The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle

The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle

Shortlisted for the Polari Book Prize for LGBTQ+ Fiction


Brought to you by Penguin.
'Seductive, decadent, cruel and utterly thrilling - just like Horace Lavelle himself. This is The Talented Mr Ripley for the twenty-first century.' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

'An enjoyable dip into decadence.' Observer
Brothers Benjamin and Edgar have so far led a quiet life, but change is afoot as they enter a world of glorious sights and People of Quality on their Grand Tour of Europe. But a trunk full of powdered silver wigs and matching suits isn't enough to embed them into high society.

As Edgar clings on to conventions, Benjamin pushes against them. And when the charming, seductive Horace Lavelle promises Benjamin a real adventure, it's only a matter of time before chaos and love ensue.
'A fizzing, seductive queer romance.' i Paper

'Wildly entertaining and painfully heartbreaking ... Neil Blackmore writes with a fizzy wit that bounds his characters off the page.' Ben Aldridge

© Neil Blackmore 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


  • Most so-called comic novels these days barely raise a smirk. Enter Neil Blackmore to show us all how it's done with his hugely entertaining romp through 18th-century Europe. The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle is a novel for which the word "rollicking" might have been invented ... From the start, Benjamin's voice is a delight ... Blackmore draws clear parallels between the social and financial disparities of the 18th century and today ... The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle is the kind of novel that a reader can sink into, delighting in the merriment of the prose and the eccentricity of the protagonists. But it's not just played for laughs: it's also an insightful study into a period of history often overlooked in fiction.
    John Boyne, Irish Times

About the author

Neil Blackmore

Neil Blackmore is the author of five novels. His work has been acclaimed for its radical redrawing of the historical fiction form and the parameters of queer historical fiction. His third novel, The Intoxicating Mr Lavelle, was shortlisted for the Polari Prize for LGBTQ+ Fiction. The Dangerous Kingdom of Love, his most recent title, was memorably described as 'like Hilary Mantel on acid' and chosen as one of The Times' Best Historical Fiction Novels. He lives in London.
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