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Year of the Rat is now an audiobook!



Long Beach, California 1996. Despite having little obvious experience, bartender Dom Reilly is hired as an investigator for the Freedom Agenda, a not-for-profit justice project. His first case involves a twelve-year-old homicide, in which a teenage girl was viciously murdered. The boy in prison for her murder, Danny Osborne, is seemingly exonerated by DNA evidence but the authorities refuse to accept it as proof. Dom and his boss, Lydia Gonsalez, slowly put together an iron-clad case, one the district attorney can’t ignore. As they do so, each puts themselves at risk-threatening not only their personal reputations, but their lives.

Runner-up Rainbow Awards

Narrated by Charles Hall


A Mean Season Releasing December 16th

The next book in the Dom Reilly series…

Dom Reilly is back. In this follow up to Year of the Rat, Dom helps clear three men wrongly convicted of rape while also following a pet project—the twenty-year-old case of a man accused of killing his lover in 1976. Meanwhile, Dom gets wind that someone is looking for him. A private detective from Chicago. Concerned that he might be putting his lover Ronnie in danger, he begins to make plans to disappear. Forever.

Praise for Year of the Rat

“5+ stars for “Year of the Rat”, and we can only hope that Marshall Thornton gives this series as many wonderful books as his stellar Boystown series.” – Sinfully Good Gay Book Reviews

“It’s a mystery you can’t put down. You’ve got the good, the bad, the ugly and the innocent all trying to fight for different reasons. Most are bad and some good. And it’s a page turner. You never know what’s lurking around the next corner, who’s in cahoots with who, and how it’s going to end. The perfect mystery. I can’t wait for book 2.” – Becca, Lovebytes

Get it here.

Never Rest Re-Issued

Nineteen-year-old Jake Margate has had terminal leukemia for five years and is ready to let go but his mother has other ideas. She’s found a rogue doctor pursuing radical treatments and takes her son to a remote institute where he does seem to get better…at first. But then the treatment begins to fail in strange ways just as Jake begins to fall for another of the test subjects. Slowly, he realizes he’s been turned into something truly horrible. Three-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author Thornton has written a contemporary queer twist on the Frankenstein monster story.

“This book is insane. Holy cow, I love it.” Becca, Love Bytes

Also available in audiobook, coming soon to paperback.


My Latest Book!

In the second Wyandot County Mystery, things are still not going well for Henry Milch. While stuck in Northern Lower Michigan helping his Nana Cole recover from a stroke, he learns that her favorite pastor has been killed. When Nana Cole asks him to investigate, he refuses—until she offers him money. Money that will help him get back to real life in West Hollywood. That sets Henry off on a journey that includes: off-key choir rehearsals, pole barns, bad haircuts, a hunky doctor and too many get-well-soon casseroles.


Honorable Mention Rainbow Awards!

“A frothy delight!” Publishers Weekly

After more than two decades together, Andrew Lane and Miles Kettering-Lane are going through a nasty divorce. Not only are they unraveling their relationship but also their business—Miles once had a popular home show on cable with Andrew serving as his producer/manager—the failure of which they blame on each other. Now, they’d be happy to never, ever see each other again. But the daughter they both adore, Kelly, announces she’s getting married, and that means one very important thing: a wedding.

Thrown together, at event after event—meeting the in-laws, planning the wedding, throwing an elaborate engagement party—the two clash over everything until, their future in-laws, Bradley and Pudge Lincoln and Terry and Lissa Collins, try to take over the entire wedding. The Lincoln-Collinses’ are very wealthy, to quote Pudge, “People think we’re in the one percent but that’s so embarrassing. We’re barely in the two percent!”

Andrew and Miles realize they have to work together in order to compete with the overbearing Lincoln-Collinses’ and give their daughter the wedding she deserves. Along the way, they realize things just might not be over between them.

Get it here!

Coming March 28th

Long Beach, California 1996. Despite having little obvious experience, bartender Dom Reilly is hired as an investigator for the Freedom Agenda, a not-for-profit justice project. His first case involves a twelve-year-old homicide, in which a teenage girl was viciously murdered. The boy in prison for her murder, Danny Osborne, the imprisoned young man convicted of her murder, is seemingly exonerated by DNA evidence but the authorities refuse to accept it as proof. 

Dom and his boss, Lydia Gonzales, slowly put together an iron-clad case, one the district attorney can’t ignore. As they do so, each puts themselves at risk—threatening not only their personal reputations, but their lives.

Available for presale HERE!

Coming on Christmas Day

The award-winning series continues!

The 5th book in the Lambda Award-winning Pinx Video Mystery series arrives on Christmas Day!

It’s Easter 1993, and the gang is going to Las Vegas for Angie’s surprise wedding. Noah is attempting to recover from a bad bout of the flu–and his disastrous Valentine’s Day, and is not all that excited to meet his new relatives: Cotton Preston and his three grown daughters. They’re staying at Lucky Days casino, a hotel with notorious mob connections… and family connections. It’s only then that Noah and his friends realize his future step-father might just be a mob lawyer. Things get worse from there with a mysterious appearing (and disappearing) suitcase full of cash, an aunt who’s not an aunt, a crazed redhead and… Wilma Wanderly. 

Praise for Late Fees

“Thornton uses pacing, dialogue, and camp to masterful effect, a solid artist of genre fiction who knows how to keep the reader burning through the pages.” Andrew J. Peters, OutInPrint
“There are very few characters that I let get under my skin, but Marshall Thornton makes Noah seem so real in dealing with his personal issues that it just shreds my heart. I highly recommend this exceptional series. I’m not sure what’s planned for Noah Valentine’s future, but I for one hope that there’s more to come.” Maryann, The Novel Approach

Pre-Order Here!

Available in ebook and Kindle Unlimited.

On sale beginning November 4th

From November 4th to November 11th, Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries will be on sale for 99 cents.


Marshall Thornton’sBoystown is an extremely satisfying read: it’s gritty with a strong lead and a lot of subtle character development accompanied by great sex scenes.  — 4 Divas, Kris at Dark Divas

“A pretty terrific set of mystery stories. Those of you who like their detectives hard-boiled, cynical and downbeat will love Nick Nowak.” — 4 1/2 Stars, Jenre at Three Dollar Bill Reviews

“Thornton’s writing is very tight indeed, spare and economical, and beautifully edited… He’s clearly an author of skill and strong dedication to research. This is a collection of stories which offers a good deal to enjoy.” — Ann Somerville, Outlaw Reviews

“I adored the voice in Boystown. It’s 1st person–some people are born to write it, Marshall Thornton being one of them, in my opinion–and carries you along through Nick’s world and current case. There are three cases in this book, all wonderful, all equally interesting, and I couldn’t put the damn book down.” Miz Love Reviews Top Pick

“Isincerely hope the author will revisit Nick Nowak in future books. I’ll be sureto buy them on the strength of these three stories.” 4 1/2 stars, British Bulldog, RainbowReview

“Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries by Marshall Thornton is the first book in this well-written and gritty detective series that is reminiscent of hardboiled crime fiction. The book is a compilation of three novella-length mysteries all set in Chicago, circa 1980-1981. The mysteries are engaging, and the writing features a captivating main character and sets an excellent overall mood for the stories.” Indie Reviews


Why I Will Not Be Entering the Lambda Awards This Year

“Lambda Literary nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies, and affirm the value of our stories and our lives.”

This year, Lambda Literary has decided that there will no longer be separate Gay Mystery and Lesbian Mystery categories and there will instead be a single LGBTQ mystery category. Their claim is that they have “expanded the category.” That is absurd since they have, in fact, limited the amount of exposure available to LGBTQ mystery writers. Historically, there have been two winners and between ten and sixteen finalists. Now there will be one winner and five to eight finalists. Simple math tells you they have not expanded the category. In today’s world we need to call their statement what it is: a lie.

If Lambda Literary’s true goal were to increase the amount of exposure available to BTQ mystery writers, they have failed. To increase that exposure, they should have created either one group category for them or separate B, T and Q categories, similar to what they have done in Fiction, Poetry and Non-Fiction. By asking B, T and Q mysteries to compete in a category that will likely start out at sixty-seventy entries actually decreases the amount of exposure they and all LGBTQ mystery writers will get.

Certainly, any award is political, and for that reason should not be given too much credence. The criteria for what makes a “best” book often changes from year to year and from award committee to award committee. Having been a finalist for the Lambda Award eleven times in two different categories, and winning three of those times, I have given the criteria some thought. These are the things a committee may (or may not) consider: literary merit, how well a book fits the genre (both elements in the case of an award like best gay mystery) and, overall career of the writer. Unfortunately, the LGBTQ mystery committee will now, in addition, have to consider the category of the award itself. Have too many lesbian mysteries won in the last few years? Too many gay mysteries? Not enough Q? If there are no Bi mysteries for five years does the first to enter automatically win? Lambda Literary has succeeded in making this award more political and therefore devalued it.

All of this is particularly disheartening at a time when major publishing continues to completely ignore the majority LGBTQ mysteries. I’m currently reading Ann Cleve’s The Long Call which features a gay protagonist. The back cover is full of endorsements from other big mystery writers. Not one of them is a gay mystery writer. The reason for that is that there are no big gay mystery writers. They’re not allowed. The only writers allowed by big publishing to take on gay mystery are people like Ann Cleves and James Patterson—both presumably heterosexual. Clearly, this is not the time for Lambda Literary to diminish the value of LGBTQ mysteries.

Indeed, in looking at their award list it seems that Lambda Literary treats all genre work in this shabby manner – except romance which for some reason is still allowed its separate categories. Certainly, this is justifiable if there are simply too few entries to justify separate categories but as I’ve stated, that is not true of mystery which, I believe, always equals romance in number of entries.

You’ll note that I’ve begun with the Lambda Literary mission statement. A move like this runs completely counter to this statement. It does not nurture nor advocate for LGBTQ mystery writers, it does not elevate the impact of our words, it does not create community—in fact will likely prove to be divisive, or preserve our legacies, nor does it affirm the value of our stories or our lives. For those reasons I will not be submitting to the Lambda Awards this year.