Remembering Leighton Gage

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Not long after I moved to Austin, the boss from my old bookstore, Bobby McCue, called to tell me to pick up Blood Of The Wicked, a book by a new author Leighton Gage. When I told him I’d look into getting it for the store, Bobby said, “No, I mean you need to get it to read as soon as you can.”

As usual, Bobby was right. Blood Of the Wicked was an impressive debut of Gage and his series character Mario DeSilva, one of the few honest cops in San Paolo, Brazil. DeSilva comes from a privileged background, but has a past haunted by violence. In many ways he’s a Brazilian counterpart to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosche. In Blood Of The Wicked, he looks into the murder of a bishop that’s tied to the government, big business, and the Catholic Church. It’s a kick off to a great series rich in character, style, and social awareness.

Unfortunately, the series has come to an end. Leighton passed away on July 26. Bobby introduced me to him a few years back at the Indianapolis Bouchercon and he couldn’t have been more of a gentleman. He’d make sure to see me at every event we attended after that, happy to know that our customers were enjoying his books.

Our condolences go out to Leighton Gage’s family and his family at SOHO Press. It’s a shame his voice ended so early, but in their years, he and Inspector DeSilva said a lot.

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