Title: Cops and Comix (Murder and Mayhem #0.5)
Author: Rhys Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 16, 2018
Genre(s): Short Story, Contemprary, Romance
Page Count: 45 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s all fun and games until someone leaves a dead body on the floor.
Life for comic book store owner Alex Martin usually runs to the mundane. Sure, he has a regular influx of geeks and freaks, but for the most part, it’s a familiar weird. That all changes when he opens up Planet X Comics one morning and finds a corpse in the middle of his shop.
When Detective James Castillo is called in to investigate, Alex is torn between wanting to climb the man like a tree and giving him a wide berth. Luckily for Alex, the handsome detective is just as interested in him—as a suspect in the murder.
Short and sweet, this is a story that can be enjoyed in a single sitting. As a prequel, it holds up well. It offers a slightly different twist to the other two novels in the series and yet it feels the same. The characters are presented well and yet there is little to differentiate them. As such it is easy to get the names mixed up, which becomes a little confusing at times. The plot is quite interesting and has echoes of the other novels. However, there are sufficient differences to catch the reader off guard. Even in such a short story, the author manages to insert her love of food as well as snatches of humour, which is most welcome. The secondary characters also provide a good balance to the story.
The central characters have an instant attraction that is realised very quickly but then slows to allow for development. This makes a pleasant change from other novels where the emphasis is on whether or not they will get together. Sex is presented but does not dominate and has a lightness of touch.
There is a steady pace throughout. There are little hints of tension but these are quickly overcome and merely allow the story to move forward.
The ending has a little twist in the tail that has echoes of other books in the series. The whole book could have been that little bit longer as it would be good to learn more about these characters and their world.