Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: The Mystery of Nevermore
SERIES: Snow & Winter #1
AUTHOR: C.S. Poe
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
LENGTH: 216 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2016
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.
There are 101 things in life I simply don’t have the patience for, and finding someone else’s rotting heart in the floorboards of my shop just about tops the list.
Sebastian Snow is a man of very little mystery. He owns an antique shop and spends his days going thru and selling the various objects that people have left behind. But his rather simple life is rudely interrupted by the discovery of a rotting heart beneath his floorboards. It doesn’t take being the son of a retired Professor of American Literature to draw the very obvious connection between the heart and Edgar Allan Poe’s story.
Detective Calvin Winter dearly wishes he would stop trying to butt into the investigation, whatever Sebastian’s background, nonetheless. But despite the fact that the detective, his boyfriend, and almost everyone he knows is warning Sebastian off, he can’t help but be intrigued by the mystery. None of this is at all related to his growing attraction to Detective Winter, of course. Sebastian has a boyfriend, after all. A kinda lousy one, but still…what the heart wants (and who put it under the floorboards) is the real issue.
Very few works of American literature have stuck with me the way that Poe’s (Edgar Allan) have. With the ability to craft haunting short stories and poems, he made himself a place in history that will not be easily uprooted. Even those not versed in literature know of “The Raven.” I still get goosebumps when I remember The Tell-Tale Heart. So I was initially intrigued by the blurb of this book. I had no idea if the author could do justice to the feelings invoked by the mere mention of Edgar Allan Poe’s writing, but I was certainly game to give it a try.
After finishing this book I must say that Poe (C.S.) takes those stories crafted by Edgar Allan and uses them to create a mystery all her own. One that is both memorable and fulfilling.
The Mystery of Nevermore turned out to be far more engaging and entertaining than even I anticipated. Trapped into the story from the very first page, I found myself absolutely in love with the complicated and ever-increasingly mysterious happenings of Sebastian Snow.
It may seem odd, but I really liked how Snow was in a relationship before (and during) meeting Calvin Winter. Normally this kind of thing would be something to get my hackles up, but the inevitable spiraling of one relationship (with Neil) and the dangerous beginnings of another (with Calvin) worked for me. I am so eager to see what happens to Winter and Snow’s relationship from this point on. With so many things that could go wrong (or right), Poe did a great job of creating hunger for the second book in the series without leaving the reader on a cliffhanger.
Poe (C.S.) also did a wonderful job of weaving the the various Edgar Allen works into her mystery without it becoming too distracting. I love Poe (Edgar Allan) but I didn’t want this story to be simply about him. I wanted mystery (and a bit of a romance). I got that in spades. The little tidbits that we get became something to be savored or dissected for clues, not just simply serve as a lecture on the man and his works. To make me curious about something enough to go look it up online, but not so much as to bombard with so many facts as to make it tedious, is a skill that I dearly appreciate in an author.
This book definitely had the feel of Josh Lanyon’s Adrian English series. And I can only hope that the Snow & Winter series continues to grow into something I can love just as completely. With great characters and ability to keep me drawn into the mystery, I can easily see Poe taking her spot among my list of authors able to give me my beloved detectives and mystery men.
My recommendation is that you grab a nice big cup of coffee, find a comfortable chair, and then let Poe tell you the wonderful story of Sebastian Snow and The Mystery of Nevermore.