Some time ago, I won copies of Mikel J. Wilson‘s Murder on the Lake of Fire and Death Opens a Window (Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1 & 2) on Instagram. I read and reviewed book one, Murder on the Lake of Fire, last year, but never got around to Death Opens a Window. However, with book 3 soon to come out, the series was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight recently, which reminded me Death Opens a Window was buried on my shelf. So, I pulled it out.
As he struggles with the consequences of his last case, Emory must unravel the inexplicable death of a federal employee in a Knoxville high-rise. But while the reticent investigator is mired in a deep pool of suspects – from an old mountain witch to the powerful Tennessee Valley Authority – he misses a greater danger creeping from the shadows. The man in the ski mask returns to reveal himself, and the shocking crime of someone close is unearthed.
I quite enjoyed this. I like Emory as a main character and Jeff is possibly the most abrasive partner ever. But they make a good straight man / wise guy duo. I didn’t even guess the murderer. I’d started to suspect, but I wasn’t sure and that’s a pleasant rarity for me. The editing is clean and writing is sharp. I thought the use of names or endearments in dialogue cropped up on occasion, but not too often and mostly with the same characters. So, maybe it’s just supposed to be a speech pattern of them in particular. Then that reveal at the end…well, I guess I need book three now.
I received a copy of Fatal Shadows, by Josh Lanyon, through Netgalley.
Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English finds himself the prime suspect when his employee—an old high school buddy (and more)—is found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and public argument the previous evening.
Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions—and when a few hours later someone breaks into Cloak and Dagger Bookstore, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself.
Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he’s next on the killer’s list.
I quite enjoyed this. It’s really more of a mystery with a gay main character than a m/m romance, but I have no complaints on that front. I quite enjoyed the late 90s-ish setting and following Adrien as he pieced the mystery together. I’d picked out the killer early, but learning the how and why was fun.
I said this isn’t a romance, but it did seem as if scaffolding was going into place for a romance to develop in future books. The problem is that the possible love interest was such a jerk in this book. He’d have a lot of ground to make up for in my eyes.
All in all, I look forward to continuing the series.
I came across and claimed an Audible code for a copy of Burned to a Crisp (Gingerbread Hag Mystery #1), K.A. Miltimore. I don’t honestly recall where though.
Hedy Leckenmaul runs a strange little bakery in the sleepy town of Enumclaw, Washington. Her bakery may be bizarre but it is the non-human guests who stay at her home, along with her resident ghost, and her menagerie of talking animals that truly is strange. Hedy hosts a waystation for supernatural travelers and while hosting two such travelers, the town is rocked by an arsonist who is kidnapping women, and pitting the residents of Enumclaw against each other. Hedy and her friends must solve the mystery when one of their own vanishes, leaving them racing to find out who is behind it all before it is too late.
This was pretty good, if not quite to my tastes. It does depend heavily on being quirky and cute, with the main character just being the sweetest lil thing you could imagine. *Insert eye roll.* Maybe it was the way she was voiced, but for all the world she reminded me of Ms. Frizzle, from The Magic School Bus. I’m not so much into the nice-nice protagonists, with their utter lack of grey, which the heroine and all the good guys here are. Despite that I do appreciate that the book is well-structured (though the pace sags in the middle a little), there’s a pleasant little FF side romance, the mystery isn’t blatantly obvious (though not too hard to figure out either), I liked the characters themselves, and the narrator did a fine job. All in all, I might read another Gingerbread Hag Mystery, but I’m in no rush about it.