Title: Cemeteries by Moonlight (States of Love)
Author: Hunter Frost
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 18, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count : 108
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When a serious bout of writer’s block threatens to delay mystery author Drew Daniels’s newest book, his aunt offers her New Orleans apartment in the heart of the French Quarter as a writing retreat. She neglects to mention that it’s occupied by the enigmatic and sexy Finn Murphy, a cemetery tour guide with a penchant for Victorian attire and a Cajun accent.
A body discovered in an open crypt forces reclusive Drew to deal with Finn’s eccentric group of friends and his underlying attraction to the hot Cajun—despite warnings about Finn’s violent past. Drew might write this stuff, but he’s never had to solve a real-life murder. With a deadline looming and a killer on the loose, this retreat is proving to be anything but helpful for Drew’s novel. Drew can only hope he won’t end up a tragic tale for the Ghostly Legends & Lore, Inc. haunted tour.
I love New Orleans and never pass up on anything related to it. The “States of Love” series always captures the beauty and charm of the featured states in every book. This time we get a rich dose of New Orleans in all its enigmatic glory infused with its scary history, marvelous food, a sweet romance and top it all off a MURDER MYSTERY.
The setting of the book is really nice. Finn Murphy is a cemetery tour guide and he definitely knew his history. Throughout the first part of the story as Drew and Finn explore the city, we get a heavy dose of the macabre history of the city of New Orleans. It enhances the entire spooky feel of the book. There is no outright voodoo or magic as such but you will definitely get the feel that the spirits are at work behind the scenes. The time and again appearance of the crow/Marie Laveau, the legendary priestess of voodoo was eerie and lend the slightest touch of paranormal, keeping with the overall unearthly/sinister theme of the city.
The story is not too long and the plot flows very smoothly with the murder taking place within 24 hours of Drew’s arrival in the city. Along with the progress of the murder investigation, we learn more about all the secondary characters/suspects who were a part of Finn’s and the victim’s life. The characters were a quirky and diverse lot and within the short amount of pages the author did a good job in detailing them very nicely.
The murder mystery is not very predictable except the fact that the culprit is someone within Finn’s friend circle. It’s not too exciting but I liked how it played out.
As for the romance, Drew and Finn’s relationship develops fairly fast. Drew is attracted to Finn and vice versa from the very start. Drew’s insecurities due to his Tourette’s makes him hide himself from Finn but when his secret comes out Finn accepts Drew, ticks and all. In the midst of pain and suspicion, Finn and Drew connect with boiling passion. There is no relationship development as such but at the end we get a HFN ending which was believable.
I really enjoyed this mystery infused romance a lot. The enigma of New Orleans is present in full force here and I loved every moment of it.