Book Review: The Back Passage by James Lear



The Back Passage by James Lear
Published May 5th 2006 by Cleis Press
Format: Kindle ebook
Length: 199 pages / 1317 KB
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Gay Erotica, LGBT
Reading Level: Erotica – Adults Only
Goodreads | Amazon

Agatha Christie, move over! Hard-core sex and scandal meet in this brilliantly funny whodunit.

A seaside village, an English country house, a family of wealthy eccentrics and their equally peculiar servants, a determined detective — all the ingredients are here for a cozy Agatha Christie-style whodunit. But wait — Edward “Mitch” Mitchell is no Hercule Poirot, and The Back Passage is no Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Mitch is a handsome, insatiable 22-year-old hunk who never lets a clue stand in the way of a steamy encounter, whether it’s with the local constabulary, the house secretary, or his school chum and fellow athlete Boy Morgan, who becomes his Watson when they’re not busy boffing each other.

When Reg Walworth is found dead in a cabinet, Sir James Eagle has his servant Weeks immediately arrested as the killer. But Mitch’s observant eye pegs more plausible possibilities: polysexual chauffeur Hibbert, queenly pervert Leonard Eagle, missing scion Rex, sadistic copper Kennington, even Sir James Eagle himself. Blackmail, police corruption, a dizzying network of spyholes and secret passages, watersports, and a nonstop queer orgy backstairs and everyplace else mark this hilariously hard-core mystery by a major new talent.


I have been reading erotica on the internet for years now but this is the first “proper book” I’ve read that wasn’t fanfiction (and thus based off a movie, TV show, or a book itself). First, I just have to say that erotica is silly. It’s not to be taken seriously. Sex is a messy and disgusting process that in no way resembles what happens in a novel or even in a movie or TV show. We are all twelve year old boys on the inside, giggling over the words dick and asshole. So, when I purchased The Back Passage by James Lear I knew exactly what I was getting into. It’s entertainment and should be taken in that spirit.

Now, that being said, I enjoyed The Back Passage. It’s gay historical erotica, which means that it is very tongue in cheek. (Just look at the title, for bloody sake. You can’t get more tongue in cheek than that!) Being historical fiction, there was no use of condoms or talk of sexual transmitted diseases. There was, however, at least some effort in concealing the character’s sexual actions in light of the fact that sodomy was illegal in the 1920’s. (This is more evident in the sequel, The Secret Tunnel, which I just started last night.) The sex was hot and prevalent, with the main character having many partners during the book. There was a bit of urine play that I could have done without (not a kink of mine) and I would have found it more believable if more lube and preparation were involved. Spit does not an adequate lubricate make and I found myself wincing as the characters had anal sex with very little stretching or lube. That, had to hurt. I like long and detailed foreplay in my erotica but, alas, it was not to be in this book.

The Back Passage is gay erotica thinly veiled by a murder mystery that is more confusing than complex. The plot comes together at the end but it’s a messy conclusion that’s really just kind of absurd. Lear included several kinks in The Back Passage and it can get a bit laughable at some points. I giggled a lot. There is voyeurism (the scene between Mitch, Morgan, and the butler Burroughs was probably the hottest in the book), cross dressing, urine play (ew), and a host other of deviant behaviors. The second hottest scene was probably when Mitch has sex on the top of the car with the reporter that comes sniffing around. There is a kink for just about everyone in this book. The Back Passage by James Lear was an enjoyable ride (pun intended) and a good pick for my first foray into gay erotica.

Thank you for reading!

About Patricia @ Lady with Books

I'm a 34 year old female. Brown hair. Blue eyes. I spend a great deal of my time surfing the internet and blogging. I enjoy cooking. I make a mean sautéed vegetable dish. I write. I read.

Posted on March 20, 2013, in book review, erotica, fiction, historical fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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