Book Reviews

“An exceptional series.  Nava writes in a cool idiom whose clarity and precision contain the heat of inflammatory social issues and take the edge of the characters’ emotional pain. Rios doesn’t win any friends for choosing dispassionate justice over revenge.  But he does it anyway, because he’s on of the good guys – and Nava is one of the best.”
Marilyn Stasio The New York Times
“Michael Nava is America’s finest gay mystery writer.”
Anthony Slide Gay and Lesbian Themes and Characters in Mystery Novels
“Mystery writer Michael Nava has increasingly been recognized as an important novelist whose mature work transcends the limited expectations of a popular and highly specialized genre.”
GLBTQ: The World’s Largest Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture
“In The Little Death, Nava has established himself as a genuinely gifted writer, one with a special brand of power and integrity.”
The Advocate
“The book has a calm sort of strength, and the homosexual elements are handled with dignity.” 
The New York Times
“This murder mystery about a gay public defender . . . is distinguished by good writing and by skillful adaption of the genre’s traditions.”
“A fast paced novel that is as troubling as it is entertaining . . . . It is the many rough edges of Goldenboy that linger in the reader’s mind long after the breathless conclusion.”
“Nava’s mysteries are faithful to the conventions of the genre, but they are set apart by their insight, compassion and sense of social justice . . . .  How Town is Nava’s bravest and most ambitious novel to date.”
Los Angeles Times
The Hidden Law is a beautifully conceived but gritty novel.  Nava writes the kind of clean, powerful novels that build in emotional power almost invisibly, leaving us breathless at the end.”
“The Hidden Law is an eloquent story about the paralyzing legacies fathers bestow on their sons, and the terrors of loss.”
The Washington Post
“It’s a rare, rare thing, in our current confessional age of detective fiction, when copious descriptions of the hero’s private life manage not to push the plot of the page. But it can be done, and in The Hidden Law, Michael Nava shows us how.  Henry Rios is an admirable hero.”
The New York Times

The Death of Friends

“This is a high-quality work of fiction that deserves to be widely discovered.” 
The Chicago Tribune
“As the many fans of the previous Rios mysteries know, Nava can devise as canny a plot as he can a defense motion.  His latest though, has something special – the scent of memory that lingers as poignantly as a departed lover’s cologne.”
“Like Raymond Chandler, Nava uncovers trickle-down corruption in high places.  Like Simenon, he tracks crime to its intimate moral source in familiar human weakness, gradually implicating murderer, victim, sleuth, and maybe even the reader.”
Entertainment Weekly
“A jaywalk into evil . . . . Like Chandler’s better work, The Burning Plain pushes at the edges of the genre, turning a crime novel into a morality play.”
“A harrowing narrative.”
The New York Times
“Nava’s mysteries grab readers by the lapels and don’t let go.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Nava writes an excellent mystery featuring crisp dialogue, diabolical suspense, and a subtle wit, but it’s his unflinching look at what it’s like to be an openly gay man today that makes this series special.  Rios is a flawed, human, and achingly real hero, and this is a provocative and genre-expanding novel.”
“For more years than we’ve noticed, Michael Nava has been creating an intricate series of fictions about Henry Rios . . . to give voice to the voiceless, the outsiders . . . to remind us that these outsiders are our kin.”
The Washington Post
“What has always set Nava apart . . . is the emotional depth he brings to his stories.  While his writing style is simple and understated, his themes are complex, mostly dealing with his characters’ need to both give and receive love and compassionate and understanding . . . [A]n extraordinarily gifted writer.  We thank him for illuminating the life of an always fascinating character and perhaps educating a few people along the way.”
The Denver Post