I grabbed a chance to read this one mostly because of the blurb on the story- I love romance mixed with murder mystery- and because I’m always eager to try a new-to-me author. Now, this was not the first book in the series, but I had no problem reading it. I’m aware of at least one secondary character in the story probably starred in his own early book.
Holden is a rich reclusive writer. The world comes to him by necessity because he is an agoraphobic. He didn’t used to be, but now he hyper-ventilates and faints if he even tries to step foot outside his door and he really gets worked up if he thinks he is being watched. And this is bad because the recently hired gardener (which he has been lusting over) has turned up a body in his backyard which brings the police and the media down on him. Half the town is gossiping that the body is Holden’s ex-lover that he murdered out of revenge and many of them think his gardener who has a police record is in on it with him.
For a recluse, you would think that Holden would be left to his own devices, but that is not to be. His childhood home is busier with people coming and going than a hotel. Holden’s life is invaded daily by his no-nonsense housekeeper who has been there since he and his brother were children and of recent days by Adam, his new handyman-used-to-be-just-the-gardener and now romantic interest. His brother, Porter, has recently moved back in to weather the last few days of his third divorce and his brother’s childhood friend is there to be his drinking buddy. His brother’s presence brings along his brother’s soon to be ex who isn’t ready to call it quits. But the most disturbing presence- and one by necessity he had to invite to prove he’s not murdered at Holden’s hand- is his backstabbing, betraying moneygrubbing ex, John.
Between someone trying to frame him for murder, the police hounding him as chief suspect, his brother’s behavior and the new thing with Adam, Holden’s life is complicated in an interesting way. The story is told from Holden’s point of view and I have to tell you- I loved his ‘voice’. He is witty and irascible without being irritating. It is very easy to imagine him being who he is. I laughed so many times at his take on everything going on around him. It was neat to read his various reactions to people and his thoughts on his phobias. The relationship between Holden and Adam is understated, but just by the way Holden reacts and feels about Adam when he learns Adam’s issues show that there are real feelings involved even if the murder and ensuing mayhem highjack the story much of the time.
I was so taken with this story and the author’s writing style that I am definitely going back and reading the rest of the series.
I recommend this book for those who like lighter m/m romantic suspense with a witty hero telling the story.
Thank you to Net Galley for providing the book for review purposes.