Format Hardcover
Publication Date 06/04/24
ISBN 9781639366507
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 368

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Hall of Mirrors

A Novel

John Copenhaver

When a popular mystery novelist dies suspiciously, his writing partner must untangle the author’s connection to a serial killer in award-winning John Copenhaver’s new novel set in 1950s McCarthy-era Washington, DC.

In May 1954, Lionel Kane witnesses his apartment engulfed in flames with his lover and writing partner, Roger Raymond, inside. Police declare it a suicide due to gas ignition, but Lionel refuses to believe Roger was suicidal.

A month earlier, Judy Nightingale and Philippa Watson—the tenacious and troubled heroines from The Savage Kind—attend a lecture by Roger and, being eager fans, befriend him. He has just been fired from his day job at the State Department, another victim of the Lavender Scare, an anti-gay crusade led by figures like Senator Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover, claiming homosexuals are security risks. Little do Judy and Philippa know, but their obsessive manhunt of the past several years has fueled the flames of his dismissal.

They have been tracking their old enemy Adrian Bogdan, a spy and vicious serial killer protected by powerful forces in the government. He’s on the rampage again, and the police are ignoring his crimes. Frustrated, they send their research to the media and their favorite mystery writer anonymously, hoping to inspire someone, somehow, to publish on the crimes—anything to draw Bogdan out. But has their persistence brought deadly forces to the writing team behind their most beloved books?

In the wake of Roger’s death, Lionel searches for clues, but Judy and Philippa threaten his quest, concealing dark secrets of their own. As the crimes of the past and present converge, danger mounts, and the characters race to uncover the truth, even if it means bending their moral boundaries to stop a killer.

John Copenhaver is the recipient of an Artist Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for four consecutive years. In 2015, he launched and continues to maintain a crime fiction column for the Lambda Literary website called “Blacklight.” His short fiction has appeared in Glitterwolf Magazine, Roanoke Review, and Gaslight, the Lambda Emerging Voices Anthology. He won the 2015 Larry Neal Writers’ award for short fiction, and was first runner-up in the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest and the Narrative Magazine Winter Story Contest. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"The second in the Nightingale trilogy, following The Savage Kind, is a mystery, but the historical elements add complexity as the author explores issues of passing as straight or white, concealing an identity at a time of physical and emotional violence toward LGBTQIA+ and Black people." Library Journal
"With Hall of Mirrors, Copenhaver deftly toes the line between harmless voyeurism and the type of subversive curiosity that turns fans into predators. You float through the story, an unseen guest watching everything unfold, noting all the beautiful period details that anchor the narrative in the 1950s - brass bar carts, bold wallpaper - until all at once, you realize that this perverse kind of observation may have led to the death of an innocent man. If Architectural Digest started a True Crime Beat, Copenhaver would be the magazine’s star writer." Ava Barry, author of Double Exposure
"A searing portrait of a treacherous era and the extraordinary characters who navigated through it at their peril. Hall of Mirrors is equal parts stylish noir and heart-breaking testament. I couldn't put it down." Carol Goodman, two-time Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of The Bones of the Story
"The very best mysteries blend reality and imagination into a cocktail where no single ingredient overpowers another. In his delicious new novel, HALL OF MIRRORS, John Copenhaver stirs together a twisted criminal and two pairs of lovers in the glamorous atmosphere of 1950s Washington DC. Indulge yourself!”

Sujata Massey, internationally bestselling author of The Mistress of Bhatia House
Praise for The Savage Kind:

"John Copenhaver’s dark sparkler of a second novel, The Savage Kind, tantalizes from its first pages. With rich period detail and a sneaky subversion of storied noir tropes, it brings to life the delicious intricacies of teen female friendship and the slippery line between identification and desire, between desire and desperation." Megan Abbott, award-winning author of The Turnout
“The nervy teenage duo at the center of John Copenhaver’s delicious trilogy opener each bring loneliness to a friendship that burns with intensity from the get-go. Their fascination—or is it obsession?—with each other, and with crime, begins after the death of a fellow student and the disappearance of a beloved pulp-fiction-loving teacher. To expose the darkness and rot beneath his tale, Copenhaver peppers it with literary allusion—Greek tragedy abounds, as do allusions to Wuthering Heights, classic poetry and contemporary detective fiction.” Sarah Weinman, The New York Times Book Review
“A gripping coming-of-age story set in 1948 propels the character-driven The Savage Kind, which explores the unresolved sexual attraction between two teenage outcasts, quiet Philippa Watson and opinionated Judy Peabody. John Copenhaver's second novel (after the Macavity Award-winning Dodging and Burning) captures the awkwardness of teenagers grappling with identity and a need to belong.” Oline Cogdill, Shelf Awareness
"Wow. The Savage Kind is evocative, seductive and rivetingly creepy. John Copenhaver proves he is a brilliant talent, and this gorgeously unsettling story of power, control, gaslighting, and murder is not to be missed.” Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author of Her Perfect Life
"Clever girls with dark leanings. The Savage Kind is a new take on femme fatales in a dazzling 1940s noir wrapper. Copenhaver will have you guessing till the very last page.” Alma Katsu, author of Red Widow and The Deep
“Copenhaver’s tale unfolds via breathless diary entries from both girls, strung together by an anonymous narrator in 1963. A profusion of devastating twists complements the pulp-noir tone and keeps readers on tenterhooks, and a tentative romance between Judy and Philippa adds depth. Megan Abbott fans, take note.” Publishers Weekly