News Update from Carol Shay Hornung ’88

Madison Author Launches New LGBTQ Mystery Series

Slips of Yew: A Dez Duchiene Mystery, Book 1: When a conservative politician is murdered in liberal Madison, Wisconsin, Dez Duchiene investigates and risks losing the man he loves.

Madison, Wisconsin. February 14, 2021

The Story: Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Dez Duchiene is a hospitality professional who dabbles in politics and moves to New York City where he marries architect Stevie Langford and lives happily until a detective knocks on his door, asking about the death of a prominent conservative politician.

Whitney Travers was a former boss and friend, and despite their differing political views, Dez feels compelled to figure out who killed him, despite his husband’s objections. Wisconsin is trying to pass a religious freedom bill that would curtail gay rights, and Stevie is uncomfortable every minute they stay after attending the funeral.  

Coming of age during the Act 10 protests that rocked the city in 2011, Dez feels like he’s in a familiar fight, one the liberals lost all those years ago. He walks a diplomatic line between the conservatives and liberals to collect information – but can he solve the mystery and save his marriage before it’s too late?

About the Book: Slips of Yew takes place primarily in Madison, touching on landmarks like the state Capitol, the Square, and the Vilas neighborhood. Dez recalls the Act 10 protests, including the palm tree debacle that opened so many people’s eyes to the manipulation used by certain media outlets. The first in a series, each book follows Dez and Stevie as they travel to different cities across the country – Nashville, Chicago, and even Winona, Minnesota.

Although LGBTQ characters are appearing more often in entertainment, they are still frequently relegated to sidekick status, comic relief, or tragic figures. Dez is a life-loving, energetic protagonist comfortable with who he is and who he loves. He defies stereotypes (Broadway musicals are just not his thing) and he’s a well-rounded, ordinary character who stumbles onto extraordinary situations.  

Slips of Yew: A Dez Duchiene Mystery, Book 1 can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore or through Amazon.com.

About the Author: Carol Shay Hornung (they/them) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, claiming dual citizenship on both sides of the Cheddar Curtain. A Ripon College graduate, they hung a Pride flag on the Little White Schoolhouse (birthplace of the Republican Party) in 2015 when the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down. They are hard at work on the second Dez Duchiene novel, and past titles include Asperger Sunset and The Ghost of Heffron College, available from Amazon.com.

Author Quote: “While writing these books I discovered my own true voice – I grew up gender neutral, with attitudes and interests that aligned more masculine than feminine. Seeing the world through Dez’s eyes releases me from the constraints of gender and allows me to explore topics like equality, gender roles, and homophobia. Cognizant of misappropriation I had an old college friend act as my sensitivity reader and he seemed puzzled by the request – “just write it” was his primary advice. So. I did.”

Please consider printing a mention of Slips of Yew in an upcoming issue. The author would also be available for an interview. Thank you!

The book is available on Amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Slips-Yew-Duchiene-Mystery-Book/dp/B08WJY84KX/