Book: Southernmost Murder
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Length: 200 pages
Reviewed by Erin
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.
If a murder mystery mixed with a little bit of history and some romance thrown in is your bag, then C.S. Poe's Southernmost Murder is the book for you! I've only read two books by her before this--a Christmas novella and Color of You--so I wasn't sure quite what to expect when right out of the gate a skeleton fell out of a false wall, but what I got was a whole hell of a lot of fun! Poe's storytelling will suck you right in and keep you hooked until the very last page.
A heads up ... I haven't read the Snow and Winter series where both Aubrey and Jun make appearances, but I didn't have any problems following along with the characters or the story. Sure there were a few things brought up from their past that I didn't quite get, and I will definitely be checking out the Snow and Winter series because I'm intrigued, but nothing that kept me from thoroughly enjoying Southernmost Murder. Speaking of Aubrey and Jun, these guys were quite fabulous. Aubrey isn't really like any character I've ever read. Diminutive in stature but his personality is larger than life. Sarcastic, witty, and fierce, Aubrey has this complete take no bullshit attitude that just totally works. He's narcoleptic which I found SO fascinating. Poe handled this with the perfect balance of humor and serious so that it never seemed like it was a caricature, just a part of what made Aubrey, Aubrey. Jun was this total calming presence (something Aubrey desperately needs!) with enough hint of badass to give him some edge.I would have LOVED some scenes from Jun's point of view, but being inside Aubrey's head for the entire book was fun and damn entertaining.
I won't spoil the mystery because man, it was fun trying to figure things out as the story moved along. I loved the setting in Key West, I loved the history, I loved how the folklore and the legends surrounding The Smith House were as much a part of the story as the mystery itself. I'm never good at figuring out who-dun-its and that didn't change with Southernmost Murder because I was TOTALLY surprised by who the bad guy turned out to be! The romance in this book was swoony and SO hot. Jun and Aubrey have amazing, sizzling chemistry. The plot kept me turning the pages as fast as I could read them, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. I really hope we see Aubrey and Jun again *hint hint C.S. Poe!* so if you're looking for a great read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, run and get Southernmost Murder ASAP!
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