Michael Craft’s series of seven Mark Manning murder mysteries, beginning with Flight Dreams in 1997 and ending with Bitch Slap in 2004, garnered legions of loyal readers, with three of its installments honored as finalists for Lambda Literary Awards.
The series protagonist, Mark Manning, is an investigative reporter for a large Chicago newspaper, who later moves to a small town in Wisconsin to take over as publisher of the local daily. Mark and his lover, Neil, end up “inheriting” a son, Mark’s teenage nephew, Thad Quatrain. While each of the books focuses on a self-contained whodunit, the series as a whole has an overarching plot that explores Mark’s growth as a gay man and, ultimately, a surrogate father.
The series was originally published in hardcover and paperback, and it has since been reissued in digital editions.