Title: A Cock in the Window (2nd Edition)
Series: The Kit Stone Murder Mysteries
Author: Sue Brown
Length: Novel (155 pages)
Publisher: Sue Brown Stories (April 18th, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: Kit Stone hides away in his shabby gift shop, supplementing his income by editing romance books. In his spare moments, Kit carves wooden cocks but he never expects the model of one of his carvings to step into his shop.
Steve Mullins is gorgeous and pushes all of Kit’s buttons. For a few days, they get to know each other and Kit is the happiest, he’s been for years.
Then one of the local businessmen is murdered and Steve discovers the body. When Steve becomes the number one suspect, Kit discovers his friends and family have been hiding a dark secret.
Product Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/430187
Review: This book is amazing! There I said it! For one thing, any book that mentions NCIS and Criminal Minds, if only once, peaks my interest. But really, A Cock in the Window is just a guilty pleasure, especially for everyone who enjoys a good British murder mystery. I’m talking about the murder mysteries in a tiny English (or Irish or Scottish or Welsh) village where everyone knows everyone but there are so many secrets brimming in the small community it’s not always easy to work it out
Even the name of book reminds me of an Agatha Christie story. Seriously, while reading this one I started thinking about the show Midsommer Murders or Miss Marple (which is hard to miss even when you don’t want to see it) and Broadchurch. In the end I had the movie Hot Fuzz in my head, because let’s face it, that movie is a send up of all those shows, where in a small village there are secret clubs, everyone knows each other and when something happens it’s “just a terrible accident”.
That was why I liked it and was pulled into the story. Now onto the actual plot, the romanced and the love is a subtle subplot, where the main plot is the mystery of why there are bodies turning up and just what is the secret the elder residents of the village is hiding. The fact that the romance is in the background and there are no personal mysteries concerning either Kit or Steve allowed for some nice character development.
Kit (not Christopher! And honestly, I’ve never worked out how you get Kit from Christopher), anyway, he is a quiet shopkeeper who runs the local trinket and junk store. He’s had one bad breakup, which has left him just a little reclusive. He also happens to like to sell wooden carvings he makes of cocks of the gay porn stars he watches. Steven Mullins walks into a shop near the estate where he lives after recognising his cock in the window. The relationship that develops is sweet. Steve, for a guy that did porn, is a little naive and a little shy. Both characters are endearing. The attraction and love between them is instantly obvious. The roadblock in their relationship is actually a series of murders that happens in the village and Steve is immediately a suspect.
When the mystery is solved and the murderer revealed, it’s hard not to feel sympathy for the perpetrator. It’s kind of like reading/watching Dexter and the entire time you’re cheering for the serial killer. It’s a situation where a community hid their dark secret and with so many people involved, there were so many victims. As I said, if you like British murder mysteries, you’re probably going to at least like this one.
As a side note, Sue Brown in the acknowledgment notes that Dreamspinner Press allowed her the use of her characters in The Isle of…Where? series. They pop up for a fun little scene in Kit’s shop and now I find myself curious enough to go and get that series now.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *