CSML Book Launch Party!

COFFEE, SHOPPING, MURDER, LOVE, winner of the 2019 Quill Prose Award by Red Hen Press, will be available in bookstores as a hardcover and eBook on June 21, 2022.

Since that day is a weekday, we’re celebrating first with a pre-launch reading at Village Well bookstore in downtown Culver City on Sunday, June 19, 2022, at 3:00 PM, together with Charles Webb, writer of Ursula Lake.

The official book launch party will be on June 25 at 3:00 PM at Diesel, a bookstore in the Brentwood Country Mart in Santa Monica. I will have a conversation with Lily Hoàng, author of Underneath. Her book is about a woman who murders her four children, one by one, in order to punish her husband when they argue (how à propos).

About Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love

Despite everything you know and value, Carlos Allende’s new novel, COFFEE, SHOPPING, MURDER, LOVE, will make you root for its bitter, spectacularly superficial, and highly immoral protagonists. The story is both an experiment in empathy and a savagely camp, relentlessly unsentimental, incisive account of our worst impulses and our current deranged political moment. It’s a brilliant, laugh-out-loud work of dark comedy.

Set in Los Angeles, a year before same-sex marriage became legal, the novel follows the misadventures of two gay men for whom it didn’t get better: Jignesh Amin, an overweight, angry Indian-American working as a bookkeeper, and Charlie Hayworth, a socially inept white guy from Leitchfield, Kentucky. After Jignesh murders the beautiful office intern because she insults his writing, and Charlie starts dating Jignesh because he wrongly believes he’s rich, the two men embark on a madcap journey that includes a few other deaths, a money-laundering scheme, a gay cruise, and an ass-backward trip to Los Cabos, Mexico.

COFFEE, SHOPPING, MURDER, LOVE will leave you cackling while also weeping at what shame does to the psyche, how social media demolishes the spirit, and how much fun it is to conjure abject moral decrepitude.

Advance Praise

“The most irredeemable and meticulously fashioned ne’er-do-wells I’ve ever rooted for. Murder in LA has never been such lurid, frothy fun.”

—Dave Caplan, Executive Producer of The Conners.

“Fresh, highly original, and whiplash funny, Allende serves up a story in a voice like no other I’ve ever read. It’s often profane but by equal turns poignant—and I found myself laughing out loud from the start.”

—Susan Jane Gilman, Author of Donna Has Left The Building

“The unapologetically wicked characters of Carlos Allende’s darkly comedic novel are beyond salvation, no matter the legal (or emotional) crimes they’re committing. But that’s the fun for us. Allende’s masterful comedy of errors comes out hot and reaches a frenetic pace by the climax of Jignesh’s and Charlie’s hijinks—but all’s well that ends well, even if it didn’t end well for those who crossed their paths. Funny, shocking, and depraved, this novel warns us about what happens when our darkest impulses drag themselves into the light.”

—Charles Jensen, author of Nanopedia

Read the Goodreads Reviews

Featured on Lambda Literary’s list of June’s Most Anticipated LGBTQIA+ Literature

Listen to an interview with Norman B. on Life Elsewhere (29 minutes in)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Carlos Allende is a media psychology scholar and a writer of fiction. He has written two previous novels: Cuadrillas y Contradanzas, a historical melodrama set during the war of reform in Mexico, and Love, or the Witches of Windward Circle, a horror farce set in Venice, California. Based on his research on narrative persuasion and audience engagement, he developed the course The Psychology of Compelling Storytelling that he teaches in the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension. He lives in Santa Monica with his husband.

Buy Coffee, Shopping, Murder, Love at your favorite local bookstore or order online at:


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