Created by Katrina Carrasco
All of a sudden, female operatives for turn-of-the-century (the last one) detective agencies are hot.
But some are hotter than others.
Particularly bi-sexual “half-Mexican” ALMA ROSALES, a square peg in the round hole that the Pinkerton Detective Agency had already started to become by 1887, when she was dismissed for “bad behaviour” and for going undercover without permission — as a man.
So what’s a poor girl who’s really into crossdressing to do?
She goes to work for sexy, seductive Delphine Beaumond, who runs a West Coast smuggling ring and hires Alma to find out who’s ripped off her Port Townsend, Washington stash of a hefty amount of opium. Disguised as a dockworker, Alma muscles her way into the local mob, in one of 2018’s sexiest (and widely acclaimed) debuts, The Best Bad Things.
But has Alma really gone over to the other side?
The book’s a shimmering miasma of shifting alliances, and potential double-crosses both criminal (Who is she really working for?) and sexual (Will she?). The author’s done her research, and delivered one hell of a debut, a twisty-turny potboiler that also kicks a bunch of gender stereotypes up in the air, letting them settle where they will.
If you like your Western mysteries dark and violent like Deadwood, this is a perfect read. Alma Rosales Is an ex-Pinkerton agent on the hunt for stolen opium. She disguises herself as a man to investigate on the docks and reports to her lover, Delphine Beaumond. But it’s getting harder and harder for Alma to know who to trust.
- ““Carrasco succeeds in coupling a feminist historical that maintains period plausibility with an exploratory queer narrative rarely seen in the crime genre. Even readers uninterested in Alma’s identity journey will be impressed by her intelligence and social acumen, and drawn by the constantly shifting politics and well-timed reveals of the plot. Breath-catching pacing, tantalizingly rough-and-tumble characters who are somehow both distasteful and deeply relatable, palpable erotic energy, and powerful storytelling make this a standout.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
- “A brazen, brawny, sexy standout of a historical thrill ride, The Best Bad Things is full of unforgettable characters and insatiable appetites. I was riveted. Painstakingly researched and pulsing with adrenaline, Carrasco’s debut will leave you thirsty for more.”
— Lyndsay Faye
- “Carrasco’s first novel explores every nook and cranny of what it is to be two-natured. Male and female, cop and criminal, marginalized and sovereign, best and bad . . . Readers looking for sexy, dangerous action unencumbered by apologetics will love this book. Carrasco is an author to watch.”
— Library Journal (starred review)
- “If you like your Western mysteries dark and violent like Deadwood, this is a perfect read.”
— Liberty Hardy, Pardners in Crime: The 10 Best Western Mysteries and Thrillers (Novel Suspects, January 2020)