Book cover photograph 2004 Caitlin Brennan Cant

Flesh
A Suzanne LaFleshe Mystery
by Hollis Seamon

Hardcover $24.95   ISBN 0-9725078-3-3

Flesh provides a smart, sexy, scary, and always surprising take on both pleasures and sins of the flesh.  Combining comedy, mystery and Gothic thrills, Flesh introduces a strikingly original female sleuth:  Suzanne Brown, aka Suzanne LaFleshe, deluxe-sized woman and connoisseur of all things corporeal.  Suzanne is a graduate student writing a dissertation on cannibalism in contemporary literature.   
When poet Sam Tindell—one of Suzanne’s lovers—falls to his death, smack in the middle of the university Humanities Building, Suzanne is tossed into a maelstrom of mayhem and mystery.  Was Sam’s death suicide?  So everyone assumes, but Suzanne has her doubts, especially when she finds herself hounded by obscene messages and haunted by visions of the wendigo, a cannibal creature with a heart of ice.  A strange band of cohorts—starving graduate students; a handsome campus cop; faithful animal companions; a faculty committee; Suzanne’s lovers, past, present and wanna-be; and the oldest practicing witch in Albany New York—join Suzanne in her quest to uncover the secret evil that stalks the campus.  Along the way, Suzanne struggles to hide her own past as the nude model for an artist sexually obsessed with her plentiful body.  In the end, Suzanne, alone, is forced to confront both the danger and the beauty of what her books call “cannibal knowledge” when she finds herself face to face with the murderous wendigo spirit, in the flesh.

REVIEWS

 

Rex Klett
Library Journal
March 1, 2005

Full-bodied, over six feet tall, and 38, SUNY at Albany grad student Suzanne Brown (a.k.a. Suzanne LaFleshe) takes on the job of editing a literary magazine dedicated to the theme of fat women. Unfortunately, her return to campus coincides with the supposed suicide of fellow student Sam, her married sometime lover. Despite demands on her time by the magazine, her dissertation (on the theme of cannibalism in four modern novels), and her social/sexual life, Suzanne investigates Sam’s death. Powerful prose, a great story, and a sympathetic (if willful) heroine combine in an engaging mystery debut that will appeal to readers who enjoy unusual female sleuths. The author of Body Work: Stories, Seamon lives in Albany, NY.
 

Edward Morris ForeWord July/August 2005

MURDERS, THEY WROTE
But It’s Not Just The Hunt Anymore
Sure, there’s always a murder, a trail of tantalizing clues, and the dramatic unmasking of the killer, but mystery novels are becoming more sophisticated and “literary” than they used to be, as much concerned with character delineation as with action-filled plots. This holds true whether the protagonist is a man or a woman, a cop assigned to the case or a bystander swept up in the action.

Hollis Seamon’s Flesh features the endlessly fascinating graduate student Suzanne Brown, who has renamed herself “Suzanne LaFleshe.” An ABD (“all but dissertation”) at the State University of New York at Albany, LaFleshe has just assumed the editorship of a new literary magazine dedicated to obesity.

She muses that her mission in life is “to convince people that fat was beautiful… Who better to serve as editor of this particular publication than someone who, what, well, large? A deluxe-sized woman: six feet, two-and-a-half inches tall. Beg breasts, big butt. Lots of heft. Lots of healthy happy flesh. Fat, some might say, fat-and proud of it.” When her favorite lover (she has several) plunges to his death in the stairwell near her office, the chase is on. La Fleshe’s ubiquitous, skinny, rustic, yet devilishly efficient assistant is almost as intriguing as the heroine, but with an entirely different set of neuroses.

 

Reed Sparling Hudson Valley Magazine
 November 2005

Suzanne Brown is a zaftig graduate student at the University at Albany who's feverishly writing her PhD (its theme is cannibalism in literature) while editing a new literary magazine focusing on full-sized women. When her married lover, unpublished poet, plummets to his death in the building housing her office, she is embroiled in a mystery: was it suicide or did someone give him a shove? Far from your typical whodunit, Hollis Seamon's Flesh, offers plenty of suspense while also delving into the worlds of academe and the supernatural (Brown shares a house with a witch, which accounts for the latter). While it's a bit schizophrenic--from the antic opener, you'd swear it was a comic novel--and has its share of odd moments (especially when a large white owl makes an occasional appearance), it is both a good yarn and a touching look at how people who are outside the norm cope with all that life hurls at them. And don't be surprised if Seamon's account of an Albany winter has you donning an extra layer.

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