William C. Gordon. The Ugly Dwarf (2012) [tpo]
Author’s description: “Samuel Hamilton gets a tip from Melba that Excalibur has discovered a human thigh in a tipped over trash can in China Camp, an inlet to the San Francisco Bay. It’s wrapped in a piece of a burlap sack with the letter M on it. Along with his cohort, Inspector Bruno Bernardi of Homicide, Hamilton begins to follow the clues that will eventually lead him to connect the thigh to a disappeared young man and he will solve the crime. In the process he comes across the despicable and pathetic character of Dusty Schwartz, the dwarf preacher, and his dominatrix associate, who prey on the Latin Community in the Mission District. But they’re not the only crooked ones. There are lawyers, union officials, bureaucrats and cops who make it all possible. In addition the reader gets a bird’s eye view of what life was like in the underbelly of San Francisco beatnik and gay communities in the early 1960’s.” Editor’s note: Originally published in Portuguese under the title O Anão (Brazil, 2010).
Setting: San Francisco (Mission District; 1960s)