Murder and Mayhem: Book Two
Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.
Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder… and sleeping with Harold’s wife.
For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West LA detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.
When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I was gifted my copy of this book. Rook is trying to go straight, but cousin Harold has his damn bird. Then he find Harold dead, and the bodies keep on coming. Dante just wants to wrap Rook up and keep him safe. This is book two in the series and it would help greatly to read book one, Murder and Meyhem, first. Not totally necessary, though. And I struggled with this one and it pains me deeply that I didn't love it as much as book one!! It's well written, from both Rook and Dante's point of view, in a way only Ms Ford can tell her tales. Those throw away last chapter lines that make you go "say what,now??" And make you question what you just read, and make me think I missed something. It's messy, what with dead cousins and heads in boxes and shootings and things. Its sexy in places, with the love the love the two men have for each other coming off every page and showing in everything they do for each other. And I did not get whodunnit til it was revealed in the book. So why did I struggle?? No flipping idea. I DID enjoy it, it just took me far longer than it should have. So, because of that, 4 stars.
Oh, this book was fun! A worthy sequel to Murder & Mayhem (and you need to read that one first), the growth in Rook and Dante's relationship is lovely to watch amidst what feels very much like a black and white film noir mystery. Also, the blessedly small (so far) cast of secondary characters are all back, which yields my favorite moment when James and Dante get a chance to discuss Rook and Alec. This book is well worth your time, as is everything else by this author. If she writes it, I'll read it.
4.5 stars--Tramps and Thieves picks up a few months after the conclusion of Murder and Mayhem, the first book in the series. This is definitely a book that will feel incomplete if read as a standalone as it’s a continuation of Dante and Rook’s romance. Once again, the imagery Miss Ford uses impressed me and I found myself more than happy to slip back into this romantic suspense set in Los Angeles, wherein a cop and reformed thief fall in love. The second book had a bit of a different start for me. As in the first book, the story opens with Rook finding himself in the precarious position of having a dead body linked to him. Though the set-up was similar, it didn’t draw me in quite as quickly as the mystery in Murder and Mayhem. The suspense steadily built, just at a slower pace, but I again found myself surprised by some of the reveals. While I wasn’t as intrigued with the mystery element at first, I immediately noticed a change in approach to the relationship. In the first book, Rook and Dante’s relationship was just beginning, and the minimal emotional development happening on page left me disappointed. Tramps and Thieves offered all I missed in the first book, and then some. The second book focuses on the relationship deepening, examining the men’s feelings for one another and their struggle over how to label what they’re building. I really liked how the author used the established personalities of Rook and Dante to explore their emotional chemistry. Though they waded through similar feelings of love and uncertainty, the concerns were framed uniquely to their experiences, staying true to their individual voices and adding more depth to the characters and romance. As in the first book, the physical chemistry between Rook and Dante was blistering and there were a fair number of scorching scenes; but I was incredibly happy to see that physical chemistry align with an emotional chemistry in the second book to deliver a wonderful love story. I think fans of romantic suspense will enjoy both of these books which deliver on multiple fronts- excellent characters, humor, fantastic dialogue, lively action, intrigue, sexiness, and a really strong emotional connection that deepens over the course of the two novels. I’m not sure if this is the end of the series, but I certainly wouldn’t mind revisiting this colorful cast of characters in the future. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*