Hunting Gold by Ann Aptaker


Cantor Gold, dapper art thief and smuggler, finds herself threatened by a mysterious predator seeking to destroy everything she holds dear.


New York City, 1955.

A golden city of prosperity, energy, the exciting engine of the American Dream. Just underneath, though, is a dark city, with darker ambitions. This is the world of Cantor Gold, dapper art thief and smuggler, who has her own way of securing the rewards of the American Dream. In the conformist 1950s, when same-sex romance was illegal, Cantor decides that any Law that condemns her as a criminal just for her love of women is not a Law she owes any allegiance to. As an outlaw, she thrives earning fistfuls of cash and living life on her own terms. But someone wants to take it all away. Someone wants to rob Cantor of everything: her success in the underworld, her freedom, her life.

Predators are out to destroy Cantor: the cops who violently raid the Green Door Club, Cantor’s favorite watering hole, where the lights are low and the women are willing; and worse, an unknown predator who threatens to destroy Cantor’s life, even destroy the lives of people close to her.

Murder is one of the weapons in the hunter’s arsenal, involving Cantor in the dangerous fate of each corpse. Another is the taunting, threatening notes that turn up on the corpses or at Cantor’s door or at the door of people she visits. And then there are the phone calls and a disguised voice. Someone is invading every minute of Cantor Gold’s life.

“Ann Aptaker is a literary alchemist. This series deserves a wide audience!” —ELLEN HART, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master

“Professional art thief and dapper butch, Cantor Gold is back in Ann Aptaker’s newest noir, Hunting Gold—and someone is after her, murdering her friends and associates one by one as they close in on her. Set in 1950s New York, a time when bar raids and police brutalities were regular parts of the queer world and the word queer itself was only an epithet, Hunting Gold unwinds like the last number at a dim, jazz nightclub—sexy, melancholy, and unforgettable.” —MICHAEL NAVA, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of the Henry Rios Mystery Series

“Taut, gritty, and ironic, Hunting Gold is a smart and engrossing continuation of a series that is a love letter to the genre, even as it kicks in the doors of Noir’s Old Boys’ Club with as much force as the police raid on The Green Door Club that opens the book.” —ERICA OBEY, author of Dazzlepaint

“Join art thief and crime-solver Cantor Gold for a fast, buckle-your-seatbelt ride back to the Manhattan of the 1950s, when the West Village was Beatnik Heaven, the High Line carries freight cars instead of tourists, and homophobic cops rampage at will in the bars where Cantor kicks back and cruises. An aficionado of fine art and fine women, Cantor is as alluring a creation as the burgundy ’55 Buick she tools around in. Like her set of wheels, Ann Aptaker’s heroine is an irresistible true original.” —RICHARD STEVENSON, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of the Don Strachey and Clifford Waterman PI mysteries

“Dapper butch art thief Cantor Gold almost meets her match in Hunting Gold, the sixth in a series by Ann Aptaker. Someone is out to even the score with Cantor, but she has no idea why. Her stalker is littering the city with menacing notes and grisly tableaux that Cantor must race to decode without losing her cool. Aptaker skillfully captures the dark underbelly of 1950s Manhattan, from shadowy warehouses to dive bars and clandestine gambling venues. Even if you haven’t read the other novels in the series, you’ll be swept away with the high-speed plot, vibrant characters, and noir charm. A delectable read.”—PAULA MARTINAC, Lambda Literary award-winning author of Out of Time

“Ann Aptaker’s Cantor Gold is one of the most complex, layered, and interesting queer characters I’ve had the good fortune to discover. The books in this series are always intricately plotted, literately written, and so terrifically paced that the reader resents being forced to put the book down for any reason. Aptaker has created a must-read series for me, and I look forward to every new installment.” GREG HERREN, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of Murder in the Rue Chartres

Native New Yorker ANN APTAKER’S Cantor Gold Crime series has been the recipient of Lambda Literary and Goldie Awards. Her short stories have appeared in two editions of the crime anthology Fedora, Switchblade Magazine’s “Stiletto Heeled” issue, and in the Mickey Finn crime anthology. She is one of six writers invited to provide a novella for the second season of Down & Out Books’ crime series Guns & Tacos. Her flash fiction, “A Night In Town,” appeared in the ezine Punk Soul Poet, and another flash fiction, “Rockin’ Dyke Roll,” is featured in the award-winning anthology Our Happy Hours: LGBT Voices From The Gay Bars. Culminating a career as a curator for museums and galleries, Ann is currently an art writer for various New York clients and is an adjunct professor of art history at the New York Institute of Technology.

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