I really enjoyed this mystery novel. Yes, it has obvious similarities to Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series – which I love – but I won’t speculate in whether this is a rip-off or actually an ode to Lanyon’s writing. Though I’m leaning towards the latter since the book was dedicated to a Josh.
Anyways. This is a super cosy mystery set in a snowy and Christmas-y New York. Well sure, there are a few murders, but strangely enough it’s still really charming and sweet. With some steamy hot shenanigans.
Synopsis: Sebastian Snow is an antiques dealer with his own little shop. When he finds a rotting heart hidden beneath the floorboards, things take a turn for the worse. His boyfriend since four years, a closeted police officer, doesn’t seem to be overly concerned. But then a fellow antiques dealer, and Sebastian’s former boss, gets murdered and Sebastian’s the one who finds the body. Suddenly he’s thrust into a murder investigation led by the hot AF detective Calvin Winter. The murderer seems to be inspired by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, and Sebastian seems to be a target. And so, the amateur sleuthing begins.
I’m a big fan of the slight, bookish type getting paired with a big, gruff hunk. So I obviously liked the Snow-Winter combo. I also thought it was quite refreshing that Sebastian was already in a relationship with another at the start of the story. The development borders on cheating, and I know many people have hang-ups about that, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I just thought it made the story more interesting and less predictable.
As to the mystery itself, it felt more as a backdrop to the personal development between Sebastian and Calvin. Or rather, to me, that was the perfect balance between character driven storytelling and the mystery of whodunnit. The resolution wasn’t immediately obvious, but I could guess who the murderer was about 70% in.
Sebastian did act a bit careless (read stupid) at times. And that was actually a concern I had before starting, since several reviews mentioned Sebastian doing stupid shit. But thankfully it wasn’t to an extent that bothered me – and I’m usually hyper allergic to stupid acting MCs. So that was a relief.
Basically, this is a delightful read and I will definitely continue with the next book in the series. And if you, like me, have fallen in love with Josh Lanyon’s stories, C.S. Poe is most definitely an author you’ll like as well.