Title: The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter: Book Two)
Author: C.S. Poe
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: I really liked book one in this series, but with this sequel, it gets even better.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.
Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that brings him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases.
It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line—it’s his very life.
Review: Someone, it seems, knows mystery addict Sebastian Snow a little too well, and they have lured him into a puzzle involving P.T. Barnum.
Sebastian owns the Snow Antique Emporium: anything historical or unique captures his interest. When a mystery crops up, he just can’t resist, and even though Sebastian has achromatopsia (being able to see only in low light and shades of gray), it never becomes a crutch for him and even added a sense of melancholy to a couple of scenes in this installment of the series.
Calvin Winter has really tried to keep Sebastian and their relationship going. Sebastian makes him crazy and over-protective, and there’s always that slight doubt if their relationship will survive. With his cold cases, estranged family, and the worry about Sebastian putting himself in danger, Calvin starts to suffer even more with his PTSD. Even Quinn Lancaster, Calvin’s partner, has noticed a difference in Calvin.
When Neil Millett, who is a forensic investigator as well as Sebastian’s ex, shows up to work the incidents involving Sebastian, Calvin and Quinn, it becomes obvious he still has feelings for Sebastian. There’s something strange going on with Neil. Has jealousy and anger turned him into a psycho?
While Sebastian and Calvin are slowly but surely progressing with their relationship, they are also each dealing with their vulnerabilities—you can feel the fear that Sebastian has about losing Calvin. I really liked book one in this series, The Mystery of Nevermore, because I was familiar with Edgar Allan Poe, but with this sequel, the series gets even better. Max Ridley, Sebastian’s assistant, gets wrapped up in this mystery too, which I thought was fun because his character brings a lot of humor to the story. I was also intrigued because I knew of P.T. Barnum—the first thought when you hear the name is always the circus, but he brought us the “curiosities” too, which were bizarre, and it was interesting to see how C.S. Poe constructed a fantastic plot around them.
William Snow, Sebastian’s dad, is such a warm and loving man. His relationship with Sebastian is heartwarming, and he never holds back when Sebastian feels vulnerable because of his achromatopsia. William not only shares his love and warmth with his son, but with Calvin too. He is the subtle advice-giver, and he hits a homerun every time.
For mystery lovers, this is a must read full of action, suspense, danger, and a not-so-easy solving of the crimes. I’m really enjoying this series and my biggest curiosity is what historical subject matter C.S. Poe will come up with next.
You can buy The Mystery of the Curiosities here: