Title: Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour: A Cambridge Fellows Mystery novella
Author: Charlie Cochrane
Publisher: The Right Chair Press
Release Date: August 14, 2017
Page Count: 86
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith like nothing more than being given a mystery to solve. But what happens when you have to defend your greatest enemy on a charge of murder?
I’m ashamed to admit I picked this one because of cover. I looked at it and had fantasies of reclining comfortably in the chair, book in my lap.
I love cozy mysteries. I also love mm romances and this was a first time I found a book which combines the two. I was all set to enjoy and the book didn’t disappoint.
The story flows naturally and it’s filled with tongue-in-cheek observations. The writing style is in keeping with historical setting of the book.
This is novella in series consisting of twelve books. The main characters, Jonty and Orlando are college professors and life partners for almost twenty years. Jonty’s fondness for his partner comes across clearly in the first chapter. I loved reading about the motley group of characters assisting them with investigating crimes. The crime, a murder of one of students on rival college, is being pinned down on another professor. They clashed with the same professor before and don’t like him. Despite that, they decide to investigate.
The murder was apparently done with a knobkerrie. I’m not sure if that counts as a spoiler, since my first reaction was “What the heck is a knobkerrie?”
I know it sounds incongruous for murder mystery, but it’s a funny story. The storyline is smooth and evenly paced. The mystery part is well plotted out and characters were surprisingly vivid for such a short appearance. The story progresses slowly with each piece of information building an intricate web of truth and lies surrounding the case.
If I was rating this purely as a mystery, it would easily have won five stars. The romance part is only referenced. It’s a great piece of writing, but geared more toward mystery lovers.
I was interested enough to look up other books in series. Sadly, it looks like not all of them are currently available. The author on his blog mentions plans for republishing them, so fingers crossed.