October 2nd, 2019

andrew potter

Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Southernmost Murder by C.S. Poe

Southernmost Murder

"The novel was a delight from the start. The main character is likable. While none of the other characters come to life quite as much as he does, they are all developed enough for the chemistry between all of them to work. There's lots of fun banter. The sexual tension and build-up between "Indy" and Jun is done well, and the sex scenes are both believable and original. I love the natural way details about narcolepsy are woven into the story, making this educational as well as entertaining. The story flows well. There's a nice balance of romance, work, and murder mystery. The novel is mostly fluff, but it's so enjoyable it doesn't feel at all like a guilty pleasure. It's just pleasure. Only near the end does the main character do something so stupid that I had to put the book down and walk away. I know authors are supposed to keep their main character in trouble to keep readers interested, but this particular bit of trouble was self-inflicted and extremely irritating, the only part of the novel that was legitimately unpleasant to read. (It's the part about Jun's gun. Jun forgives him too easily, and that didn't quite read true, either.) I understand authors want their characters to be imperfect, but this section of the novel was the only part that kept me from giving the plot a score of 10. Despite that, the novel gets back on track within ten pages or so, and the remainder of the novel is as entertaining as ever. I wasn't completely crazy about the identity of the mysterious caller, but I expect other readers will like it well enough. The novel was so entertaining that I'm definitely interested in reading more of the author's work."

Aubrey Grant lives in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West, has a cute cottage, a sweet moped, and a great job managing the historical property of a former sea captain. With his soon-to-be-boyfriend, hotshot FBI agent Jun Tanaka, visiting for a little R&R, not even Aubrey’s narcolepsy can put a damper on their vacation plans.

But a skeleton in a closet of the Smith Family Historical Home throws a wrench into the works. Despite Aubrey and Jun’s attempts to enjoy some time together, the skeleton’s identity drags them into a mystery with origins over a century in the past. They uncover a tale of long-lost treasure, the pirate king it belonged to, and a modern-day murderer who will stop at nothing to find the hidden riches. If a killer on the loose isn’t enough to keep Aubrey out of the mess, it seems even the restless spirit of Captain Smith is warning him away.

The unlikely partnership of a special agent and historian may be exactly what it takes to crack this mystery wide-open and finally put an old Key West tragedy to rest. But while Aubrey tracks down the X that marks the spot, one wrong move could be his last.

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