Books with Crossdressing and Trans Characters-Elizabeth Eyre and Susannah Stacey

Books with Crossdressing and Trans Characters-Elizabeth Eyre and Susannah Stacey

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By Elizabeth Parker

I‘d like to introduce you to a great English writing team, Jill Staynes and Margaret Storey, who wrote as Elizabeth Eyre and Susannah Stacey for two different series. These authors have a strong penchant for disguises, and an eye for the skills one needs to impersonate a member of the opposite sex effectively.

The first series is set in Renaissance Italy and features Sigismondo, a fighter with a formidable intellect, who has earned the trust of many nobles. His sidekick, Benno, who looks and acts like a village idiot, actually misses very little. And their sometime companion, Angelo, is a deadly assassin with the face of an angel.

The first book of the series, Death of the Duchess, features a complicated plot of Medici-like proportions. Hours before a wedding, a bride is stolen and her handmaid is murdered. Since the wedding was political in nature, designed to join two warring houses, strife is imminent if Sigismondo cannot sort out the various mysteries. When the Duchess is murdered in her own bedroom, seemingly by one of the warring parties’ sons, the fuse is lit.

Sigismondo figures out that the bride might be held in a nunnery, and impersonates a nun to gain entrance. Now Sigismondo is a big man, a warrior, but his transformation, mostly through acting is a lesson to us all. As we all know, clothing is only part of the battle of passing successfully. Mannerisms, facial expressions and vocal techniques complete the arsenal and Sigismondo has mastered them completely.

Sigismondo and Benno do successfully rescue the young bride, but on the way back to the Duchy they encounter two assassins, one of whom is Angelo. After initial conflict, they join forces and plan a strategy for unlocking the remaining mysteries and freeing the innocent son. Part of the plan involves Angelo impersonating “Angela”, their maid. He is quite pretty, having long blonde hair and a feminine face, with only crooked teeth to ruin his look (no orthodontists in Renaissance Italy!). He remains Angela through much of the story, and does not mind using his feminine wiles on men, including kisses. Angelo is our transvestic ideal: attractive as a man to women and pretty as a woman to whomever he chooses to impress.

This is one of the best mainstream TG books you’ll ever read; it has a novel setting, likable and interesting heroes, and a number of good transgender scenes. It is a little difficult to obtain, but seems to have been popular enough to keep around in libraries and used book stores. {Editor’s Note: There does not appear to be an eBook edition of this title. It can be found on Amazon in hardback and paperback editions.]

In Axe for an Abbot, the fifth book in the series, Sigismondo is tricked into killing Bernabo, a member of the warring Pantera family, who is attempting to steal La Feconda, a priceless cross. To make amends, Sigismondo vows to return La Feconda to its rightful home in the shrine of the Virgin of Scheggia. But Sigismondo’s plans are thrown into disarray when the Abbot Bonifaccio is killed with an axe belonging to Sigismondo. This results in a group including Sigismondo, Benno and Angelo being sent to Rome to deliver the news of the Abbott’s death to the Pope.

A very complicated plot gets even more convoluted in Rome, but of interest to us is how Angelo helps out. Many people are vying for possession of La Feconda, and when a corrupt monk steals it, Angelo is called upon to get it back. He does so by donning the dress of his current lady love, a prostitute, and luring the monk to a secluded room. He pulls off the impersonation magnificently, to the point that the monk never knows his lady of the evening was no lady.

When Sigismondo finally gets to make the pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin of Scheggia, Angelo goes along as a demure female pilgrim. He gets to share the bed of a beautiful fellow traveller, but apparently keeps control of himself as his bedmate never discovers his secret. Angelo is a true professional!

The authors also write under another pseudonym, Susannah Stacey. Under this name they write a series about British police Superintendent Robert Bone.

In Body of Opinion, the victim, a beautiful blonde woman, is discovered during the scene of the crime investigation to be a man. The man turns out to be Alex Hervey, a journalist who has made many enemies. He apparently was quite successful in his female masquerade, and enjoyed his impersonation to the point of doing much of his research dressed as his female assistant, “Alix Hamilton”. As Bone investigates, he discovers many motives, among them the victim’s wife, who may have thought Alix was Alex’s lover. There are several mundane motives as well, but the truth contains many ironies, including some which hold meaning for us as transgendered individuals.

This book is available through Amazon in hardcover and paperback.


Eyre, Elizabeth, “Axe for an Abbot”, St. Martin’s Press, March 1996, ISBN: 031213925X

Eyre, Elizabeth, “Death of the Duchess”, Harcourt Brace, March 1 1992, ISBN: 0151241023

Stacey, Susannah, “Body of Opinion”, Pocket Books, March 1, 1991, ISBN: 067173427X

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Category: Product Review, Transgender Fun & Entertainment


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