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REVIEW: Madison Square Murders – C.S. Poe

Madison Square Murders - C.S. Poe

Genre: Mystery, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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Everett Larkin works for the Cold Case Squad: an elite—if understaffed and overworked—group of detectives who solve the forgotten deaths of New York City. Larkin is different from others, but his deduction skills are unmatched and his memory for minute details is unparalleled.

So when a spring thunderstorm uproots a tree in Madison Square Park, unearthing a crate with human remains inside, the best Cold Case detective is assigned the job. And when a death mask, like those prominent during the Victorian era, is found with the body, Larkin requests assistance from the Forensic Artists Unit and receives it in the form of Detective Ira Doyle, his polar opposite in every way.

Factual reasoning and facial reconstruction puts Larkin and Doyle on a trail of old homicide cases and a murderer obsessed with casting his victims’ likeness in death. Include some unapologetic flirting from Doyle, and this case just may end up killing Everett Larkin.

About The Book

The Review

Detective Everett Larkin, thirty-five with ten years of service, works the NYPD’S Cold Case Squad. He’s stern, straight to the point, and his mind is like a rolodex. He has what some people think of as a “gift,” but not to him.

August 2, 2002 will always be a thorn in his memory. He was not only a victim, but a victim of highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM). Even those closest to him don’t want to know about it, or don’t understand. He’s even treated disrespectfully on the job, but he doesn’t seem to care what others think of him.  What he feels on the inside and what he projects on the outside are very different.

Everett takes all his cold cases to heart. When he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old murder, with a death mask as the focus, he meets Detective Ira Doyle – thirty-nine, smart, flirty and talented. He’s also forensic artist with the 1PP headquarters of the NYPD.  

Ira is surprising – he really seems to like working with Everett, which is opposite of how Everett is treated by other detectives. As they work together on this cold case, there’s a connection, and it turns Everett’s world around.  Everett believes “no one wants to know” about his ability and his past, Ira does, and he wants to chase Everett’s demons away.

As Everett and Ira dig deeper into the cold case, it leads to holes in prior investigations, and so much more!

Poe creates an expertly composed, complex, cold case murder and educates the readers on how the process works. She shares her research along the way, as she created this novel, and some new aspects it brings to the world of murder mysteries.  Readers will learn about HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory), hybristophilia, hoarding as it relates to killers, death mask, and momento morie. She also goes deep into the precise work done and time spent by forensic artists.

Poe, as usual, gives us two amazing characters in Everett Larkin and Ira Doyle.  Everett will break the hearts of readers as he continually struggles with his memory issues. But Ira Doyle has that magical personality that can bring peace and calm to Everett, something he’s been needing for a very long time. 

“Madison Square Murders” is a tension-filled page-turner, full of danger and many fascinating aspects to absorb. I will definitely read it again!  I’m also excited about the new “Momento Morie” series – Poe already has a second book lined-up in this series. I’ll be waiting eagerly for “Subway Slayings”.  

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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