Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 258 Pages
At a Glance: I highly recommend this book and will buy and read the next in the series to see what mystery the author has for us next.
Reviewed By: Carrie
In the innocent pre-war days, an invitation to stay at the stately country home of a family friend means a new case for amateur sleuths Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. In fact, with two apparently unrelated suicides to investigate there, a double chase is on.
But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the risk of discovery and disgrace is ever present. How, for example, does one explain oneself when discovered by a servant during a midnight run along the corridor?
Things get even rougher for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. Worse, when they work out who the murderer is, they are confronted with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve ever had to make.
Review: Lessons for Suspicious Minds is an Edwardian romantic mystery, an installment in Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows series. Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith have bonded together (both personally and professionally) to become amateur sleuths, and are having a measure of success with it. Both men are supported by Jonty’s very progressive family, who not only embrace all the new technology in the world but the relationship between their son and his partner also. Jonty’s parents provide great secondary characters who add a healthy dose of support and wit to the story.
The story begins with a letter; a letter from Jonty’s mother, summoning them to Fyfield, the estate of her godmother, Alexandra Temple. Even with age, the dowager duchess is still a formidable woman, and the request is not really a request, it is a summons. Her son, Reginald Temple, the Duke, invited his old school chums—a raucous group of men who called themselves the Ambrosians—for a visit, and one of them commits suicide. Or, did he? The dowager duchess wants to know the whole story and is not convinced her son is giving it to her.
Traveling to Fyfield, the pair are presented with yet another suicide victim. Are the two connected? So, the mystery begins. I am not going to spoil it for you and tell you any more of the story, but I will let you know that I didn’t expect where this plot led me. The mystery is good, it’s complicated and twisted – and it’s logical.
This book is also a true Edwardian romance – loquacious without being verbose. The prose is very time specific, taking you back to jolly old England, mentally. As such, the romance is subdued, as would be fitting for the time period. Jonty and Orlando are deeply in love, committed and solid, but they don’t have the freedom to touch or kiss as M/F couples might. Don’t look for a lot of sex in these books, there’s not. These books are about relationships and mysteries, both being equally wonderful.
Charlie Cochrane has two more books in this series being released soon, Lessons for Idle Tongues and Lessons for Sleeping Dogs, which will be released later this year, per her home page at Riptide Publishing, and I can’t wait. My only negative on this book is that I would have loved more Jonty and Orlando – just a few more paragraphs describing them and their relationship. Even so, I highly recommend this book and will buy and read the next in the series to see what mystery the author has for us next.
You can buy Lessons for Suspicious Minds here: