Guest Post ~ Blog Tour ~ Who’s That Girl by T S Hunter. #SohoNoir #WhosThatGirl #LGBTBooks #CosyMystery



It’s the summer of 1985 in London’s Soho, and Joe Stone is settling into his new life living in the heart of London’s developing gay scene.

When Danny Devraux—the compere they’ve hired to host their charity ball, The Frock Show—is found dead backstage, it falls to Joe and his friend and flatmate, Russell, to figure out what happened.

All they have to go on is a broken stiletto found near the scene, and the briefest glimpse of a mystery woman fleeing the club. But who was she? And why did she kill the most loved man in cabaret?

Past secrets, bent coppers, drag queens and old lovers all play their part in this noirish murder mystery.


Having read and Loved the first book in the series I’m delighted to welcome author T S Hunter back to booksaremycwtches with a guest post to celebrate the publication of Who’s That Girl. I can’t wait to review it later in the summer.

The Sounds of the Series

Music is always important to me when I write. I usually have something playing in the background to cover the noise of normal life going on around me. It creates a little bubble in which I can keep all the little strands of the story, characters and world together. Normally, my writing music is low key, non-invasive, moody—good to kill to. But for the Soho Noir series, everything had to be different. The soundtrack of my working day at the moment is bright, and electric and poppy, and nowhere near as distracting as I thought it might be.

Eighties music, for me, is a strange combination of songs that sound curiously upbeat, but when you listen to the lyrics, they are full of pain and tension, melancholy and hurt. It’s a fabulous juxtaposition, which means covers like the one Gary Jules did of Tears for Fears’s Mad World suddenly reveals a mournful song, poignant and heartbreaking. In the original, those lyrics were lost beneath the catchy electric beat, the big synth drone, the distinctive eighties electro-pop sound. It may only be in my head, but I hope that I am creating a similar juxtaposition of upbeat eighties nostalgia, coupled with the darker side to the world that the series explores.

I indulged myself with this series, too—the titles are all songs from my youth that bring with them, for me at least, memories of a brighter, more innocent time of discovery and youthful exuberance, though now that I reflect on both the songs, and that time, I realise the upbeat brightness has been layered on by my mind, to make the reality more palatable. So this soundtrack, and writing this series, has been a somewhat cathartic experience that I hadn’t realised I needed.

The playlist itself is over a hundred songs long—six hours and eighteen minutes of eighties pleasure, but I am not going to list them all out here. Instead, you get my top ten.

10 — Everybody Wants to Rule the World. ( ) That other side of the eighties comes through strongly here, the desire to rule, to win, the corruption, capitalism and control. Pure Wall Street but with a New Wave pop heart.

9 — Don’t You (Forget About Me). ( ) I was a big Simple Minds fan anyway, but this song playing defiantly over the final shots of The Breakfast Club as Judd Nelson strode across the football fields, my look for the next few years was cemented—I wanted to be that character so badly. I think I still do. “Keep your unit on!”

8 — Karma Chameleon. ( )Though Boy George can no longer really claim to be a man without convictions, this song is a classic. For me, Boy George is the epitome of eighties Soho. Friends of mine who lived and worked there at the time have regaled me with stories of nights and days spent hanging out with him—their stories are the backdrop to this series.

7 — Holding Out For a Hero. ( )Because, nothing says eighties like Bonnie Tyler. The big hair, that make-up, that voice. And there has to be a power ballad in the soundtrack somewhere, to get you through the slump when the plot holes start exposing themselves like that one mate at the wedding.

6 — Smalltown Boy. ( )The definitive gay song of the eighties. “The love that you need will never be found at home.” That’s the line, for me. In many ways, this should have been the title of the first book, since Joe (and Chris) were both small town boys who left home so that they could live the lives they wanted to. The video is a small movie in its own right.

5 — Killer Queen. ( ) Ah, Queen. The vocal harmonies in this are exquisite. Freddie Mercury said of the song that “It’s one of those bowler hat, black suspender belt numbers.” The kind, he said, that you could expect to find Noel Coward singing. A departure from the big rock numbers they were famous for, but so incredibly intelligently written. This was the first title and story of the series to come to me. It’s a (suspender) belter.

4 — Crazy For You. ( )Despite her recent performance on the Eurovision stage, Madonna in the eighties was nothing short of spectacular. There is a personal drama in each of her songs, her emotions displayed clearly for all to hear, and yet, again, we get distracted by the cheerful beats and catchy chorus. “Swaying room as the music starts. Strangers making the most of the dark. Two by two their bodies become one.” If those lyrics didn’t cement Madonna’s place in every gay man’s heart, I don’t know what did.

3 — Careless Whisper. ( ) Who can get past the sentiment that “guilty feet have got no rhythm? For me, the line that I had above my computer the whole time I was writing the book, Careless Whisper, was “There’s no comfort in the truth, pain is all you’ll find.” Each of the books had a guiding principle, and I think this was the one for that book.

2 — Who’s That Girl? ( )The Eurythmics’ version, sorry Madge—you can’t have two in one series. Have you seen the video for this song? It’s amazing. Did you know that the guy Annie kisses at the end is actually herself in drag. I did not know that before I started the series. So if I’ve learned nothing else from my research, that will do.

1 — Tainted Love, ( )the start of the series and in many ways, the song that kicked it all off. This song is everything I mean about awful, powerful lyrics with a chirpy beat. It had to be the start of the series, and it had to be my number 1. It is the first song I play every morning when I’m writing, and boom! I’m in Soho in the eighties, and all my lovely weird, freaky friends are telling me their stories.

You can buy directly from the publisher at Red Dog Press and from Amazon

About the writer

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5


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