Member News: The book launch of “Dangerous Medicine”

Here ends this engaging gay love story, which begins in 1923 Portland when Dr. Carl Holman meets jazz musician Jimmy Harper in Acquaintance, Book 1.

As a young surgeon, Carl Holman experienced the horrors of World War I and the loss of his lover, a fellow officer. Back home after the war, he befriends an ambitious young jazz musician who he hopes will become his life companion. But this is Oregon: the Ku Klux Klan is gaining influence, homosexual acts are illegal, and such a relationship will jeopardize Carl’s promising medical career. Musician Jimmy Harper has his own dreams for the future and his own obstacles to overcome before he will allow himself to accept Carl’s love.

Chicago Blues, Book 2, depicts Jimmy’s adventures when he arrives in Chicago with the Diggs Monroe Jazz Orchestra, seeking fame and fortune. Instead, he descends into the jazz underworld where he becomes entangled in dark dealings with a sinister mob boss and in an erotic affair with a black drag performer. In this unfamiliar world, Jimmy begins to question whether he can trust anyone, even his old band members.

Book 3, Dangerous Medicine, follows Carl’s struggles as his standing with the prestigious clinic where he works is strained to the breaking point by pressures from the Ku Klux Klan, societal expectations to marry and have children, and other forces beyond his control. As his compassion compels him to treat unorthodox cases, involving addiction, birth control, and child abuse, he is pushed to make increasingly difficult decisions about his professional and domestic affairs. Can Carl and those he loves to find a way to live authentic lives in this hostile world?

The trilogy is a work of LGBT historical fiction that explores the complexities of gender and sexuality through the lens of the early 1920s, a time when jazz was becoming popular, Freud was all the rage, social mores were shifting, liquor was illegal, and women had just gotten the vote. It tells a touching love story set against the dramatic backdrop of this influential era. More information at

“Jeff Stookey’s engaging novel is a brilliantly written story set in the tough Prohibition era. It brought back memories of my time as a Portland Police officer in the early 1960s. When I worked Vice, we were pressured by our older lieutenants, seasoned veterans from the 30s and 40s, to harass and arrest gay folks who were just out socializing. An excellent contribution to the history of our city, the book is also a page-turner. I had to know what happened next.”
—Don DuPay Behind the Badge in River City

“Eric/Erica’s thoughtful and sensual guidance of Jimmy through the multi-colored experience of underground drag culture left me feeling like Dorothy in Oz.…a finely woven tale of self-discovery and acceptance.”
—Poison Waters/Kevin Cook, drag queen extraordinaire.

“Fiction makes the reality of the 1920s far more vivid than a historical text ever could. Eugenicists in Oregon were calling for sterilization of perverts along with other undesirables, and the Ku Klux Klan had infiltrated every level of the community, secretly ready to strike against anything that didn’t seem 100% normal and American. It wasn’t an auspicious time for two young Portland men to fall in love with each other.”
—Robin Will, president of the Gay & Lesbian Archive of the Pacific Northwest

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