Melissa reviews The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter, #1) by C.S. Poe Published by DSP Publications August 30th 2016, 216 pages
It’s Christmas, and all antique dealer Sebastian Snow wants is for his business to make money and to save his floundering relationship with closeted CSU detective, Neil Millett. When Snow’s Antique Emporium is broken into and a heart is found under the floorboards, Sebastian can’t let the mystery rest.
He soon finds himself caught up in murder investigations that echo the macabre stories of Edgar Allan Poe. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s sleuthing is causing his relationship with Neil to crumble, while at the same time he’s falling hard for the lead detective on the case, Calvin Winter. Sebastian and Calvin must work together to unravel the mystery behind the killings, despite the mounting danger and sexual tension, before Sebastian becomes the next victim.
In the end, Sebastian only wants to get out of this mess alive, and live happily ever after with Calvin.
A free copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I have never read anything by C.S. Poe before but the blurb intrigued me and when I learned that this book was written with the cheering of Josh Lanyon, I couldn’t say no. This week is also mystery week so it fit right in.
Wow, I loved this book! It is certainly an ode to Josh Lanyon’s Fatal Shadows Adrien English series, which are a favorite of mine too, but this book stood on its own. I give this a solid 4.5 stars.
The book does not end on a cliffhanger; it’s a definite Happy For Now. Which I am so excited about because this book is already identified as Book One of I don’t know how many!! I am sad (yet also happy, oddly enough) that this is my first C.S. Poe book, but it will NOT be my last. The writing was extremely well done, the character’s were likeable (even if predictable) and I can tell we are only scratching the surface with these two. I particularly loved Sebastian’s Dad – a sweet, loving, nurturing father.
The murder mystery itself was, for me, secondary to the story. Yes, I wanted to find out who the killer was, but I was TRULY interested in Sebastian and Calvin’s growing attraction and eventual love affair. The push-pull between the two is very familiar (I’ve read a lot of in-the-closet MM romances), but is one of only a handful that successfully pulled it off.
“How deep in the closet are you?”
He blinked and raised an eyebrow. “Come again?”
“I mean, are you hanging out with the shoes, or are you so far in the back, you’re with your tuxedo from junior prom and you stink of moth balls?”
And it’s the witty sarcasm of Seb (not Sebby 🙂 ) that makes the game so interesting and I HAD to know what was said next. I didn’t want to put the story down, but life intruded, and I was easily able to dive right back into the story, never once forgetting what had taken place.
Here is a “progress report” I provided at around the 50% mark:
“I am seriously loving this book! Grr, I am now at work and will have to pause reading until my commute home. And I can’t even say it stopped at a good part, because they are ALL good parts with this one! LOL.”
See, I wasn’t lying.
I know I’ve already said the book was predictable, and in this case, that wasn’t a bad thing. Just because I knew (or felt strongly that I knew) what was going to happen, didn’t mean I wasn’t eager to keep reading. It’s the characters that make the book, and I wasn’t stopping no matter what happened IRL. I knew (or felt strongly that I knew) who the killer was as soon as they were introduced; mysteries don’t have to hard folks, just entertaining. And this certainly was that. I can’t tell you how many times I laughed, smiled, snorted or just beamed at my kindle. Am I gushing? I feel like I’m gushing. I’ll stop now.
Dare I say I may have liked this first installment by C.S. Poe better than Fatal Shadows? I liked Calvin a lot more than I did Jake Riordan from Fatal Shadows (etc.). Calvin was just a more likeable guy, even though he is a closeted Homicide Detective. He didn’t seem to hate himself for it, he just wanted to keep it private. I really, truly appreciated the difference.
I highly recommend this book, and I have to assume the series to come. I just hope the next books to follow live up to the promise in this first book. I could keep going with my love for this book, but that is probably over kill at this point. I’ll just go read it again instead. 😉