In the innocent pre-war days, an invitation to stay at the stately country home of a family friend means a new case for amateur sleuths Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. In fact, with two apparently unrelated suicides to investigate there, a double chase is on.
But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the risk of discovery and disgrace is ever present. How, for example, does one explain oneself when discovered by a servant during a midnight run along the corridor?
Things get even rougher for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father's suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. Worse, when they work out who the murderer is, they are confronted with one of the most difficult moral decisions they've ever had to make.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lessons for Suspicious Minds, Charlie Cochrane Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance, Mystery Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Saw this and it reminded me a bit of a non paranormal Magpie Lord series read. Same gentile, subtle humour. Not in your face, overt stuff, but the more subtle humour, where a nuance of tone or facial expression can make all the difference. Anyway I was astonished to see this was book ten in a series I’ve somehow completely missed – so many books so little time!! Still, book one is still free on amazon, and gave me a great insight into the two characters and the writing style used, and I soon fell in love with the duo. So opposite and yet so perfect together. What a terrible time it must have been when homosexuality carried a prison term...I read that Queen Victoria refused to sign the first Bill her minsters brought before her, not because she was a liberal minded person but because she simply could not believe that ladies would enter same sex relationships. Whether that’s simply an urban myth I don’t know..it does seem that focus of the time was on male homosexuality. Sadly there are days when I feel although the law has progressed I'm not sure mental attitudes have...One of the saddest things I read in recent years was the petition for a pardon for Alan Turing, regarded as the Father for Computing Science, and a pivotal member of the code breaking team in WW2, who was convicted in 1952 of homosexual acts and subjected to chemical castration! He died two years later just 41 years old. He finally got his pardon in 2013, and has been widely recognized for his work since, but how odd, how ignorant, to lay a mans sexuality ahead of all the great things he did. Look it up - it’s heart breaking... Anyway, back on track...The book. Loved it, love Jonty’s puppy like ebullience, his way of turning the most innocent of looks or words into something salacious, against Orlando’s more phlegmatic, pragmatic, logical, approach. They counter each other wonderfully, and make a superb team. We see more of Jonty’s parents here – and they are perfect. When homosexuality is such a crime they have a difficult line – they want their son to be happy, and know that for him its Orlando. They genuinely love Orlando too and have taken steps to make him their ward, so that the two can have a public friendship that won’t be looked at as unnatural!! Sad that even then, with so many problems around people focussed on that. Somehow the duo and Jonty’s parents have found a somewhat precarious way through the maze. The pair have gained a reputation over past years ( and books) as being good at solving odd cases, and now get requests for their detective services. This time is a family affair with Jonty’s parents being roped in, once the duo discover there are not one but two possible murders. I love the way they set about questioning, Jonty and Orlando having their own ways of obtaining evidence and asking questions, while the parents – well, his mother is so perfect. She just kind of very politely bulldozes her way past all the gentile objections and reservations of what isn’t seemly....Between the four they somehow find the answers, though its a convoluted tale, and took me along all sorts of false trails! I didn’t see the end, and thoroughly enjoyed this read. Its not heart stopping danger, and overt, in your face, graphic sex, but lots of double entendres, alliterations, and subtle touches that make the men’s relationship so tender and romantic, and the dangers are there, but in a more subdued way, not edge of seat gripping theatrics, but as things that have to be considered and the relevant precautions taken. Stars: Five, a fabulous read transporting me to times past. ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers
I have praised this series to the heavens with each new installment and I have said so much about each intricate bit because I love the depth and quality to these stories. I held my breath after All Lessons Learned just hoping that it wouldn't be the end and thankfully the author has seen fit to give me more. This particular story ended up being poignant for the simple fact that it dips back in time before the events of the last few books to happier, simpler times. I loved that Orlando and Jonty are out sleuthing in the company of the incomparable Stewarts. I suppose in theory some of these books can be read out of order, but seriously, if you have the choice, don't. Some suspense series have mild series story arcs that run through them. In my opinion, this one isn't one of those. These tell a romance story and develop the characters along the way. Even some of the cases have connections and there are references to previous cases laced throughout. It would be like spending time with a group of people with you being the only one who is new. Haha, yes, my fan-dom is showing. Sorry- okay, I'm not. The story opens when Jonty and Orlando finish the term with their students at university and are invited to join Jonty's parents to spend time at the country estate of Helena Steward's godmother. Jonty and Orlando figure out quickly that this is no innocent country house party and that they have been hooked in to solve what might be a murder. Both enjoy amateur detecting so willingly go along, but then another suspicious death lands in their laps and the host family are reluctant to have the tidy suicide of a friend teased at. Detective fever is high, but that doesn't stop Orlando from getting jealous of the handsome footman, Jonty from 'fessing up to a little project he started on Orlando's behalf, or the very real fun of the two spending time with Jonty's eccentric parents. The mystery is an interesting one that kept me guessing a little though I figured out some of it. It was one that left a bad taste in my mouth as it did the two fellows. Interesting shades of gray solution. I enjoy that side of the plot of course, but what is always my favorite is just spending time with the two lovers. The witty dialogue and heartwarming passion that is consistent with the historical times and setting are the heart of the story. The tie to suicide is particularly hard on Orlando because of his own father's death in that manner and Jonty is as sensitive to this as Orlando himself. They also mull around the possibility of solving the remaining mystery of Orlando's roots though Jonty is fearful that opening that can of worms might send Orlando off the deep end again. All in all, it was a pleasure to return to a favorite series and spend time on the detecting trail with two engaging guys in this Edwardian era romantic suspense. Any one who enjoys the idea of m/m, historical fiction and romantic suspense all blended together into something good should try the series. My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Suspcious Minds finds us back in 1909. It's nice to see the parental Stewarts back and sinking their teeth into Jonty and Orlando's investigations again. I think Papa Stewart is more eager to join in the hunt but Mama Stewart, once given an assignment is actually even more determined to assist her boys find the truth, even if it might reach a little too close to treasured loved ones. The mystery of suicide or not is intriguing and seeing how both Jonty and Orlando deal with the personal memories the subject conjures up is well written. I very much enjoyed the non-mystery related subplot of Jonty and Orlando having to deal with not being able to "do their duty" because of their location. Added some much appreciated humor when the investigation begins to way down both, our favorite couple and the reader's hearts.