Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Private Dicks: Undercovers
SERIES: Private Dicks
EDITED BY: Samantha M. Derr
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 426 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 24, 2012
Temper by Siobhan Crosslin—Reese hates deception, but that’s all his life has been since he was sent to investigate a wolf pack on clashing sets of orders. Keeping his lies separated is all that’s keeping him alive, and it’s a job that grows harder by the day—especially with the unexpected complications of the alpha he’s investigating.
The PI and the Rockstar by K-lee Klein—Mason is a detective. He’s not flashy or hip and he doesn’t have an office conducive to entertaining wealthy clients. But when made-of-money Durango and his gum-snapping daughter hire him to do surveillance on a popular rockstar named Jade Jonathan Lee, Mason’s business world collides with his personal life, and the result is a mystery that must be solved.
Glamour by Holly Rinna-White—When his little brother is kidnapped, Jason hires Eric, PI and long-time crush, to find him, terrified of what will happen if people learn his brother is unregistered psychic. But when Jason is kidnapped as well, he learns he and his brother are not the only ones keeping secrets.
The Virginia Gentleman by Alison Bailey—When the Virginia Gentleman rides into town, it’s a sure bet that trouble ain’t far behind. He’s quick on the draw, feared by all, and one sad little group of train robbers is about to find out why it’s never wise to bet on trouble.
The Royal Inquisitor by Megan Derr—Esmour is one the best Inquisitors in the kingdom, but the penance bracelets on his wrists serve as constant reminder that once he was not a master of deception, but a victim. To solve his latest case, he must work alongside the liar who changed his life, and the love he learned too late was never real.
Regarding the Detective’s Companion by E.E. Ottoman—Jamie is desperate: he has no money, rent is coming due, and if he doesn’t do something soon he’ll be forced back into a life of charity and pity. So when he is brought a case, Jamie takes it—even if it will mean lying to his client, manipulating the suspect and propelling himself into the middle of a plot involving murder and political intrigue.
The Demon Bride by Isabella Carter—One dead body left at the door is more than enough, but after three are left on the stoop of his father’s agency and no one else is willing to investigate, Quinton decides he’ll just have to solve the mystery himself.
Too Dangerous by Sasha L. Miller—Shi is good at what he does, no matter what his stupid ex thought. Danger comes with the territory, especially when that territory includes a special license to do select work for the government. But when the government needs him to fix something that defeated even their most elite, Shi learns that some situations are too much even for him.
I love mystery stories and while I do enjoy seeing the boys in blue in action, there’s something really appealing about seeing a private investigator save the day. This was a nice diverse collection of stories that has something for just about everyone: paranormal, steampunk, historical, western, fantasy…each story was unique. I enjoyed the entire collection, for the most part, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I took to read it. If you like a good mystery and like a good variety with your stories, this one could be for you.
Temper by Siobhan Crosslin: 5*
This was a great way to start the anthology and is the one story that I find myself still thinking about now that the book is done. I liked how the shifter clans were structured more like the mafia as that was something I hadn’t seen before and it gave a unique feel to the story. I also felt really bad for Reese with the situation he found himself in but, even with the upbringing he had, he proved he was a lot smarter than I think he was ever given credit for. I especially love how he brought some BAMF to his bringing the case to a close. Add in a nice HEA and I was sold.
The PI and the Rockstar by K-lee Klein: 4*
This story did not go at all the way I expected. For one, it was surprisingly sweet and low on the drama that I was expecting and I really liked how Mason was the one being looked after at home as I wasn’t expecting that of his partner. Not a lot of angst and with surprisingly down to earth characters, I enjoyed this one overall.
Glamour by Holly Rinna-White: 4*
For a story about a psychic there was less of the ability shown than I thought there would be though there were still some interesting aspects. I liked the addition of the ‘other species’ and the small twists that brought to the story though I did figure out what was going on with Eric (for the most part) before it was revealed in the story. It was a decent read but wasn’t spectacular; I’m sure I’ll re-read it at some point.
The Virginia Gentleman by Alison Bailey: 3*
For the vast majority of this story I couldn’t figure out just why it had been included in the anthology to begin with. The entire thing revolves around a group of train robbers and you are only given a glimpse of the private investigator briefly near the beginning. The story was okay, for the most part, but it wasn’t so entertaining that I couldn’t put it down for a great deal of time before coming back to it. The ending made up for some of my ambivalence about the story as a whole but I don’t really foresee myself reading this again.
The Royal Inquisitor by Megan Derr: 4.5*
Like pretty much everything else I’ve ever read from this author, I really enjoyed this one. I felt really bad for Esmour as, criminal or not, no one wants to have their heart stepped on the way his was. The fact that he’d been trying to do the right thing and wasn’t even given leave to explain just made me hurt that much more for him. It was nice seeing his lover realize just what had happened and even better to see him make up for it. I would’ve liked to have read more about these two but I’m satisfied with the ending given.
Regarding the Detective’s Companion by E.E. Ottoman: 4.5*
While I’m no stranger to seeing a main character with a disability, this is the first time I’ve seen one working as a detective. It was refreshing seeing Jamie at work despite his condition and the steampunk setting just added a little extra bit of interest to the story. This was an easy read with unique characters and a sweet ending.
The Demon Bride by Isabella Carter: 3.5*
While on the whole I found this one entertaining, it felt as though something was missing to give it that feeling of ‘wow’. I didn’t really feel the connection between Oz and Quinton, though they loved each other, and the addition of Sebastian didn’t really fit for me. I think I would’ve been happier if Francis had gotten what was coming to him at least but I’m at content that things left off on a good note.
Too Dangerous by Sasha L. Miller: 4*
After all the paranormal elements I’d been reading, it was really nice to get a science fiction story to end the book. I liked Shi and how, even though he was obviously out of his element, he was willing to jump in the deep end of his investigation in order to save his ex. The setting was interesting and I enjoyed the fact that Elis, despite being a prisoner, didn’t just wait for Shi to get him out. While I would’ve liked to have seen a more defined ending, things were left on a high note between the two men and this was a fairly good way to end the anthology.