detective story "A Date with Death" and spending time with his best friend, Jay Greenwood. One unforgettable August day, Jay leads Ceola and Bunny to a stretch of woods where he found a dead woman, but when they arrive, the body is gone. They soon discover a local woman named Lily Vellum is missing and begin to piece together the threads of her murder, starting with the photograph Jay took of her abandoned body.As Ceola gets swept up playing girl detective, Bunny becomes increasingly skeptical of Jay. She discovers a series of clues that place doubt on the identity of...
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