After a glamorous studio party, "Psychic to the Stars" Sylvie Black is found murdered in her fortune telling booth, a blood soaked tarot reading spread out before her. Shortly afterwards, the high-profile director who was about to produce Ms. Black's 'tell-all' Hollywood screenplay, is found murdered as well. Closeted Homicide detective, Bill Turner, and his partner, Kate Crandall, find themselves sorting through a cast of likely suspects, who all seem to have secrets worth killing for. They soon run up against the studio rumor mill, and Jeremy Reilly, a young studio AD determined to protect their prime suspect. The characters in this book also appear in Am Riley's Amor en Retrogrado.
So because of the reviewing I do not get a chance to reread my favorites (in all genres, not just m/m) as often as I was used to, but I still try to find time to do it. And I am telling you, I demand demand DEMAND a new book from this writer and I demand it yesterday. Here, a temper tantrum is now over. :)
I think the funniest thing I realized when I started the reread is that I did not know that this is considered to be a second book in the series - and it is not like I forgot that Bill and Kate from "Amore en Retrogrado" investigate this case as well. I just always pictured these books separately. Don't ask me why, I just did.
So, this is a mystery and blurb is very clear about that - and I was just as impressed with the mystery part of the book as when I read it for the first time. I did not remember the villain actually when I started - I remembered in the second half of the book, but I really liked how the author still kind of made me guess and did both a foreshadowing and red herrings well IMO.
But I am even more impressed as to how well mystery and romance were blended together. Do not get me wrong - I am more than happy to read the gay mysteries where the only hint about main character's love live is that he is happy at home with another guy, but I sure am happy to see such a wonderful romantic storyline here between flawed but so very likeable characters.
"Not here," said Becket. "My place. If... if you still want..."
Jeremy suspected he would always still want. It was a troubling thought"
So much said with so few words. I think what impressed me about Jeremy the most was how very competent he was in his job and his take charge attitude where he needed to take one. In so many m/m romances for some reason being a younger character somehow means he is in need of protection and guidance. While Bennett is Jeremy's boss and gets to give orders at their job, I am guessing a lot of people would agree that Jeremy was taking care of Bennett way more often than the other way around.
Of course Jeremy willing to do *anything* and I mean anything to protect Bennett was kind of scary (hey, lying to the police why not? ;)), but in the fictional story it communicated how much he love Bennett so very well to me.
Bennett, well, see I think I like him too, a lot, despite his behavior, but I sure wanted to shake him a few times.
It was also nice to see Bill and Kate actually investigating things and being smart detectives. They could make mistakes, but they also used their brains and figured out some stuff. Bill sure could use some shaking in his personal life, but Kate just simply rocked on so many levels.
"Bill watched in amusement as Kate gave Moore a verbal ass whooping. He sometimes thought that if there were a Heaven and if, by some oversight, he made it to the gates, he would assuredly be stopped there by someone very much like Kate Crandall. It wasn't that Kate was a hardass. Far from it. It was that she was so fucking right all the time".
I cannot recommend this one enough.