In the Grand Sterling Hotel of Midtown Manhattan, home of the huge annual leather/BDSM/fetish ball and contest, Mr. & Ms. Global Leather, last year’s male winner lies dead on the floor of his suite, wearing only very frilly, bright yellow panties. Cormac “Mack” Steel made a lot of enemies in his year wearing the studded leather sash, not the least being his co-winner Mistress Ravenfyre. But she is not alone – there are over three thousand attendees at this year’s fetish-festooned event from all over the world, some of whom might have had some very personal issues with the corpse.
Enter Detective Rebecca Feldblum of the Midtown East Precinct. Assigned to this doozy of a case because, as one of NYC’s only out lesbian detectives, her Lieutenant seems to believe these are “her people.” Shocked, amazed and alternately puzzled and amused, Detective Feldblum must navigate a world of doms and subs, masters and mistresses, pups and trainers, leather, latex and lingerie, and discover who murdered the late Mack Steel – and hopefully do it before the weekend is over and everyone goes home. In the process, she will discover more about the sexual underworld than she ever really wanted to know, and more about her own past than she could have ever imagined.
“Erotica fans will best appreciate Antoniou’s mystery set at a Manhattan convention devoted to BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism). When Cormac “Mack” Steel, the previous year’s winner of the title of Mr. Global Leather, is found in his hotel room stabbed to death with an unusual three-bladed weapon, NYPD Det. Rebecca Feldblum takes on the high-profile case. Personal complications arise after the investigation brings the detective back in touch with a former lover, Trudy, who ended the relationship because Feldblum chose to join “a fascist, patriarchal system of oppression,” i.e., the police. Tongue-in-cheek humor—two organizations have the acronyms PISS and ASS (the Pansexual Institute for Sexual Studies and the American Sexuality Society)—compensates only in part for routine police work.”
The Gay and Lesbian Review:
A good-humored farce, combined with a whodunit . . . .At over four hundred pages, this novel does not include a single wasted word. As a good-humored farce combined with a whodunit, it can only be compared to the raunchy mysteries of James Lear, who praises the book in a cover blurb. It seems likely to be popular for years to come.
Erotica for the Big Brain:
Anybody who’s ever dabbled in cosplay or been involved in one of those broad, ever-evolving shared-special-interest groups, clubs or organizations, will immediately recognize some of these characters; the long-suffering event organizer, trying to put on a good show along with a pleasant face for every needy, self-centered whiner no matter how trivial their demands; the bossy, slightly overweight, non-fool-suffering, hyper-efficient head-volunteer who dreams, in her rare off moments, of being dominated by just the right guy; the clueless PC do-gooder, always advocating for some new imagined minority, whether they want her to or not; the dignified and deeply-respected grand dame who becomes a major bitch behind closed doors; the catty, perpetually bemused “I’m so above all this” intellectual-snob cum petty-minded sniper; the ever-petulant “I could do a better job than him or her” malcontents; the lost souls and broken outsiders with no other place to hang out; the quietly perceptive, if often invisible, volunteers–in this case. a pair of ultra-hip gender-bending Dromeos (gofers Boy Jack and Boi Jack) with continually streaming color commentary on whatever’s going on; the mostly nameless, faceless servants and service people, who see everything and only need to be asked to reveal the most mind-blowing of secrets. Antoniou has their numbers and writes them all to a tee; the cadres and cliques; us-versus-them staid traditionalists versus boat-rocking upstart newcomers; snobs and slobs; pompous roll-playing blowhards a bit too into their personae for their own good, or anyone else’s; the junior-league Machiavelli wannabes, and all the shifting alliances, resentments, personal vendettas and concomitant motives, means and opportunities for murder that make an extraordinary mystery into a compelling, irresistible page-turner. More here.
GLBT Roundtable of the American Library Association:
The plot is fast-paced, the characters engagingly realized, and the book deftly spiced with dry humor that makes the reader both laugh and think for a moment about the point being made. The accurate information provided on the standards of behavior and the consensual nature of kink/BDSM for both gay and heterosexual practitioners make this novel a distinctive addition to any LGBT collection.
exploring the erotic world of BDSM personalities and leather kinks makes for a lovely whodunit and a much more modern game of Clue. more here
Laura weaves a Raymond Chandler style ‘whodunnit’, the story of two unlikely detectives partnered up and a look at the behind the scenes chaos & ‘fun’ of a major leather contest. more here
Bay Area Reporter:
Laura Antoniou outdoes herself with The Killer Wore Leather, an oversized yet entertaining and completely engrossing new mystery novel with a kinky twist. more here
There is a tendency of outsiders to create sensationalized and offensive portrayals of kinky communities; this is not that kind of a book. The Killer Wore Leather is an incredibly respectful and yet utterly hilarious portrayal. You needn’t be familiar with BDSM to understand the book, but for those who are cultural insiders you like me might find yourself bursting out laughing on the subway. In The Killer Wore Leather, no kinky subpopulation is safe from Antoniou’s skilled and good-natured mocking. Word of warning, if you can’t laugh at yourself, this isn’t the book for you. more here
Sarah Sloane, Sex & Relationships Educator:
If you’re kinky: This book is damn funny. If you have ever been to a large BDSM or Leather event, or attended a leather contest, you’ll see each of these characters as someone that you’ve seen (or in some cases, you’ll see yourself in them). Laura pokes (sometimes not-so-gentle) fun at the archetypes of the kink world, yet shows the human side behind the public face. If you read The Reunion, and loved the mystery sub-plot, you’re going to absolutely adore this book.
If you’re not kinky: This book is damn funny. You’ll enjoy the interplay between the non-kinky characters (the protesters, detectives, and hotel staff) and the event attendees, dealing with what they believe “being kinky” means, and you’ll even learn a bit about all the different flavors of BDSM (even ones that you never knew existed). If you like reading Rita Mae Brown, you’ll adore Laura. She has an acerbic wit, and a keen sense of building a story that both entertains and intrigues.
If you’re a reader who likes great writing: buy this book. Right now, please. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
D.L. King, Author, author,Under Her Thumb:
Writing comedy is a real gift. This book holds its own well with the likes of Christopher Buckley, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, (oh, and maybe a little Damn You, Autocorrect, too) not for its content, but for its wit, style and outrageous humor. Read the rest of the review here
Beauty in Ruins:
Oh my goodness, what a sexy, funny, clever tale Laura Antoniou has managed to collar here! It’s a little bit tongue-in-cheek, a little bit knowing-wink, and a little bit eye-opening peek, all depending on how readers orient themselves to the tale. . . .Ultimately, aside from the delicious humour, I think what really distinguishes The Killer Wore Leather is its commitment to the BDSM scene, even while acknowledging just how universal its themes and characters are. Theoretically, you could change the setting to a Star Trek convention or a comic con and have it work very well, with the same us-versus-them mentality, the same misunderstandings, and the same protective sort of clique-ness. However, there are some deeper insights into love, friendship, and the whole power dynamic that are unique to the scene, and which really provide the story’s charm. Whether you’re whips and chains and collars are second-nature to you, or you have never imagined them on anything other than the neighbour’s dog, this is a mystery that’s worth a read. Read the rest of the review here.
It’s obvious Antoniou isn’t writing this from the outsider perspective, but she does a great job creating characters and viewpoints that are looking into this world from the outside. With sharp wit and plenty of humor, she transforms her observations and experience into memorable characters and believable dialog. Even as she’s skewering stereotypes and scene archetypes, her affection for those who live, love and play in Leather is obvious. . . . My recommendation is if you like mysteries, get the book. If you are into the Leather scene, get the book. If you are kinky, into D/s, into BDSM, scene sometimes… get the book. If you know how to read, get the book. Read the rest of the review here.
Along with being a pretty accurate portrayal of a BDSM conference, Laura does an amazing job of crafting an immersive mystery novel complete with sex, kink, and alternative relationships. Read the rest of the review here.
Fox in the Flowers:
Anyone who is a fan of mysteries, Laura Antoniou’s writing, looking for a book that revolves around BDSM that isn’t erotica or just looking for an amazing book to read will get a kick out of this! Read the rest of the review here.
So if you are looking for a mystery that is choc full of humor, knowledge about what really goes on at leather conventions ( I have always wanted to know!) and just a plain great story, then don’t miss this seriously funny and captivating read.
The Killer Wore Leather is a great murder mystery, and a fun look at a very important facet of the BDSM community. And for romance fans, Antoniou’s appealing and well-developed characters offer a wonderful – and sexy – introduction to love in leather. more here
llellsee sex Toy Reviews:
A genius balance of kink, humour and mystery.
Kate Kinsey, author of Red: “Lately it’s easier to find someone to hurt me consensually than to make me laugh, so I’m just tickled pink that Laura Antoniou, primarily known for her top-shelf erotica, has decided to render us helpless with laughter in a new comic murder mystery, The Killer Wore Leather. No one gets a pass, and no ego goes unpricked. The author has a keen eye for the posturing and paradoxes of the leather world, yet there’s nothing malicious here. Because it is obvious that the book is a love letter of sorts. Antoniou doesn’t overlook anybody’s contribution to making the kinky world go ‘round. Not just the contestants and judges, but the harried producers, the dedicated volunteers and the oft-neglected vendors — all of them get a moment in the spotlight to share their unique perspectives. The Killer Wore Leather comes just in the nick of time for me. Fifty Shades of Grey stopped being funny around page 34, so thank you, Laura, for giving me something that’s supposed to make me laugh!”
PostHuman Design: A
t its very core The Killer Wore Leather is a proper murder mystery of the old school. A true whodunit comprising of multiple suspects, constant twists, and a shifting narrative that does far more than just flesh out the setting. Beyond that it is a clever exploration of a world full of different language and social hierarchies, of subcultures with subcultures. Read the review here.
Jeff Fleischer, ForeWord Review:
”Antoniou does a fine job translating the leather and kink scene into a difficult setting for the police to navigate.”
Debra Hyde, author of Lambda Award winner, The Story of L:
“If knitters, bibliophiles, and teatotalers can have their mystery mavens, why not the BDSM leather world? And who better to deliver it than Laura Antoniou? Her finely honed rapier wit and keen eye for all things madcap makes The Killer Wore Leather one meaty tale of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Frankly, you’re suspect if you overlook it.”
Stark Raving Mad Filmophile:
“…it isn’t just the mystery that will captivate you (and it will). It’s the side dramas of the characters. It’s who will win the contest? Will Bitsy find the “one”? Will Dominick and Rebecca ever understand each other? What the hell is going on with Ravenfyre, Master Dick (snerk) and Willow? So many questions and such surprising answers can be found.”
”Awhile back, I mentioned to somebody that I thought it would be fun to write a kinky murder mystery, as those are the two genres I read most frequently. To my surprise, they informed me that Laura Antoniou, a well known author and speaker in the kink scene, was going to do just that. I knew I had to check out the book once it came out- and I have to say, The Killer Wore Leather was worth waiting for!”