Author: Haley Walsh
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Winterheart Designs
Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 04/04/2015
Length: 28 hours 29 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
Foxe Tail: Gay teacher Skyler Foxe thought teaching English Lit was murder. Wait till he falls into the real thing.
Skyler Foxe is a brand new English teacher in his hometown of Redlands, CA. He loves literature, loves his students, loves his friends, especially his best friend Detective Sidney Feldman. But he doesn’t love keeping his orientation a secret, afraid of the backlash in this conservative county. But will murder thrust him into unwanted limelight? Who killed his principal’s son outside a gay dance club? And what’s the connection to James Polk High? Is the macho football coach or his mysterious and gorgeous new assistant coach involved? Can Skyler trust anyone at the high school when there seems to be conspiracies around every corner?
Foxe Hunt: High school English teacher Skyler Foxe finally hooks up with gorgeous assistant football coach Keith Fletcher.
But is the man what he seems to be? Skyler still has his doubts when he spies Keith in some shady circumstances. And there are still some unanswered questions as to what exactly is going on at the high school. Who thought high school could be so sinister?
Meanwhile, Skyler’s friends from college have their own problems. Lovers and partners, Evan and Jeff were kicked out of the Army for Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the depressed Evan is found dead. Suicide, says the police, but Skyler thinks otherwise. It’s Skyler Foxe on the hunt for a killer once more!
Out-Foxed: Skyler breaks it off with Keith, a teacher is murdered and a student might be involved through some twisted football initiation; Just another week at James Polk High.
Distraught at being outed, Skyler breaks it off with Keith, but they’ve got other problems. Protesters have gathered at the school and the school board has called a special disciplinary hearing. And as if that weren’t bad enough, Alex is getting into fights and skipping class. Might he be responsible for the murder of a teacher? Did Coach Carson send the boy to do the dirty work out of some twisted football initiation? Skyler knows it all has to stop, and he and his friends are on the trail to find a murderer and discover once and for all what is happening at James Polk High.
Foxe Den: Foxe Den follows Skyler Foxe and his friends through the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, in this collection of short stories. Along the way, Skyler gets to inflict his mother on his boyfriend Keith, meets Keith’s parents, and just generally tries to navigate the treacherous waters of a brand new relationship. Unlike the novels, this novella hasn’t any mystery to solve. It’s the sort of stuff that happens between characters once the book cover is closed; a gift of “DVD extras.”
I loved this series when I first read it years ago and listening to them again was (mostly) just as enjoyable.
Skyler Foxe is a unique character that I haven’t seen in other books either before or since. The amateur sleuth is seen a lot in mysteries, but Walsh makes him special. He’s a teacher but the mysteries he gets involved in come about naturally. Things don’t feel forced like with other, similar stories I’ve read.
The first three books of the series—Foxe Tail, Foxe Hunt and Out-Foxed—form a trilogy but each one can be read individually. In each story there is a mystery that is solved with more information added to the overall arc that is solved in the third book. Each book also adds to the romance between Skyler and fellow teacher, Keith Fletcher.
The relationship between Skyler and Keith is simply amazing. It’s perfectly paced—slow at first then balls to the wall—and is sweet and erotic. As well as frustrating at times because of the secrets both men keep from each other. I won’t ruin Keith’s secret because it’s a doozy and shocked the hell out of me when I first read the book. I don’t get surprised often so being shocked is a pleasant change.
The supporting characters here are strong. The Skylar Fuck Club—SFC—consists of men Skyler has slept with but are now just friends. There’s also Sid, Skyler’s best friend and a cop. She’s a strong character who isn’t cliché, certainly not the usual bitchy woman seen in so many m/m books. Add in Skyler’s co-workers and students and you have an awesome set of characters. Walsh did a very good job creating these people
In Foxe Tail Skyler comes across a body outside a gay club who happens to be the son of the principal of his school. There’s also mysterious stuff going on at school, specifically with the football coaches. He’s drawn to Keith from the get-go but is also closeted and afraid coming out would harm his career. It’s a genuine concern for all teachers and handled masterfully here.
In Foxe Hunt Skyler and Keith hook up but it’s obvious Keith is hiding something. Skyler also deals with a friend supposedly committing suicide. The story involves Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and again the mystery is skillfully written.
The coming out scene in this book is one of my absolute favorites of all time. I cheered both when I read the scene at the school dance and when I listened to it. Absolute perfection.
Out-Foxed deals with the outcome of Keith and Skyler coming out of the closet. In addition to protesters, some of their co-workers are less than pleased with the knowledge. The main mystery kicks into high gear and involves the school and some of Skyler’s students. Skyler and Keith’s romance faces trouble after Keith’s secret is resolved but they do eventually make it back together. A solid and pleasurable ending to the overall arc.
Foxe Den is a collection of short stories that didn’t fit in with the novels. All the stories here are strong and well-developed. The stories handle the holidays including Christmas, Thanksgiving and T Day—Skyler’s holiday with his friends. Each story also solidifies Skyler and Keith’s relationship by showing them with family and friends. It was great having Skyler deal with some of his issues that he knows he has to handle to have a successful relationship with Keith.
As I said at the beginning of the review I mostly enjoyed listening to these books. Unfortunately it was the narrator who lowered my satisfaction with the audio. Joel Leslie wasn’t horrible by any means, I’ve definitely heard far, far worse. However, I’ve also heard better.
He did an excellent job with both Skyler and Keith, which were really the most important. However, it was some of the voices for the supporting characters that I didn’t love.
To his credit, I will say there is a TON of characters throughout this series so it would’ve been damn near impossible to get every single one perfectly. In audio it only takes an odd voice to pull me out of the story, therefore lowering how much I liked.
There were a couple voices here and there that either didn’t sound right or didn’t fit the character, but one stands out. One of the teachers Skyler works with sounded like Roz, the cranky old creature in Monsters Inc. Every time she spoke I pictured the character from the movie.
Overall Leslie did a remarkable job with the book. Thinking about it as I write this I realize he deserves a higher rating than I originally intended. I was going to rate him 3.75 stars but instead I’m going for 4 stars. Considering the amount of characters in these stories he nailed 96% of them right on.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook 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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