Hello, everyone! I’m C.S. Poe! We’re back with the Southernmost Murder tour, here at Gay Book Reviews. This is my first release of the New Year and it is a standalone mystery-romance, featuring historian, Aubrey Grant. Aubrey has had a lifetime fascination with octopuses and his greatest wish is to scuba dive and see them in their natural environment, although his narcolepsy prohibits him from doing so.
Octopuses are an eight-armed mollusk— about 300 species have been recognized. They are among the most intelligent of invertebrate animals, with excellent eyesight, and a complex nervous system. They live a relatively short life, with males dying within a few weeks after mating, and females shortly after their eggs have hatched— during which time they care for the eggs and do not feed.
An interesting fact to note, scientists just recently discovered a distinctly new species of giant Pacific octopus— with frills over its body, ‘eyelashes,’ and two white spots on its head.
Aubrey Grant lives in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West, has a cute cottage, a sweet moped, and a great job managing the historical property of a former sea captain. With his soon-to-be-boyfriend, hotshot FBI agent Jun Tanaka, visiting for a little R&R, not even Aubrey’s narcolepsy can put a damper on their vacation plans.
But a skeleton in a closet of the Smith Family Historical Home throws a wrench into the works. Despite Aubrey and Jun’s attempts to enjoy some time together, the skeleton’s identity drags them into a mystery with origins over a century in the past. They uncover a tale of long-lost treasure, the pirate king it belonged to, and a modern-day murderer who will stop at nothing to find the hidden riches. If a killer on the loose isn’t enough to keep Aubrey out of the mess, it seems even the restless spirit of Captain Smith is warning him away.
The unlikely partnership of a special agent and historian may be exactly what it takes to crack this mystery wide-open and finally put an old Key West tragedy to rest. But while Aubrey tracks down the X that marks the spot, one wrong move could be his last.<
His mouth quirked. “Water. You’re still pale.”
I murmured a thank-you and took the mug, realizing belatedly the rather erotic artwork it featured.
Jun leaned back against the counter beside me, crossing his arms. “Tako to ama.”
He nodded at the mug. “That woodblock art. It’s called Tako to ama.”
I loved octopuses. Maybe that’s weird? I thought they were just the coolest sea creatures ever. I wished I could go scuba diving and see one under the waves, but—narcolepsy. Not safe. So I collected octopus-related items instead. And the mug in question depicted Japanese artwork from the 1800s—a young woman diver having a sexual encounter with two octopuses.
“You’re familiar with this?”
“Sure. Hokusai was a brilliant artist. He created The Great Wave.”
I turned the cup around absently. “I have to hide this whenever any of the board members come by for a visit.”
Jun turned his head, staring at the front door. “I suppose cunnilingus and cephalopods aren’t for everyone.”
I snorted and choked on a mouthful of water before spitting half of it out.
I smacked my chest several times, coughing after I managed to swallow what was left. “Don’t do that!”
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C.S. Poe is an author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books.
She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited-edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around.
She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work.
C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers organization.