REVIEW: Bitter Bloodlines – Jackson Marsh

Bitter Bloodlines - Jackson Marsh

Genre: Mystery, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Following an accident, a schoolboy and a tattooed Romanian find themselves unexpected guests at Clearwater’s country house, Larkspur Hall.

But what if their presence is no accident? What if Mr Smith is Protectori, a member of an ancient order of assassins bent on destroying anyone who sullies the name of the Szekely people of Transylvania? And what do a runaway boy and an assassin have to do with Clearwater’s famed Easter dinner party and its guest of honour, the actor, Henry Irving?

Ancestral feuds, a pocket watch and a rare Romanian wine are seemingly random connections until Silas breaks into a London theatre, and James rescues a boy from drowning. Then, it’s a race against time to prevent a hideous murder and Archer’s ruin.

Bitter Bloodline is a no-heat mystery that sees Archer’s loyal servants become their own band of Protectori. The Clearwater Mysteries are best read in order.

The Review

At Larkspur Hall, Silas Hawkins is struggling with what his responsibilities are as Viscount Archer’s secretary.  He wants to prove himself as more than Archer’s lover.

Thomas Payne, returning to Larkspur by train, finds himself in a horrid accident.   With the help of Archer, Andrej, and James they bring two injured passengers back to Larkspur: an adult man and a young boy.

The young boy – Jerry – gets attached to James Wright, but something has spooked him and he runs away.  James, feeling responsible, is off with Andrej trying to track down the young lad.

In meeting with his male guest, Mr. Smith, Silas becomes suspicious. Unfortunately, Archer isn’t totally concerned, and is too pre-occupied with a very important Easter Dinner event at Larkspur. That could mean some very significant donations for the Clearwater Foundation. 

 Silas makes the decision to go back to Clearwater, and meets Jake O’Hara, who has a surprise.

Thomas is trying to hold things together, especially with Archer, who is nervous and upset as Silas has not returned to Larkspur. And where are James and Andrej?

Archer’s interesting crew of men become involved in all sorts of mayhem but there’s still the fear that Quill has been too silent, and no one knows when the last move will be made.

Once again, Marsh delivers an exciting and nerve racking, tale filled with action, and danger. “The Clearwater Mysteries” are some of the most exciting and down to the wire, twisted, tales of suspense in the Victorian 18th century, as the crew head off in different directions and show their expertise in solving the mystery. It always surprises how Marsh’s mysteries end, who will be believed and who will be saved, and how.

Marsh never disappoints as he brings tigether art, theatre, music and writing of the 18th century.  This novel brings together some of the most famous artists:  Henry Irving, Bram Stoker, Baron Tennyson, Gilbert & Sullivan – even Mary Shelley gets a mention. I highly recommend “The Clearwater Mysteries” and I’m looking forward to book six, “Artful Deception”!

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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