Reviewed by Heather C
Title: The Mystery of Nevermore
Author: C.S. Poe
Series: Snow & Winter #1
Heroes: Sebastian Snow/Calvin Winter
Genre: M/M Mystery Romance
Length: 230 pages
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
C.S. Poe is a new to me author, and here lately, I’ve been very hesitant in requesting review copies of authors I am not familiar with, but I was immediately sold on the blurb (yes, I actually read the blurb this time) and all the references to Edgar Allan Poe.
The Mystery of Nevermore tells the story of Sebastian Snow, a 33 year old antiques shop owner stuck in a four year long closeted relationship. (The boyfriend is in the closet, not Sebastian.) One morning, shortly before Christmas, he discovers a heart hidden beneath the floorboards of his store. That’s when Detective Calvin Winter enters Sebastian’s life. Big and hard…and gray? Well, did I forget to mention Sebastian suffers from achromatopsia…meaning he cannot see color. Which is very unfortunate as he is told Calvin is a fiery headed ginger with freckles all over!! Oh, but Sebastian can see the freckles and he is immediately attracted to the “heartless” detective. Wait, but there is a mystery happening here! So, Sebastian discovers that other crimes are occurring near him with a very Poe-ish nature. And of course he can’t help sticking his nose in Detective. Winter’s investigation…even if it makes Sebastian a bigger target.
I love everything Edgar Allan Poe!! I love his stories. I love his poetry. I even love the details of his life…and death. I love how the author incorporated his work into the mystery here. There’s a murderer out there killing people in a manner very reminiscent of Poe’s work. I had a lot of fun attempting to identify which story/poem inspired each crime and I can say I figured out most of them! Unfortunately, I also immediately figured out the killer the first time they showed up on the page, but I could not figure out the “why” they were doing the killing. So, there was still a good mystery to follow, but I feel it could have been stronger.
This book has a A LOT more romance than I was expecting, being that this is a DSP Publications release. Yes, there is mystery, but this was still very much a romance!
Sebastian’s current relationship with his boyfriend Neil has been quickly going down hill over the past six months. Even though they’ve been living together, Neil is a detective and refuses to come out and declare his love for Sebastian in the open. He makes Sebastian feel like his dirty little secret and Sebastian is no longer happy with living in the closet. So when Sebastian meets Calvin…and has sex with him, he’s still technically still in a relationship with Neil. This could be an issue for some readers, but the chemistry between Sebastian and Calvin makes it all worth it for me. Plus, Neil had already used up all his chances in my eyes and never put Sebastian before himself. Plus, Calvin was so hot when he was being attentive and concerned for Sebastian. The problem: Calvin is still in the closet himself!!
My only complaint with the romance between Sebastian and Calvin, is that it bordered a bit too close to insta-love for my tastes. I can’t say that they work out all their relationship issues in the end; after all, this is the first book in their series!! But the book ends with a solid happy for now.
In the beginning, the story was very “Adrien English-like”: frumpy dressing shop owner with a disability turns amateur sleuth when he is investigated by a hot closeted detective…then falls for said hot closeted detective. Except in this case, the hot closeted detective actually loves the nearly TSTL amateur sleuth.
What’s next and how long do I have to wait for more Snow & Winter??!!
Overall Impression: I Really Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*