How and where did you access it?
I found the book in my local bookshop. It was 2005 and I was 16. Having always loved detective stories, I was immediately intrigued with the idea of a detective story with a lesbian lead.
How did it make you feel?
I loved the witty writing and the plot, it was a compelling detective story. And the relationship between detective Lauren Laurano and her wife Kip struck a chord with me. Two wives! I am not sure I'd ever even considered as more than just a fancy - if at all - the idea of getting married with a woman one day.
At the time of reading, I still hadn't quite figured out my sexuality. I knew I was attracted to girls and I knew I could have feelings for them but it would still take a couple of years before I would identify as homosexual. As a teenager growing up in Italy, I'd had very little access to LGBTQ+ representation (censorship still erased or softened all examples of queerness and homosexuality in tv shows).
Kip and Lauren were such well-constructed, intelligent, humorous and ironic characters, you couldn't help but love them and their relationship, which was extremely authentic in its portrayal. They were people with a normal life, with their jobs, their friends, and their problems. Like anyone else. Suddenly in my mind the idea of a household with two wives felt real. And that idea felt wonderful. That possibility filled me with joy. As a teenager, I felt extremely hopeful: a hypothetical future where I'd choose a woman to be my life partner, and wife, felt possible. It was a powerful feeling of hope and possibilities ahead of me.
In hindsight, it probably made it easier to realise that that was a future I might have wanted for myself, and ultimately it made it easier to embrace my own homosexuality.
Did you share it?
Yes, I've talked about this book, its series and its author to a few people throughout the years.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about it?
It is a great book in its own right, and Sandra Scoppettone is a witty, intelligent writer. It is a book worth reading regardless of your orientation, which I believe is a quality every book with LGBTQ+ lead characters should possess.