Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
In 1920s Portland, Oregon, a homosexual surgeon—a veteran of WWI—meets an ambitious young jazz musician, who is questioning his own sexuality, and they struggle with social conventions and the Ku Klux Klan. This is Book 1 of the trilogy Medicine for the Blues, a work of LGBT historical fiction which explores the complexities of gender and sexuality through the lens of the early 20th century. More
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About Jeff Stookey

Growing up in a small town in rural Washington State, Jeff Stookey enjoyed writing stories. He studied literature, history, and cinema at Occidental College, and then got a BFA in Theater from Fort Wright College. In his 40s he retrained in the medical field and worked for years with pathologists, trauma surgeons, and emergency room reports.
Jeff lives in Portland, Oregon, with his longtime partner, Ken, and their unruly garden. Acquaintance is his first novel and Book 1 of Medicine for the Blues. Contact Jeff at

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February 2018 – A Chat with Jeff Stookey
Book Chat host Alan Rose talks with Portland author Jeff Stookey about Acquaintance, the first book in his trilogy set in the 1920s, Medicine for the Blues.

About the Series: Medicine for the Blues
Medicine for the Blues explores the complexities of gender and sexuality through the historical lens of the early 1920s—a time of jazz, fascination with Freud, and the growing influence of the KKK. The trilogy tells a touching gay love story set against the dramatic backdrop of this influential era.

Acquaintance Book 1 opens in Portland, Oregon, where a homosexual surgeon, Carl Holman, meets an ambitious young jazz piano player, Jimmy Harper, who is questioning his own sexuality, and they struggle with social conventions and widespread political repression.

Chicago Blues Book 2 tells the story of Jimmy Harper’s adventures in Chicago where he descends into the jazz underworld and becomes entangled with a sinister mob boss and a black drag performer.

Dangerous Medicine Book 3 follows Carl Holman’s struggles to navigate his medical career in the face of social and personal obstacles from the KKK, society, and other dangers.

Also in Series: Medicine for the Blues

Reviews of Acquaintance by Jeff Stookey

TanyaG123 reviewed on Feb. 27, 2019

to be honest, it took me some time to get into this book, after the very enticing beginning – which sets the atmosphere and tone for the time period perfectly— it seemed to sink into a period of ‘setup’ and even backstory as we get to understand the characters better and get to know their day-to-day lives – I do appreciate thorough world-building, especially in a historical fiction where the setting is just as important as the story is, but I still wish there would have been more of a dramatic ‘hook’ or inciting incident sooner to really grab our attention. But then the more I read the more I got into it, and then by halfway I was hooked. The author Jeff Stookey is really good at creating some complex, unforgettable characters and bringing the ‘past’ to life in a way where we feel like we really know Carl and Jimmy, we can feel the chemistry, the tension, the fear and uncertainty, and the emotional connection they share, like we are going through their relationship with them in real time. I was so curious to see how it would all work out, but it did…. in a way. I loved the ending, even if not the ‘ultimate happily ever after’ one would hope for at least we know it’s not the end of both Carl’s and Jimmy’s stories, as we will see both of them in the next books as well (yay!).
(reviewed the day of purchase)
SammiGirl99 reviewed on Feb. 26, 2019

amazing! This novel by Jeff Stookey is poignant, provocative, entertaining, and even heartbreaking. And the way that Mr. Stookey infused this well-researched story with authentic, flawed, relatable characters and a compelling storyline – makes it feel that much more memorable. I liked his writing style-- the conversations with the characters really show us the story, but mostly we are in Carl’s perspective as this is told in his first-person POV. It works well here, and it seems like Mr. Stookey has really done his homework, as the level of cultural and historical detailing is certainly impressive. It was fairly evenly paced, but it does start off a little slow, and sometimes there are episodes of small-talk/chit-chat that didn’t add much and could be trimmed some. Each of the different characters really bring something special to the table (Gwen and Charlie) and I even feel liked I learned some things about this era – Stookey delves into an array of themes and topics here, from sexual identity and discoveries, oppression, KKK, Medicine, Music (the jazz scene), friendships, bigotry and persecution and discrimination… all wrapped around an emotionally engaging love story that is beautifully written and solidly-executed. Recommend for adult fans of gay romance. 4.5 stars
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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