REVIEW: Bodies Beautiful – Steve Burford

Bodies Beautiful - Steve Burford

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

“Y’know, time was when the serial killers went after helpless young women. Now they’re taking out bodybuilders.”

When promising young bodybuilder Paul Best is found gruesomely murdered, DI Claire Summerskill and DS Dave Lyon find themselves deep in the unfamiliar territory of hard core gyms and weights, supplements and steroids. But when the one thing linking the growing list of murder victims is that they are the last men you’d expect to be victims, Summerskill and Lyon are faced with their toughest case yet.

“Bodies Beautiful” is the second in the Summerskill and Lyon series of police procedural novels.

The Review

Detective Sergeant, Dave Lyon has split with his boyfriend. His actual plan was never to really live with Richard – it was more that he had a place to stay when he transferred to Worcester. With Dave’s profession and Richard’s promotion in the school district, things weren’t working for them.

Dave has hopes that he will meet someone that he can spend quality time with. When he starts to explore a dating app, he finds that isn’t working for him either.   Dave is smart, friendly and an excellent detective, but he finds himself dealing with bigotry, especially at Foregate Police Station. 

After their last big case, Claire is trying to find time with her family. But long hours and reports have her falling behind on family time. There are conflicts at times with her teenage son Tony, and her husband Ian’s late evening meetings. Claire starts to have her doubts about the future.

Claire and Dave are once again pulled away from their personal issues, gettinh caught up in murders of body builders. There are many suspects, and Claire and Dave both have different impressions about them. But the two work as a team and put their theories together to try and solve these very gory murders.

Burford’s murder plot dragged me down deeper and deeper into this gritty mystery. There’s jealousy, rage, drugs, danger and gruesome murders that take place in the world of body building. His characters are solidly presented, and the local dialog of Worcester, England helps keep the pages turning.   

What I really appreciated is how the author shows how difficult it is for Dave to really find someone he’d want to date from a phone app. Even though he’s teased by Claire about his dating habits, he’s still not willing to share the more personal side of his life. There’s something about Dave that I found myself rooting for – wanting him to find someone that he could start a meaningful relationship with. 

There’s also the bigotry issue that raises its ugly head, and which Dave ultimately has to deal with. Dave also makes a connection with Claire’s son Tony, who finds himself plagued with teasing from school mates and then confides in Dave.

I am invested in this series and I really hope it continues. I like the complex mysteries and the growing connection between Claire and Dave.  I highly recommend reading “It’s A Sin” the first book in the “Summerskill & Lyon” series.  It introduces Claire and Dave and the dynamics of their connection and the mystery is excellent! I reviewed it here.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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