Title: Murder on the Mountain
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: When Jesse Morales, a recent college grad who aspires to be a mystery writer, volunteers to work on the summit of Mt. Washington for a week, he expects to work hard. What he doesn’t expect is to find a corpse in the fog, lying among the rocks, his head crushed. The dead man turns out to be a young tourist named Stuart Warren, who strayed from his friends while visiting the mountain.
Kyle Dubois, a widowed state police detective, is called to the scene in the middle of the night, along with his partner, Wesley Roberts. Kyle and Jesse are instantly drawn to one another, except Jesse’s fascination with murder mysteries makes it difficult for Kyle to take the young man seriously. But Jesse finds a way to make himself invaluable to the detective by checking into the hotel where the victim’s friends and family are staying and infiltrating their circle. Soon, he is learning things that could very well solve the case—or get him killed.
Review: Jesse loves mysteries. His sole desire in life is to write the next great one, and when his volunteer work on Mount Washington provides the perfect real life mystery to solve, Jesse moves in to do some investigating of his own. Unfortunately, Kyle Dubois, the detective in charge of the case, does not share Jesse’s enthusiasm. Kyle, who still struggles with the death of his wife five years previously, has always known he likes both females and males. In fact, his wife was not only aware of his sexual inclinations, she allowed him to be himself and never judged him for his bisexuality.
However, Kyle never acted on those feelings and now, after meeting the younger wannabe sleuth, Jesse Morales, every alarm is sounding inside Kyle’s head, but in spite of those warnings, he’s pushing toward experiencing sex with a man for the first time. Even so, while Kyle is not embarrassed by his desire for men, he is also not out of the closet, so between the need to keep his investigation from being compromised and his fears about coming out, he tries to avoid getting involved with Jesse altogether. But Jesse Morales has other ideas and before long, these two are heavily involved—with a murderer on the loose and a mystery to solve.
I really enjoy a good mystery. I read many of them and I must admit that I solve them way too often before the final pages of a novel reveal the culprit. So, imagine my delight when I had to go the distance with Murder On The Mountain to figure out just who the murderer was and why they did it! What a great novel this was!
Author Jamie Fessenden once more shows how intuitive and intelligent a writer he is by introducing a somewhat bizarre and less than savory cast of secondary characters who push the plot along and keep the reader guessing till the end. Between the twists and turns of a lecherous brother and a cold-blooded psychopath, the people surrounding the deceased are strange, diabolical, and just bizarre enough to make this story really fascinating. Alongside these folks comes our two lovers, Kyle and Jesse, and neither of them disappoint. Kyle is both fragile and daring, finally acting on long held desires and still trying not to soil the memories of the love he had for his wife. Jesse is steady and, at times, foolhardy, easily revealing his younger age but still determined not to allow the seven year gap in his and Kyle’s age to be a stumbling block to exploring a relationship.
When these two work to solve the murder, the story come alive and the action rolls along as each little clue is painstakingly revealed. The end was simply explosive, and the revelation of who murdered Stuart was absolutely trumped by the why! It was shocking, exciting and made perfect sense once all the pieces were put in place. Murder On The Mountain is such a worthy addition to the mystery genre, and I highly recommend it to you!
You can buy Murder on the Mountain here: