Series: The Gaslight Mysteries 03
Author: Erin O’Quinn
Genre: Historical (1923), Mystery, Action
Length: Novel (218pgs)
Publisher: Amber Allure (28th September 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3½ – 4 Hearts
Blurb: The time is 1923, and the place is a fantasy city in Ireland. Two unlikely men have formed a partnership: good-natured Michael, who keeps a serious secret, and sulky Simon, who has plenty of reasons to be angry at the world. Michael has stalked the standoffish Simon from the beginning, and Simon has consistently rebuffed him…yet not enough for Michael to give up a dedicated pursuit of the handsome investigator.
As private eyes, the men have a case to solve; to find more than a score of stolen paintings, and especially one small valuable work of art worth more than all the others. But the case grows more complex the deeper they look into it. Soon Michael and Simon find themselves searching not just for a thief, but also for a citywide ring of criminals. And the closer they get to the paintings, the closer they find themselves to a killer.
Into this mix steps a man named Moshe—a pesky, secretive, nosy man who is nevertheless a brilliant investigator himself. He gives both the men fits, burrowing like a tick into their very private affairs, so close they have a hard time evading him.
Can the investigators solve a series of crimes, take care of the interfering Moshe, and drive their own intense relationship all the way to the bone?
Purchase Link: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/ToTheBone.html
Review: This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Simon and Michael are back and their partnership as investigators is a lot easier than their relationship behind closed doors. As Simon and Michael come to terms with what they share, they still have work to do and they discover there was more to the ‘Brown man’ than they first realized. Picking up a case for missing paintings, their investigations lead to the discovery of a connection to Simon’s family, and they stumble across a citywide criminal ring. Throw in a secretive man called Moshe who won’t leave them alone and they have an interesting couple of days ahead of them.
If you have read the previous stories in this series then you know that Michael is a confident man who is cheeky and cheery, but has found himself infatuated with an uptight man. You will also know that Simon is that uptight man who is still struggling with what Michael makes him feel, but he is becoming slightly more relaxed and not quite as grumpy as he portrays to be. Their adventures together usually ends with injury, capture and danger but they usually get their man and this story is no different with more characters adding to the intrigue.
As they work together on the new investigation, we see how they complement each other, but it is still not easy especially when a figure from Simon’s past sticks his neb in. The investigation is interesting and leads to a bigger investigation with Michael and Simon turning to Pinkerton’s and making a deal. Moshe is a man with surprises and who keeps his secrets close to his chest, so close in fact that he makes Michael look like a blabbermouth, but if Moshe really wants Simon’s co-operation then he has to learn to share.
I really liked this story and the progression of Michael’s and Simon’s relationship, although from the first story to now it has only been a matter of days it does seem longer and Simon’s reticence adds to the overall effect of it being drawn out. I love the way that Simon works through what he is feeling rather than jumping in feet first and Michael seems to be getting Simon’s nature better and backs off a little in this one, letting Simon come to him and make the first move. At times, the story does seem to take place a lot in their heads as they think and dissect what is happening between them, and reliving certain couplings but it doesn’t take away from what is going on around them. We also see how their relationship is heating up with a lot more sexual activity taking place with *gasp* Simon taking the initiative more.
I recommend this to those who love historicals, great characters coming to an understanding, an interesting investigation, secrets being revealed, an ending that is oddly hot, and slightly touching.