“Needs to be read.”
This work has been screened and endorsed by Bleue Benton, director of the nationally acclaimed transgender literature collection at Oak Park Public Library. She calls it “an important contribution to the field.
Renee James has written a groundbreaking mystery. Her smart, perceptive, and engaging heroine leads us through gender identity issues as she seeks understanding, acceptance, and justice. This page-turner is important and needs to be read.
Collection Development Manager
Oak Park Public Library
“Eye opening and haunting…”
Coming Out is a murder-mystery page-turner. I will admit, as a Conservative Christian, this is not a topic I read a lot of. Being that this novel is based around a transgender woman, I cautiously accepted it for review. I am pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it immensely, and humbly admit that I learned a few things along the way. I read it straight through and found myself cheering Bobbi on, especially at the end, as she completely embraces her identity.
This is a story that is a fictional tale of murder, but it is also a look into the lives of those living the transgender lifestyle, with all the prejudice and obstacles involved. I have never been one to judge, at least not overtly, but this really opened my eyes to how society secretly views those we don’t understand. My favorite quote from the book is, “Hate is destructive.” This is the very premise of the book and is explained in painful detail.
James writes with an honest, no-apologies style that grips you. Whether you have prejudices or not, the characters are engaging and believable, with true human emotion. A beautiful sincerity shines through the words and makes you identify with the struggles and horror Bobbi, and her friends, feel at being seen as less-than. The murder really plays a backseat to the identity struggles and, ultimately, to the ability of the human spirit to prevail. Eye opening and haunting, long after the last page. 5 out of 5 stars!
–Literary R&R: Charlene Reviews
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“This book takes you to a place few people ever see!”
To really understand the transgender experience you have to look beyond the makeup and clothing. You have to know what is going on inside the individuals and those who admire them. This book is dark but it goes there. It goes to a place that only an insider would normally be privy. If you want an honest, uncensored look at how it feels to be in the shoes of a trans woman, from the inside out, pick up this book!
Transgender actress and entertainer
“Let’s hope this fun book is the beginning of a long series.”
There are mysteries with transgender victims, and others with transgender villains (usually psychopathic serial killers). Much rarer–and sorely needed–are stories with genuine transgender heroines–”genuine” meaning really transgender and really heroic. Let’s hope this fun book is the beginning of a long series.
Author of The Secret Woman
“This is a fantastic murder mystery!”
I loved the characters and James’ writing, and Bobbi passed my “I-want-her-to-be-my-bestie” test. She’s smart and funny, nervous and bold, scared and surprisingly strong, and very real… I dare anyone not to be moved… She’s a heroine I’m rooting for, and James’ Chicago is a place I want to visit again.
–Unabridged Chick Reviews
“An eye-opening page-turner!”
What makes a person change their gender? …Renee James provides a deeper understanding of what motivates some of those who transition. I found myself rooting for Bobbi in her own struggle and her determination to find the murderer of a friend.
You will find this a haunting, heartbreaking, and eye opening page-turner. I highly recommend this well written murder mystery.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever read, in a great way!”
I have felt the type of pain Bobbi felt . . . we all have (alienation from family for differences, fear of the unknown, the loneliness of walking to a different beat), and I know it’s real. I loved Bobbi…
I cheered for her every minute! …She was inspirational and an open-book within an open book.
–The Word Verve
“…I HIGHLY recommend this book”
“I do not remember EVER reading any GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transsexual) book. When I was asked to read and review this book, I instantly liked the synopsis, it looked interesting but I was afraid that there may be some scenes in the book that I may not like. True enough, there are scenes in the book which I had to skip because I just don’t feel comfortable reading them but I still continued reading. Why? because honestly, the plot is great.… I HIGHLY recommend this book for those readers looking for a unique experience…”
–Jenai, Bookingly Yours
“Exposes the rest of us to a different world.”
“For much of the mainstream American population, the world of the LGBT community is something of an afterthought. Sure, they’re there. Sure, they’re just regular people….but few of us REALLY know what the community deals with on a regular basis. In her book, “Coming Out Can be Murder”, Chicago author Renee James exposes the rest of us to the trials and tribulations of that world, peppered throughout a murderous landscape….a fantastic read!
–Julie Farrell, The Examiner
“The level of realism is quite high!”
“…I found myself nodding along with the way trans people are correctly portrayed in the book — for all practical purposes, the book is non-fiction in that regard. There are tough moments in the book — certain passages may difficult for some to get through, but for many trans people, these things are every day facts of life…the author doesn’t exploit trans people by turning them into creepy villains nor does she whitewash the lives of trans people. The level of realism in the book is quite high. I’m giving “Coming Out can be Murder” a thumbs up!”
–Lexie Cannes, THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT