Title: Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Rhys Ford (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 5, 2015 – 236 pgs
Dead women tell no tales.
Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.
Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.
Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.
What can I say about this book… I am not even sure I can put into words how much I loved this book! Rook was the perfect amount of funny/snarky but also you see him a little unsure and hurt. Dante was the Alpha/ Protective detective who fought his feelings from the start. You get a lot of action with this one mixed in with mystery which I loved. Once I started this book I could not put it down. I loved Rook’s grandpa and the way Rook and him interacted together. This was a slow burn to me but once they finally admitted to themselves how they felt it was on and let me say their scenes together were so very hot!!!! So all together I really loved this book. I would definitely recommend this book!
Rook is a hot mess. The former burglar is being framed for murder and the detective in charge of the case has a long-held grudge against him. Add Rook’s attraction to said detective (and someone who really wants Rook dead) and Rhys Ford has set up a complex and compelling murder mystery.
I enjoyed this, but I didn’t love it. At times the chemistry between Rook and Dante was fantastic. I loved Manny and Archie as slightly unconventional father figures and there was some brilliant dialogue.
I felt that the plot became increasingly convoluted and far fetched. I couldn’t follow clues with the characters, I was re-checking names and playing catch-up. The insta-relationship between cop and criminal was hot – but were we really supposed to believe the LAPD was absolutely fine with it? I just didn’t buy the relationship progression. Dante and Rook moved from vendetta to true love in a few days, completely bypassing interest, affection and romance. It didn’t quite work for me.
The plot also became repetitive. Jail, bail, hospital…repeat. I hate the hospital-as-a-relationship-catalyst plot device. Add in the-lead-character-is-seriously-injured-but-will-discharge-himself-and-save-the-world cliche and the plot construction is just a little bit lazier than I expect from Rhys Ford.
This kept my attention, but I had to work pretty hard to keep up with the story. Rhys Ford’s writing is usually more polished than this. Overall, this is a decent murder mystery story made better by a cast of quirky supporting characters.
Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.
Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.