Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review: The Pinchbeck Bride by Stephen Anable

Title: A Pinchbeck Bride
Author: Stephen Anable
Publishing House: Poisoned Pen Press
Release Date: 03/04/2011
ISBN: 1590588584

If you like mystery then it's often troublesome to find books that actually have mystery in them rather than having a hero or heroine just walking through a mystery & having everything unfold for them with little to no footwork. It's incredibly frustrating because sometimes that takes the guesswork out of everything. Luckily for you, this book actually has it's main character do some actual sleuthing & footwork.

Mark Winslow's in over his head. Not only does he have to work on his standup routine but he also has to worry about being a trustee at a local museum dedicated to the Victorian era. Mingo House is well known for it's collection of curios... as well as for it's unsavory past of seances, stolen royal goods, & blood money. When Mark discovers a murdered young woman (in Victorian clothing no less) in the museum, he just can't help but investigate the murder. Is this the work of a calculated murderer or is Mingo House really cursed?

Readers will thrill at this latest entry in the Mark Winslow series, especially since there's so much here to like. Not only does Anable create a series with a gay lead, but he also manages to keep from making him the one note stereotype that can be seen in many mainstream mystery series. Mark is gay, proud of it, & isn't going to conform to anyone else's ideals. It's incredibly refreshing, to be honest.

Many will also like the rich atmosphere that Anable weaves for the audience as he also delivers a page turning mystery that will keep you guessing until the last few pages. (I know I didn't predict the ending until the very last part of the book!) You'll find yourself not only reading for those few more minutes longer, but you'll also enjoy the great interactions between the characters. Another great thing for potential readers is that while this is the second book in the series, it is incredibly easy to pick up & follow along with. (Which is how most series books should be.) No worries about not being able to keep up with previously mentioned story lines.

The only flaws of this book are that the book is a little dry to start off with & that the ending is a little rushed. Some might find that while the ending is very plausible, that they just wanted a little bit more to the story to expand & flesh out the conclusion a little. This doesn't mar the overall enjoyment of it all, though.

This is one book that is worth the read & I heartily recommend it to fans of cozy mysteries & page turners.

(ARC provided by Netgalley)

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