Hot Rocks

Hot Rocks

by Lev Raphael

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940014222921
Publisher: Lev Raphael
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Series: The Nick Hoffman Mysteries , #7
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Lev Raphael is living his dream. In elementary school, when he discovered the magic of story-telling, he decided to become an author. He’s now been publishing in genres from memoir to mystery for over three decades. He’s seen his work translated into a dozen languages, analyzed in scholarly papers and books, taught at colleges and universities, and discussed at academic conferences. Raphael has done hundreds of invited readings from his books at venues on three continents, from The Library of Congress to The Jewish Museum in Berlin. His literary papers were purchased for the Michigan State University Library Special Archives and he recently began teaching creative writing there as a distinguished visiting author. He blogs on books for The Huffington Post and reviews for WKAR FM, the NPR station in East Lansing. He is a former radio talk show host and has reviewed for The Washington Post, Boston Review, Jerusalem Report, Lambda Book Report, and the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. He reviewed for the Detroit Free Press for about a decade, and he had a crime fiction column there as well. Raphael is the author or co-author of twenty-one books and he is currently working on three new book projects. His web site is Follow him on Twitter at

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Hot Rocks 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Binny0 More than 1 year ago
I think this may be one of the funniest mysteries I've read in years. It's literate, beautifully written, and filled with deliciously eccentric and fascinating characters. The plot kept me guessing till the very end, which doesn't often happen to me. Raphael's series is set in academia, but he's taken a previous foray into the all-inclusive resort world and now he's drawn a devastatingly funny portrait of the world of the luxurious health club. Treat yourself to a glass or two of Prosecco and dive in to sophisticated, witty writing in the service of a brain-teasing mystery. I can't imagine a better use of $5.99 and the hours it will take to read this standout comic mystery.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After a week in the Caribbean with his life partner Stefan Borowski a writer in residence at the State University in Michigan, English composition Professor Nick Hoffman plans to relax until the semester starts. He finds out that is not to be when he enters the steam room in Michigan Muscle. There he sees Vlado Zamaria just sitting there not moving a muscle the man is dead.--------------- Since he found the body he is a person of interest to the police. Juno, a professor who Nick is physically is attracted to even though he is gaywants to help him find the killer. Both of them like playing detective and they want to solve the murder. The first person Nick talks to is the victim¿s wife who doesn¿t seem broken up that her husband is dead. They find a box full of pictures of him copulating with different women. Also in the box is an expensive woman¿s watch. Besides the women there are plenty of suspects including the trainers who he treated as his servants, a former trainer who refused to have sex with Vlado so he fired him, and a member of Michigan Muscle who had a secret he wanted kept quiet.---------------------- Lev Raphael is one of the most intellectual authors writing academic mysteries and he uses his brain power to have his protagonist, who is also brilliant, interview suspects, piecing together bits of information to get the real picture of who the killer is. Lev Raphael is a writer who imbues his protagonist with a dry wit which makes him see real even as he investigates a homicide in which the police hone in on him.-------------- Harriet Klausner
thom001 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
The triple-entendre of its title is representative of the quality of Lev Raphael¿s literate new Nick Hoffman mystery, Hot Rocks. Unlike many gay detective novels, Hot Rocks has a believable plot, well-developed characters, and skillfully composed prose. Personal trainer Vlado Zamaria turns up dead in the steam room of the Michigan Muscle health club, and English professor Nick Hoffmann, aided by his flashy colleague Juno Dromgoole, puzzles out the solution to the murder. Along the way, the novel is filled with references to politics, literature, music, and contemporary culture, as well as a sophisticated vocabulary (¿exiguously¿ or ¿anchorite¿ or ¿epigone,¿ anyone?) unusual for its genre. However, the breadth of author Raphael¿s interests and vocabulary never comes off as pretentious or pedantic. In fact, the only complaints I can make about Hot Rocks are its unusual, even cartoonish character names (Juno Dromgoole? Alfred Aftergood? Merry Glinka?) and its complete lack of sex scenes. Professor-cum-detective Nick Hoffman spends a fair amount of time naked in the locker room and wet areas of Michigan Muscle, but unfortunately Raphael is much too tasteful to go any further than such sparkling clean nudity. Nonetheless, the intellectual pleasure derived from the gradually unfolding wordplay of the title Hot Rocks is more than enough to make even the most prurient reader overlook the dearth of sex scenes and eagerly anticipate the continued adventures of Nick Hoffman and company.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The opening sentence is wonderful, and by the end of the story we have a couple of strange elements in place for whatever comes next in the series. In between it's as good as the others, or maybe they're getting better.
Politesse More than 1 year ago
Mystery is hardly my favorite genre, but I've taken to this series in a big way, and "Hot Rocks" is my favorite. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I work at the "State University of Michigan"--I love the roman à clef aspect of the series. I like the characters especially. Nick Hoffman is something of an adorable doofus, and Juno Dromgoole really comes into her own as a fully rounded character in this volume. "Hot Rocks" is a delicious bon bon, the perfect getaway read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love reading mysteries. I enjoy reading books that incorporate gay characters and show how being gay is merely one part of a person, not who they are. This book was a letdown on all counts. In fairness, this is the only book in this 'series' that I've read, so perhaps I'm missing out...but I doubt it and I don't intend to read another book by Raphael. The plot was weak, the 'mystery' was very lacking and original thought is hard to find in this book. The author is prone to quoting other authors to fill the pages of this book. It was like he was trying to prove that he's well read, and it got to the point where I would just groan when I saw yet another quote. The only reason that I forced myself to finish this book was the hope that there would be a plot twist and the murderer would actually turn out not to be the person that it so obviously was. Don't waste your time with this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being gay and a mystery buff, I try to support authors whose protagonists are gay sleuths. I've stuck with the Nick Hoffman series, suspending disbelief over how a professor seems to stumble over a corspe at every turn. Regretably, the series continues to head downhill. The plots are mere rehatches.