Foxe Tail (Skyler Foxe Mysteries #1)

Title & Link: Foxe Tail (Skyler Foxe Mysteries #1)
Author: Haley Walsh
Cover Artist: Deana C Jamroz
Buy Link (Kindle): Buy Link Foxe Tail (A Skyler Foxe Mystery)
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
Length: Novel, 288 pages (79,000+ words)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Buda

Summary Review: A promising start to a fun and funny new mystery series featuring a gay high school English Literature teacher. I’m already looking forward to book 2.

***This review contains what might be considered spoilers.***

The Blurb:

Gay teacher Skyler Foxe thought teaching English Lit was murder. Wait till he falls into the real thing.

Skyler Foxe is a brand new English teacher in his hometown of Redlands, CA. He loves literature, loves his students, loves his friends, especially his best friend Detective Sidney Feldman. But he doesn’t love keeping his orientation a secret, afraid of the backlash in this conservative county. But will murder thrust him into unwanted limelight? Who killed his principal’s son outside a gay dance club? And what’s the connection to James Polk High? Is the macho football coach or his mysterious and gorgeous new assistant coach involved? Can Skyler trust anyone at the high school when there seems to be conspiracies around every corner?

The Review:

Skyler Foxe is rather desperately trying to get his 10th grade English Literature class interested in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar when, out the classroom window, he sees his beloved new car being bashed to hell with a Louisville Slugger by his latest trick. (To be fair, the car is a Volkswagen New Beetle, so it had it coming!) Rodolfo is, quite obviously, pissed because Skyler won’t answer or return his phone calls. This is just the beginning for poor Skyler, but it is a great example of how fun this book is to read:

Skyler glanced helplessly back to the window before taking Rodolfo’s arm and steering him behind the battered Bug. “Look, we had a good time for a few nights but now it’s over, okay? I never promised you anything.”

“Oh yeah? That’s not how I remember it, Sky-ler.”

“Well that’s the way it was… And now you broke my fucking car!

“Hmph. A car is nothing compared to the heart.”

“I’m gong to rip yours out,” Skyler said between clenched teeth. “And my car isn’t nothing. Do you know how long I saved up for a down payment?”

Skyler lives in the Inland Empire area of California, about which I know absolutely nothing, but it must be something similar to the Bible Belt of the Midwest (about which I know entirely too much), with its closed-minded views about homosexuality. Our closeted-at-work hero is afraid this little stunt of Rodolfo’s will cost him his job.

The next night, Skyler and his best friend, Sidney, a detective on the local police force, go for a night out at a bar in San Bernardino. After hours of dancing, Skyler steps out the back door for some fresh air and discovers an obviously-murdered dead body. Not just any random dead guy, but Wesley Sherman, the son of his high school principal. He accompanies Sidney to tell Mr Sherman about finding his son’s body, feeling he owes it to the man to hear the news from someone he knows.

Skyler, despite repeated warnings from Sidney, cannot get the murdered boy out of his mind and begins his own clumsy investigation. His discoveries lead to more questions than answers, most of which are left as loose threads to be (hopefully) tied up in the upcoming books. The mystery of the murdered Sherman is solved by the end of this book, though.

The characters in this book are beautifully drawn and the humor is quick and witty. Skyler is a trip, with lots of issues and a generous sense of humor. His friends, Jamie, Philip and Sidney are all well drawn and the interaction between them all is comfortable and believable. Both Philip and Jamie are former tricks of Skyler’s who somehow managed to morph into friends. The three of them have formed the Skyler Fuck Club and, over Philip’s loudly-voiced objections, Rodolfo is inducted into the group.

Keith Fletcher, the possible romantic interest for Skyler, is an interesting character. I have my own theories about him, but we’ll all have to read the next books to find out what his deal is. He runs warm (friendly) and cold (avoiding Skyler), but never hot. If I had a main disappointment about the book (aside from the identity of the killer), it would have to be the lack of romantic involvement for Skyler (and no, I’m not counting the one-nighter with He of the Many Piercings). Still, with the frustration levels I was feeling by the end of this book, when/if Keith and Skyler get together, it will be explosive–at least, it had better be!

There is a nice side story about Alex Ryan, one of Skyler’s students. He has some anger issues, which Skyler tries to help him resolve by getting him accepted onto the football team. (Considering the story starts in October, I wasn’t sure how that worked. When I was in high school, first practices began at the end of July and the season was over by late November. Perhaps it works differently in California.)

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed following Skyler on his exploits, both in sleuthing and teaching. Foxe Tail is an easy, fun read with very little angst. If you can possibly make room in your Series Followed list, I highly recommend this book.

Buy Link Amazon Global

Skyler Foxe Mysteries

hannah

Oh, man.. I just read your review on “The truth of yesterday”. Im going to add these both as series to follow.
Thanks for the review.

keepaskingwhy

Cant say Ive seen men driving VW beetles, the older ones, yes; the newer ones no.

LadyM

Buda, you were right. I loved it! And I want the rest now. *whines*

Aunt Lynn

This sounds perfect for me, Buda. Thanks muchly.

Haley Walsh

Thanks so much for that wonderful review! Yes, *Keith* and Skyler will definitely make sparks fly in the next one, FOXE HUNT, due to be out in the late fall or winter of this year. I must finish another novel first and then I will get to finishing up FOXE HUNT. It takes about a year for each new book to come out (since it takes about six months to write the suckers). Thanks for all your encouraging remarks. Cheers! Haley

Daanquai

I read this book and loved it! It was way funny: Rodolfo, the SFC, Sydney. I also liked how the Inland Empire was explained. I remember reading James Buchanan’s “Inland Empire” and never understood the significance of that title. Now that I know…I finally get what his character’s deal was! Anyway, can’t wait for the next book! Hopefully Skyler and Kevin get some action going on ๐Ÿ™‚

Helena

Oh, no, another series worth checking ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think the worst is the wait between releases :grumble:
Thank you for your review ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Reggie

Wow, another great review Buda! Informative and entertaining! I’m needing more fun books on my TBR list so on it goes. I past over this myself, so thanks for your time and energy. Much Appreciated! :flowers:

Oh, and yes football is over here in Cali Oct/Nov also, then wrestling starts for winter sports.

edenwinters

The beating the Volkswagen scene got my attention, and the Skyler Fuck Club. Too funny. This one’s going on my list.

Nichele
Sounds interesting! Although, admittedly, I tend to be a sucker for books set in the Redlands/San Bernardino area since I live about 30 minutes from there. Having said that, though, I’ve never really thought of Redlands or San Bernardino as conservative cities. I mean, it’s not like L.A., but they’re not Bible Belt eitherโ€”at least in my experience. Oh well. It won’t hinder my enjoyment of the story, I’m sure. Speaking of which, I was sold at “Gay teacher.” The rest, like the mystery aspect, is just a cherry on top. But ever since “Caught Running” I’ve had a major… Read more »
sarah

I remember visiting my uncle in San Bernadino years ago and he was a 7th day adventist. Everyone in the community was the same religion. Even the hospital he worked at was the same religion. On Saturdays you couldn’t have any electronic devices, radio’s, TV’s on so it was like a ghost town. My apparently inaccurate kid impression (this was many years ago) was that it was a very conservative bible belt type community & area. It was certainly way different than L.A. & San Francisco.

I’m definitely interested in this story though & will check it out.

Sirius
I loved this one so very much and cannot wait for the book two myself, so glad you liked it Budda, i loved Skyler, I loved his kids and want to know what Kevin’s deal was too. Lack of sex did not bother me, but i do want Skyler to have some romancing in the later books. You know what’s funny? I thought encounter with “he of many piercings” (too funny) was so very not romantic that I literally forgot about it and when I did minireview of this one on Amazon, I said book had no sex. When another… Read more »
LadyM

The opening scene and Skyler Fuck Club were enough to sell this story for me. Your enthusiasm and my love for mysteries are just the cherry on top. Thanks, Buda, I’ll put this one on my list!

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