Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Bellingham Mysteries Boxed Set
AUTHOR: Nicole Kimberling
PUBLISHER: Loose Id
LENGTH: 360 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 23, 2016
The Bellingham Mysteries series, now available in a convenient boxed set!
Peter Fontaine is a reporter writing for a free weekly newspaper in the quirky little town of Bellingham. Nick Olson is a reclusive painter with a questionable past and a studio in the Vitamilk Building. Peter has a knack for choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case that place is the Vitamilk Building and the time is the moment that Shelley Vine, local art professor and rising star of the art world, is stabbed to death.
Determined to understand why Vine was killed, and convinced that breaking the story could jumpstart his career as an investigative journalist, Peter begins his own investigation into her death. As Peter uncovers more information about Vine, Olson, and the interconnected lives of the rest of the artists at the Vitamilk Building, he finds himself falling in love with Nick.
Peter wants a story but he also wants Nick, and it looks like he’s going to have to make a choice before the two can paint the town Primal Red.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Small-town Pacific Northwest reporter Peter Fontaine wants to level up. A job offer in Austin seems to be the answer to his prayers, but there’s one catch: his boyfriend, Nick Olson–artist, recluse, and snow-loving outdoorsman.
When Peter agrees to go to the Freezing Man snow sculpture competition, he thinks he’s going to get a lesson in making love in a hollowed-out snowball in the woods. He thinks he’ll either find a way to convince Nick to come to the Lone Star State or be forced to say goodbye. But one frozen corpse derails Peter’s personal plans entirely..
Black Cat Ink
Small-town reporter Peter Fontaine has a cherry job, a hunky artist boyfriend, and an insatiable lust for rooting out the truth. In this third installment of the Bellingham Mysteries, he and Nick must try to recover a stolen statue in time to host their big Halloween party.
The catch? The statue was created by Nick’s ex lover, and to find the culprit, Peter must first delve into Nick’s past. Will Peter’s slutty nurse costume be enough incentive for Nick to come clean about his life before Peter?
One Man’s Treasure
Four years ago, Peter Fontaine made a name for himself as Bellingham, Washington’s premiere investigative reporter. Since then he’s got an award, a cat and good-looking artist to come home to every night.
Nick Olson, Peter’s long-suffering lover, has a lot of reasons for wanting Peter to stop investigating the many and varied crimes committed in the City of Subdued Excitement. Peter’s nasty habit of getting held at gunpoint by lunatics has Nick wondering if any story is worth losing the man he’s decided to “everything-but-marry.”
But when a famous ceramic artist drops dead at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market, Nick agrees to help Peter dig deep to unearth the secret rivalries and dirty deeds done at Green Goddess Farms. And then they’re going to have another long talk about these bad habits of Peter’s.
Birds of a Feather
Peter Fontaine just wants to get married. He’s got a willing man, a house, a cat, and the official permission of the State of Washington. Everything should be peachy, but weddings mean guests and guests bring the magic of friends and family–the enthusiastic, the vengeful, and the weird.
But figuring out a seating chart that won’t result in homicide isn’t Peter’s only problem. He’s a reporter and reporters need stories. Fortunately Peter has one. When he finds a dead, dismembered bald eagle near his home, he’s on the case. As guests converge upon his home, Peter searches the county for the person responsible…
I love a good mystery but sometimes I just don’t want something massively involved or so convoluted that I couldn’t find my way back to the point of the story with a road map and a gps. Lighter or ‘cozy’ type mysteries are generally my go to in that situation but, up until this point, I had yet to find a m/m book that qualified under that classification; I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have that change! This boxed set was great; each of the books presented were entertaining and full of a unique, often quirky, cast of characters that complimented the two main characters, Peter and Nick, perfectly.
Peter was a fantastic character; full of the sort of inquisitiveness that naturally leads him into trouble, his job as an investigative reporter is the perfect foil to lead him into all sorts of mysteries in a variety of situations. The best thing about Peter, however, was his inner monologue. Seriously, being a writer he couldn’t help but compose what he would say at any given time even if it was only inside his own head. Having done this a time or two myself, I totally got this facet of Peter’s personality and found them highly entertaining breaks from the rest of the story. Nick was a good balance for Peter; more grounded and with a less fanciful personality he often brought Peter back down to earth when he was determined to remain amongst the clouds. Up until the last book in the boxed set, however, I never really felt I got as good a grasp on Nick as I had Peter; while Peter was pretty much an open book, finding anything out about Nick was a slower process that spanned the entirety of the boxed set.
Each of the stories in this collection were entertaining and perfect for a relaxing read in at the end of the day and I really enjoyed them all. While on the lighter side of mystery, I can say with a great deal of glee that each and every one was worth the read and that I never saw either the culprit or the reason behind the crime coming. That, more than anything, made this a great set of books. If you’re looking for mystery great for an afternoon of relaxation and that won’t twist you up trying to figure out what’s going on, I would totally recommend looking into this boxed set or any of the individual stories it contains.