Category Archives: Mystery

BOOK BLITZ: Blow Down (Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #4) by JL Merrow

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ABOUT THE BOOK:
Death is what happens when you’re making other plans.
 
The last thing newly engaged plumber Tom Paretski needs is to stumble over another dead body.  He’s got enough on his mind already as the reality of his impending marriage sinks in. Not only is his family situation complicated, his heroism at a pub fire made him a local celebrity.  Now everyone and their uncle wants a piece of his psychic talents.  Hired to find a missing necklace, Tom and his fiance, private investigator Phil Morrison, wind up trying to unmask a killer – and there’s no shortage of suspects, up to and including the local bishop himself.  As Tom and Phil try to uncover the truth, they find themselves pulled in all different directions by the conflicting pressures of their families and their own desires.  But the murderer they’re up against is a ruthless schemer who won’t hesitate to kill again.  If Tom and Phil aren’t careful, their love – and all their plans for the future – could be blown down like a house of straw.
 
Warning: Contains a bishop of questionable Christian charity, a necklace of questionable taste, and a plumber of questionable nationality who may be running out of time.
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Release date: July 12, 2016

Book Length: 249 pagesSeries: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries

 
PURCHASE A COPY: Amazon / ARe  / Samhain
 

Other Books in The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries Series:Copy of plumbers mates SERIES

Pressure Head (Book #1)

Relief Valve (Book #2)

Heat Trap (Book #3)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, and English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards Finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.  Find JL Merrow online at www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

 

Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis #6) by Rhys Ford

Dirty Heart CoverRelease Date:  March 18, 2016
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Final book in the Dirty Series arc.

Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.

Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.

As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.

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OUR THOUGHTS:

Get ready, Cole McGinnis fans, because Dirty Heart is exactly the conclusion to this series you’ve been waiting for. Rhys Ford wraps up the final installment with all the mystery, suspense, and intrigue we’ve come to expect and the sweet, smoldering romance we know and love. (With a healthy dose of Korean swearing thrown in.)

I’ll admit I was apprehensive to begin reading knowing this is the final story in this arc, but I couldn’t be happier with the way Ford ties up all the loose ends.  I’m not sure how I’ll manage to part ways with Cole and Jae – that won’t be easy. Their story is one that draws me in and makes me part of their world as if I’m right there with them whether it’s tender moments or terrifying bloodshed. Reading those final lines is definitely like saying goodbye to old friends, but I have a feeling I’ll be back to visit from time to time. These are the kind of stories you read again and again, finding new details with each reread.

At risk of spoiling anything about this book – it’s certainly something you should experience firsthand – I’ll be deliberately vague. What I will say is it’s pretty much no holds barred; no one’s safe,  and danger is out there, rearing its ugly head at every turn.  Jae is back in all his awesome Jae-ness while Cole’s up to the usual – solving impossibly complicated mysteries involving extremely dangerous people. Ford holds us in suspense as she cleverly works her plot, making what seem like a million complex twists and turns before finally revealing the answers to questions new and old.  Untangling the web is a bit messy to say the least, but man, is it oh so satisfying.

If you’re new to this series, congrats! You’ve stumbled upon an amazing mystery series in completion which means no waiting for new books! For the rest of us, it’s a somber see ya later to characters we know and love.  Thank you, Rhys Ford, for a fantastic ride.

RATING: STILETTOS!

Vanished 2 by Carter Quinn

Release Date: September 26, 2015
Published by Carter Quinn Books
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

It’s only been three weeks since Henry woke up to discover his husband, Tom, had vanished. He’s still struggling to come to terms with his new reality when he receives a haunting phone call: “Henry. Help me.” It’s Tom’s voice, but Henry is afraid to believe. His world has already come crashing down around him twice in the last six months. Is Tom really alive, or is Henry losing his grip on reality?

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OUR THOUGHTS:
WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING??

Tom? Is that you? Are you there? Is this real?

Carter Quinn gave us a tiny- minuscule – sliver of hope at the end of the first Vanished book that maybe, by some miracle, Tom hadn’t died after all. Where does that leave poor, heartbroken Henry? He’s already suffered a breakdown because he’s so bereft and can’t fathom moving on, but that’s what he must do in this next installment of the series. It’s all about moving forward, one foot in front of the other, staying firmly rooted in reality. Needless to say someone has other plans.

You see,  that’s when it starts – more of those little glimmers of hope. Just as Henry’s finally making strides toward his new normal, he hears Tom’s voice in an anonymous phone call as if he’s reaching out beyond the grave. The longer it continues the more I imagine someone is fabricating the entire thing; my main questions are who and why? But most of all I’m back to my very original question: WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?

The main suspects for me? Tom’s parents. They have to be involved in this somehow, right? Their business dealings are everywhere and suspiciously connected to Henry’s professional life. Their recent activity raises some flags for sure.  Beyond that it seems that it could be anyone, but I’m reminded that often in mysteries it’s the person you least expect. Carter Quinn does a masterful job of keeping you guessing.

Overall this is a fantastic continuation of the Vanished series. I didn’t feel the disconnect from book one to book two you often find, and the characters are consistent as are the mood and pace. Quinn methodically – almost maddeningly – weaves an intricate, emotional story that gives you satisfying answers while leaving the door open for still more questions.

RATING: STILETTOS

BOOK BLAST: Gone Away (Circles, #4) by Elizabeth Noble

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We’re thrilled to host a book blast stop for Elizabeth Noble’s latest installment in the Circles series, Gone Away. We’ve loved every second of this mystery series and can’t imagine this story will be any different. Be sure to check it out:

ABOUT THE BOOK:

GA Final Draft 101515Mason Arquette isn’t one for mincing words. In fact, he often rubs people the wrong way—with the exception of Riece Burrell. Riece came with his own set of social issues, but he saw right through Mason’s tough exterior, and they made a perfect couple. Or so Mason thought… until Riece abruptly ended their relationship without much explanation.

Years later, Mason and Riece are thrown back together. As a US Forestry Service photographer, Riece is sent on assignment to the Black Hills, where Mason works. When Mason is tasked with guiding Riece around the territory, old feelings quickly are rekindled.

But nothing is ever easy. Just as Mason and Riece begin to work things out, they’re targeted by people with motives so vile and twisted they defy imagination. In a desperate race for their lives, they must depend on one another and take a big step out of their personal comfort zones to find their way back to safety—and back to love.

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Release Date: January 6, 2016
Book Series: Circles, Book Four
Published by Dreamspinner Press
Book Length: 115 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, MM Romance, Mystery

PURCHASE A COPY: ARe / DREAMSPINNER PRESS / AMAZON

EXCERPT:

“Hungry?” Mason poked at the campfire he’d started. This spot was a popular one. There was already a fire pit rimmed with rock and stone, set against an outcrop and facing a small stand of trees. Whoever constructed it had clearly thought out the location well. The trees were far enough away to be of minimal danger from the fire, yet close enough to be convenient for hanging food from. Their fire was protected by the outcrop and the shallow pit.

Riece turned and studied Mason and their camp. He grinned and raised his camera to take a few more pictures. “You photograph very well.” Riece walked over and sat beside Mason. “Want to see?”

“Sure. If I don’t like them, do they get deleted?”

“No,” Riece said and rolled his eyes. He settled on the ground beside Mason and leaned against him while going through the photos he’d taken that day.

Without thinking, Mason lifted one arm and put it around Riece, tucking him close to his side. “Those are pretty good. Even the ones with me in them.” Both of their actions seemed natural and easy.

Riece snorted and pulled the micro-memory chip out. “Of course they are. I have excellent technique.”

Mason laughed and handed Riece his bag. Riece extracted a plastic case, slipped the chip into one of the slots, and put a new one in the camera. “What’s on the menu?”

“Chicken burritos—well, my version. I threw some potatoes on to bake too, and the all-time campfire favorite of s’mores.”

“Oh, nice. I haven’t had those since I was a kid. My mom used to make them for me over the stove.”

“You haven’t had s’mores until you’ve had them made over an open fire,” Mason said.

Riece tucked his camera away, and they set about assembling and eating their dinner. Mason squeezed shredded chicken from foil pouches onto tortilla wraps. They added shredded cheese, some salami, and dried fruits and spices to the mix. Mason rolled them in foil and set them on the hot embers from the fire to warm up. Dried power-drink mix to add to their water completed the meal. It was completely dark by the time Mason loaded skewers with marshmallows for roasting.

“That was pretty good.” Riece leaned against his pack and gazed up at the sky.

Mason laughed. “What were you expecting, squirrel meat?”

“I was worried about what we were going to eat. I’ll admit I had visions of freeze-dried food packets. I didn’t really pay attention when you were packing. I was afraid to look too closely,” Riece confessed.

“Tomorrow we’ll be near a river, and we can score some fresh fish and use our water filters to refill our bottles. I’ll show you how to spear fish.” Mason stood and stretched. When he began collecting their food stocks and garbage, Riece immediately joined in, helping him. “Anything like toothpaste or mouthwash we’ll store in our sack as well. That stuff smells good to wildlife too.”

“We can keep the lube with us, right?”

That made Mason laugh. “I wouldn’t dream of having it any other way. It’s nice enough out tonight. I can set the tent up, or we can sleep without it.”

“If you don’t mind, and if the wildlife will cover their eyes, I’d like to be able to see the open sky.” Riece sat cross-legged near the fire and pushed his hands against the ground. “Sort of hard and lumpy.”

“You’re such a city boy,” Mason said with a chuckle. “That’s what I brought a sleeping pad for.”

“Now who’s being a city boy? I was thinking more along the lines of how comfortable you are to sleep on.”

Mason smiled, rolled his eyes, and shook his head before he went about completing the task of getting their sleeping area readied. Riece packed their food in the bear bag they would use to secure it high enough off the ground it would be safe. Using a rock and some utility cord, Mason showed Riece how to rig it between two trees.

“We’ll use this as a base camp, hike farther out tomorrow, and come back here to sleep before heading to the next area you need to go to,” Mason explained. He’d spread the map out and traced their path with one finger.

Riece looked over his shoulder. Mason could feel his warm breath on the back of his neck and how he nodded every few seconds. Eventually Mason spread the sleeping pad out, and Riece inflated it before arranging their bedrolls over it.

The temperature dropped fast after the sun went down. Riece was lying on his back, arms bent under his head, looking up at the sky. They’d hiked quite a way that day, and Mason was getting tired. He spent a few minutes watching Riece. He’d folded his clothes and neatly placed them in his backpack, which made Mason smile. Even in the wilderness, there were some things Riece would do to follow his routine, and there was no stopping him. Mason had learned long ago trying to make Riece give up too many of his habits too quickly would cause him to close off and withdraw. Something Mason wanted to avoid at all cost.

Mason stripped off his clothes before he slid into the bedroll with Riece and wrapped one arm around his waist. Despite the cool night air, he was warm in seconds with Riece’s body against his.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Noble started telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Being able to share her works with Dreamspinner is really a dream come true. She has a real love for a good mystery complete with murder and twisty plots as well as all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural and a bit of an unnatural interest in a super-volcano in Wyoming.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess and one tabby cat. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!). When she’s not writing she’s working as a veterinary nurse, so don’t be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

Three of Elizabeth’s books have received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards.

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH:

FACEBOOK / FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE / TWITTER / PINTEREST / WEBSITE / NEWSLETTER

 

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