Dana and Bethany review Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1) by Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner Press, June 5, 2015, 236 pgs)
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb: Dead women tell no tales.
Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.
Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still makes his blood sing.
Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.
Bethany – Well I have yet to read a Rhys Ford book that I didn’t like so I suspected this one would be no different. An you know wha,t I was right, she still hasn’t let me down.
After reading the blurb I knew I was going to have to read this one. It sounded like a classic Rhys book, filled with death, destruction and some really hot guys. I love cops in my books and Rhys has a way of writing them that makes me swoon and leave me wanting more. She also knows how to write a broken, damaged character that you can’t help but fall in love with.
Rook and Dante are an unlikely couple due to their past, I mean really a theif and the cop that tried to put him away. You can’t help but shake your head wondering, how it the heck is this going to work? But man oh man it does. Dante knows that Rook has been under his skin for a long time and when he finally does look past Rooks, er… previous work, he sees the scared man. The man who doesn’t think he is capable of being loved.
But Rook is capable of being loved, he just has a hard time of believing Dante can. We also see in a really hilarious way that Rooks Grandfather can love him as well. I will say that as much as I love hot cops and broken boys in my books, Archibald was my favorite character in this story. I loved him so very much, he had me laughing so hard in so many place you can’t help but want to squeeze him in a big hug.
Rhys is a vivid story teller. She writes in such a way that you actually feel like you are a part of the story. She left me always questioning who the bad guy was. And I love it when an author can leave me guessing till the very end. I was thrilled to learn that we will be seeing more of Rook and Dante, and I can not wait. Another fantastic book, one that I will highly, highly recommend.
Dana – Rhys Ford is an auto-buy author for me. I have yet to read a book from her that I didn’t love. Mystery and Mayhem was no different. It had a lot of the same qualities as her other series, Cole McGinnis and Sinner’s Gin. There is the alpha detective (Dante) and the suspect/witness (Rook). The action is intense as always and the love story very sweet. Then there are the pop-culture movie references that I love so much. It’s a treat when you catch them.
Dante and Rook have a long history going into this story. Rook was a thief who avoided prosecution time and time again by Dante and his former partner. There was also a near incident in a darkened hook-up spot that has stayed with them just as long as their detest for each other. Over four years have passed since their last encounter to the murder that brings them together again. Other bodies begin to show up all in connection with Rook or near the memorabilia shop he owns.
Dante realizes that Rook is not guilty of the crimes when someone attempts to kill Rook himself. The two men can’t help but see their past encounter through even though it presents a conflict of interest and begin an affair. Dante overlooks their past to the man Rook is now, but Rook can’t and has difficulty believing that he is worthy of being loved because of it. They do find some similarities in their pasts; their parents’ rejection after they came out, and they both have relatives that are pretty cool. Dante’s uncle Manny is an awesome drag queen and Rook’s wealthy and estranged grandfather comes off controlling at first, but later shows that he really does love his grandson, he just doesn’t know how to handle his independence.
They mystery portion of this story was done really well, because until the reveal, I really didn’t expect the outcome or suspect who the culprit was. Fans of the movie that Rook keeps quoting throughout the book will love the ending, it is absolutely perfect. I definitely want to see what is in store for this series. I would love to read about Dante and Rook again, or even see a story about Rook’s cousin, Alex, who we get a glimpse of near the end of the story.