Author: Maggie Kavanagh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/14/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Mystery
Sequel to Double Indemnity
The Stonebridge Mysteries: Book Two
Six months into a relationship, things have heated up between political blogger Sam Flynn and FBI Special Agent Nathan Walker. Though Sam is happy with Nathan and proud of his own sobriety, he’s anxious about what their future holds. Things are heating up in Stonebridge, Connecticut, as a series of deadly fires puts the community on edge and eventually threatens Sam’s comatose brother. As Halloween approaches, fears rise that the arsonist will strike again.
When Sam encounters the main suspect, seventeen-year-old orphan Damon Blake, he’s not sure what to do. Obstruction might land him in jail, but he is increasingly skeptical of Damon’s guilt. He takes matters into his own hands and investigates, but doing so means keeping Damon’s whereabouts a secret from Nathan and the police. Meanwhile, Nathan wonders what Sam is hiding and grapples with insecurities of his own. Sam wants to confide in Nathan, and Nathan wants to trust Sam, but they discover that negotiating new love can be as dangerous as solving crime.
I don’t think we can quite call Inner Sanctum a cozy mystery since Nate is a FBI agent and all, but Sam is our main investigator. He is certainly NOT a policeman or agent, so we will call it a cozy-ish mystery. Yes, I have a thing for cozy(ish) mysteries. They are all about the everyday man (or woman) seeing a wrong and wanting to make it right. It is a fine line for an author to walk because you can’t paint the authorities in a bad light, but you have to believe that your protagonist is the only one that can solve the crime.
I read the first book in The Stonebridge Mysteries, Double Indemnity, a few months ago while I (eagerly) awaited the release of Inner Sanctum. Now I am in the position of once again sitting on my hands while I, not-so-quietly, await the release of Sam and Nathan’s next adventure (for which there is a teaser at the end of the IS eBook).
The entire story is told from the third person point of view of Sam, a political blogger, landscaper, and newly minted boyfriend of FBI agent Nathan. From a relationship perspective, we see Sam and Nate grow closer while Sam struggles to find his footing in the relationship and remain sober through his stress. We see the Nathan is the kind of man the Sam needs in his life. He is a solid presence whose mere presence makes Sam want to be a better more solid man. They each have to offer what the other needs in bed and out. I enjoyed seeing these two grow into the relationship.
As for the mystery, it is solid, but easy to follow. There are no esoteric red herrings thrown in just for the sake of trying to throw the reader off. Even without those meaningless clues, the mystery kept me turning the page. At the core of the mystery is the throwaway kid Damon, who you can help but want to hug. He is the motivation for Sam’s involvement in the case. He is the one you simply must see exonerated.
I enjoyed by time spent in Stonebridge. Though, with all these murderers, I am not sure that I would want to visit this quaint New England town in real life. However, I am looking forward to my visit in Blind Spot.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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