REVIEW: One of a Pair – Jackson Marsh

One of a Pair - Jackson Marsh

Genre: Mystery, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

‘Love is more than just a chemical reaction.’

James Wright, the lead detective of the new Clearwater Detective Agency, faces a pair of unsolvable problems.

Life is going well for Jasper and Billy. Young, talented, and falling in love, the two can look forward to a rosy future. But Billy’s master, Colonel Ware, is slowly being poisoned, and if he dies, Billy’s family will be forced to emigrate.

It falls to James to investigate the poisoning, but there are no suspects and no motives. Worse, if he fails, a good man will die, and Jasper and Billy will never know the fullness of their love. 

Enlisting the help of brilliant, but scatter-brained, Dr Markland while mentoring Jasper through the pain of his first love, James embarks on a mystery that takes him from the Greychurch morgue to Ireland, where tide and time wait for no man. It is a journey of discovery, both scientific and emotional.

‘One of a Pair’ is a mild-heat, romantic mystery with some comedy, and the eighth book in the ongoing Clearwater Mystery series. It is a follow up to ‘Home From Nowhere.’ You’ll get most enjoyment by starting with book one, ‘Deviant Desire’ and following the famed adventures of Lord Clearwater and his crew of loyal friends as they negotiate the villains and homophobia of Victorian London.

The Review

With Archer and Silas and many of the staff of Clearwater away, Thomas, James and Jasper have stayed behind to get the house in order for some serious cleaning. Jasper is anxious because he plans to meet Billy at church and hopes they can return to Clearwater for the evening. They are two young men, at the age of nineteen, who have made a special connection. And not only with their love of music.

Jasper has a decent life now with employment at Clearwater and he and Billy spend as much time as possible together. But Billy has bad news for Jasper, and he’s made the difficult choice not to see him anymore.  Billy lives and works at Colonel Ware’s home, but the Colonel has fallen ill and has already made his final decisions.  With the Colonel’s decision comes disappointment, as Billy and his family will have to leave for America.

Jasper is terribly upset and disturbs the sleep of James Wright, sharing the painful dilemma with James. The next day Jasper becomes understandably sullen.  

James, experiencing parental feelings for Jasper, talks with Thomas about the situation. But Thomas sets the wheels in motion by reminding James to do what he does best – being a detective.

Marsh is a genius. He builds this mystery around a strange illness, which puts Dr. Phillip Markland at center stage. I had a growing curiosity about Dr. Markland, and Marsh brings him alive with his colorful descriptions. Dr. Markland is an absentminded genius.  The discussions leave James shaking his head at times, but the banter between Markland and Billy leads to many hilarious moments.  

Marsh puts James through his paces when he delves into the world of 18th century medicine and science with this novel, including many possible poisons: lead, arsenic, water contamination, mold, wallpaper and paint. All types of combinations that can lead to deadly illness, and the conclusion to this strange illness is a surprise.

“One of a Pair” is a little different from the other Clearwater Mysteries. Marsh did a fantastic job here, crafting another a suspenseful and intriguing novel.

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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