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

33 comments

    • Hi, Lynn. I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy out of Skyler and the gang. Happy reading and thanks for the comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • Haley, I am so sorry about the Keith/Kevin thing (since corrected). Blame my brother-in-law. I’d just talked to him on the phone before writing this. Keep plugging away at that keyboard, because we’re definitely ready for more! Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
      • Funny thing was, Buda, I was going to name him Kevin, but we have a very good (straight) friend and I didn’t think he’d appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought “Keith” was a name that needed a new lease on life(much like Kevin) so I named him that.

        Reply
  • 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™‚

    Reply
    • Hey, jellybelly! Thanks for the comment. It’s always fun to take away a bit of knowledge from a fun read, isn’t it? So glad you liked the book. Now we will wait patiently, right? Or something like that!

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

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    • Hey, Helena. I think I was bemoaning another series when I reviewed the Killian Kendall book! I do hate the waiting between books, but it’s almost always worth it in the end. Thanks for the comments. Hope you enjoy the book. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment and info, Reggie. The timeline of the book stays within those two months, so we’re not out of football season, but I was surprised the coach would add someone to the roster that late in the game. Of course, it is fiction, so anything can happen. I sometimes forget that. I hope you enjoy this book when you find time for it. I’m feeling pressure now you said you’d passed on it once! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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

    Reply
    • LOL Whatever it takes, Eden! Funny books are one of my favorite things and this one has some great one-liners. The SFC was brilliant, too. I’m really looking forward to book 2. Thanks for the comment. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  • 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 thing for Gay teacher stories.

    Reply
    • Hi, Nichele! Truth be told, Skyler’s paranoia about being in the IE might have more to do with his innate personality quirks than it does the area itself. The boy is full of issues and would definitely qualify as “high maintenance”, but he “mans up” pretty good at the end.

      Caught Running is an excellent book, isn’t it? I need to read it again. I remember being ticked off that it ended where it did. Especially since Urban/Roux don’t plan a sequel. That book needs one!

      Anyway, enjoy Foxe Tail and thanks for the comment!

      Reply
      • Caught Running is one of my favorite go-to comfort reads. It’s also a book I rec for those who want to dip their toes into m/m. It isn’t perfect — they pen “the science teacher,” “the coach,” etc too may times and the headhopping drove me mad — but it is wonderful otherwise. Yes, I would love to see more, but as you say, our ladies are not furthering Brandon and Jake’s story.

        Reply
        • You know, Lynn, so long as the ladies keep writing Ty & Zane, I don’t care if they never write anything else. Those two men are pure perfection. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • Wow, Sara, that description is so Stepfordish, it scares me! Do check out the book. It’s definitely worth it. Thanks for the comment.

        Reply
  • 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 reader corrected me, I was like, oh wait indeed, there was *that*.

    LadyM I thought Skyler Fuck Club was hysterical.

    Reply
    • Hi, Sirius! I didn’t mean Skyler should have had more sex. He of the Many Piercings was enough for me! lol But I kept wanting Skyler and Keith to figure it the hell out already and do anything that would put them in an “I’m interested, are you?” moment. I’m glad you liked it. I can’t find any information about when/if book 2 is coming out. I don’t like being left hanging like this! lol (Sign of a good book!)

      Reply
        • LadyM, I was on that webpage today, even read the excerpt, thought “I don’t remember that exchange!” and just chalked it up to having been changed in editing/rewrites. Not once did I notice “Foxe Hunt” in the text. :wallbash: Thank you for pointing that out! I’m…refusing to get excited because I know it’s probably months away, but at least it’s definitely on the horizon! Hurrah! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Reply
          • Buda
            Wonderful review and I would like to be one of Skyler’s friends since I can’t be a member of his Fuck Club. LOL

            This seems like a great series and I have to read it soon. You always manage to get the best books! ๐Ÿ™‚

            Reply
          • Aye, Wave, but sometimes I have the good ones stolen right out from under my nose. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

            Give Skyler a go. I know you’ll like it. It’s mostly angst-free and filled with witty one-liners. You will love the cat’s name!

            Reply
      • Oh yeah I wanted Skyler and Keith to figure it out too :). Skyler is such a great character, isn’t he? Thats how you do a good guy, but with delightful flaws and personality quirks IMO. Ignore me, I just have read several stories in a row where all I took out of them about a protagonist that he is a nice guy, I like to see more fleshed out character, like Skyler ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply
        • “Alive” is the term I would use for Skyler, Sirius. He has so many quirks and issues, but is such a lovable character with his quick wit and stumbling charm. I’m not sure I’d want to date him, but I’d get a kick out of being his friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Please, continue gushing if you like. It’s getting rarer lately to find a character so well drawn and likeable.

          Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
    • LadyM, I think you’ll really enjoy Skyler and his friends. It’s a fun read. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply

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