Guest Reviewed by Gyn
Title: The Merchant of Death
Author: Lisa Henry
Series: Playing the Fool #2
Heroes: Henry Page/Ryan “Mac” McGuinness
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 205 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 31, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.
There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.
But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.
Review: Don’t be mistaken by the 3 stars, this book was a lot of fun mixed in with some sexual tension and a host of great characters to boot. So let me explain. First off, hi, I’m Gyn. I’ve been reading all kinds of books since I first able to. I respect everyone’s work but that doesn’t mean I like it all. And even if I do like it, doesn’t mean I’m giving it five stars. For me, The Discernible Gyn, 3 stars is a book that I really enjoyed. Merchant of Death, for example, was absolutely lovely. There are funny and loveable characters, a simple plot, and a budding sweet and sexy romance. So, when you see Gyn’s 3 star ratings, just know that it’s the kind of book you can zoom through and be happy and content for a few hours.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s why the second book in the Playing the Fool series was good for me. First off, it was light, sarcastic and funny. From the title and cover, through the little pistol and needle chapter headers and all the way to the end this book I smiled. I enjoyed watching Mac loosen his tie a little. His droll sarcasm just cracks me up! There’s a scene when he’s traveling in his car to go see Henry and he just kind of goes off. Lines like, “Using the book’s pages to wipe my hairy ass” and, “And it was about time to own that sheeyit” had me laughing out loud.
And if Mac was unwinding a little bit, Henry was reeling himself in and, for the first time, allowing himself to stay still long enough for the possibility of love. It’s another great thing about this book; the sweet moments come along and kiss you on the cheek every once in a while. Like the moment when Henry thinks about his real self underneath all of the lies and cons. “Why not let Mac have it? Maybe Mac knew what to do with Sebastian. If anyone knew, it would be Mac.”
By the end of this book, the unlikely con man and FBI agent relationship has made some significant progress. Even if it “was hardly an advisable match” as “Henry’s friends had an FBI poster taped to their dartboard”.
The ‘mystery’ part of this book reminded me a lot of the game Clue (which my children only recently discovered playing and is now played weekly at my house) in that it was not meant to be some great in-depth high-thinking mystery. It was very Scooby-Doo, a bit silly and mostly there for a way to bring the main characters together. There was no mask removed at the end but there was a rather nightmare-inducing Winnie the Pooh shirt.
I can’t wait to see what Mac and Cheese get up to next!
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*