ARC Review: The Mystery of Nevermore by C.S. Poe


30983609It’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.

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*I received an ARC of this book from DSP Publications via Netgalley

With the first sentence of this book the mystery part is set in motion. When Sebastian opens his store one morning there’s a really strong smell of something decaying somewhere. Eventually he finds the source, a heart. When he reports it to the police a special unit arrives, and with them is Calvin Winter. Sebastian gets suspicious that the police would send a special task force immediately for something that looks like a prank. He has an affinity for mystery novels, so he knows something is going on and can’t help investigating on his own.

The attraction to Calvin Winter is instant. Sebastian, who’s still in a relationship with a closeted cop, can’t help but feel drawn to Calvin. Even though at first he is a suspect for Mr. Winter. 😉
The relationship with Neil is on a downward spiral and the end is pretty much in sight from the beginning of the book. Understandably so because Neil, also a cop, is still in the closet and does not want to come out. So Sebastian’s frustration is relatable, and yet I would have prefered if he had talked to Neil before anything happened.

“So why did a man – who was the same color to me as a sunset or dog shit – seem too stand out from the muted world around him in a way no one ever had? I couldn’t explain.”

I loved Sebastian. His quick-witted mind and his fascination with mystery novels and particularly his interest in the literary works of Poe. I liked the setting in an antique store, and how it made for a more mysterious atmosphere.
I’ve never read anything by Mr. Poe prior to reading this book, but I don’t think it’s necessary to know his works. It’s like a little treat for fans, but I don’t feel like I missed out on something. The way C.S. Poe has written the story made it easily accessible for someone who did not have a passion for Poe’s poems and short stories.

The mystery part of The Mystery of Nevermore drew me in and grabbed me right from the beginning. I loved the idea of someone murdering (or doing other criminal things) based on a book or a poem. It was captivating and, until closer to the end, I had no idea who the murderer was. I had a suspicion but wasn’t sure. The suspense kept growing the closer Sebastian got to the solution and I really liked how everything came together at the end.

“Am I under arrest?”
“No, but if you want to see the inside of a cell so badly, just ask,” Calvin replied.
I was caught off guard by the smartass response.
Then he did something I hadn’t seen yet. He smiled.
“So you can be rendered speechless,” he stated.

Calvin was more of an enigma and I would have liked to know more about him. But seeing as there’s more books in this series I guess we will find out more about him. So this isn’t a negative point. Just a reader complaining that she has to wait to find out more. 😛

What I didn’t like very much was how fast Sebastian and Calvin went from strangers to having sex in the kitchen. That seemed rather abrupt and I actually had to got back a couple of pages to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Because, prior to that, there were no signs that this would happen. Sebastian was attracted to Calvin but, maybe because we don’t have both POV’s here, it seemed one-sided. So I was a bit surprised by that.

“Any moment I’d wake up from maybe slipping on ice. I’d be lying on the sidewalk, staring up at the stormy sky with a hard-on that refused to quit, because even that made more sense than a detective I had been certain was straight suddenly being on his knees in the kitchen, telling me to fuck his face.”

Other than that The Mystery of Nevermore was an enthralling and very enjoyable read that left me wanting more. I couldn’t get through it fast enough to find out who was behind the murders. Suffice to say that I’m really looking forward to the next book and I definitely recommend this.

Genre: Contemporary Genre: Mystery Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: DSP Publications Review Tag: Part of a series

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