Genres: Historical Romance, M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on March 24, 2015
I welcome each new installment in this series like I do the chance to enjoy my favorite dessert. It’s a treat that I both relish and draw out the experience as long as I can because I will be sad when its over.
The series really should be read in order, but I suppose in a pinch this one would work as a standalone.
In this story, Jonty and Orlando are in London visiting Jonty’s parents before heading to Italy for their summer holiday. Mrs. Stewart is consternated by the unlucky number of thirteen guests for dinner. This leads the menfolk to help by first suggesting they borrow a local hotel’s wooden cat used for just such occasions even while they cover their bases by also contacting a Cambridge friend they know to be in London.
This leads to a quick mystery of solving the disappearance of the missing Montgomery, the wooden cat, and then the human last minute guest providing them with a second even more intriguing case. They are commissioned to discover whether a murder was done when a young lady suddenly dies and the family acts strangely afterward even barring her fiancé from the funeral.
Jonty and Orlando work the case. Clues are light on the ground and hearsay runs rampant. More and more, they wonder if there really is anything in it beyond people keeping the usual amount of secrets and acting oddly. But they can’t shake that feeling that something is truly amiss.
The stories are delightful for the fun mysteries to solve, but what really sets them apart from the pack are the characters and the setting. The stories occur just before the dawn of WWI and the last innocent genteel days. The scenes are the academic world of a Cambridge college, London, and English countryside. And then there are the endearing characters of the teasing, sweet Jonty who works by intuition and the broody, slightly eccentric Orlando who propounds order and method. They are colleagues, detective partners, and tender lovers. Their relationship advances and matures throughout the series and that is definitely my favorite part.
The mysteries in this one are only a little twisty, but still a challenge to work out. I cottoned to the answer early on even though I didn’t have the motive worked out until much later when all the facts were gathered.
In summary, this easy-paced mystery was utterly engaging and left me eager for the next installment. I would recommend this book/series to those who enjoy m/m historical mysteries or romantic suspense.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #266 LGBT
Historical Romance #72
Historical Fiction #24
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