Created by P.R. Ellis
Pseudonym of Peter/Peggy Ellis
She used to be Jim Frame, a cop (a detective constable, in fact, for the Thames Valley Police), she used to be married, she used to be a man. Now she’s JASMINE FRAME, she’s single, she’s working freelance. And she’s on her way to becoming a woman.
As far as I can tell, this series, starting with Painted Ladies in 2013, was the first to feature a trans private eye.
There’s an agenda here, of course, but there’s little preaching. Nor are punches pulled, however, which may make more than a few readers a little uneasy. Then again, we also get some solid murder mysteries and an eye-opening progress report spread over five novels, as the rookie P.I moves through the various stages of gender transformation, struggling to establish a new identity both as a woman and as a private investigator. The series starts with “Jasmine pulled on her white knickers and tucked herself in” in Painted Ladies to a post-op Jasmine who relishes the “pleasure to accept het lover’s penis into her body” in 2020’s Impersonator).
And naturally her cases touch on all sorts of gender and trans-gender-related issues, things like going back to work for her former boss, DCI Sloane, to help track down a knife-wielding maniac who’s been targeting transvestites, being asked to identify a transvestite murder victim or getting dragged into a homicide investigation at a transgender convention. She even picks up a boyfriend along the way.
Jasmine makes for an engaging and credible protagonist, and her journey, both physical and emotionally, is a compelling one for readers willing to make the leap. Some of the writing’s a little bit clunky in the early books, but it improves as it progresses, and things move at a brisk-enough pace to pull even hesitant readers along.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With the publication of Painted Ladies in 2013, retired teacher and a Green Party councillor Leominster in Leominster, amarket town in Herefordshire, England, Peter Ellis, came out as transgender–after secretly dressing as a woman for 30 years. Before that, only his wife Lou and a few very close friends have known until now of his alter-ego. In a 2022 reissue of Painted Ladies, Ellis wrote “I have now identified as non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid, whatever you want to call it. I answer to Peter, Penny or just P. I’m not too bothered what pronouns people use so long as they respect my wish to dress and appear as I wish.”
- Painted Ladies (2013) | Kindle it!
- Bodies by Design (2015) | Kindle it!
- The Bride’s Club Murder (2017) | Kindle it!
- Molly’s Boudoir (2018) | Kindle it!
- Impersonator (2020) | Kindle it!
- Discovering Jasmine (2015) | Kindle it!
- Murder in Doubt (2016) | Kindle it!
- Trained By Murder: A Jasmine Frame Collection (2018) | Kindle it!
These stories all featuring a young Jim Frame on the first tentative steps to discovering who he/she really is.
- Under Electric Candlelight
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.