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REVIEW: The Mystery of the Spirits – C.S. Poe

The Mystery of the Spirits - C.S. Poe

Genre: Mystery, Historical

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Antique dealer Sebastian Snow and Homicide detective Calvin Winter have been happily married for a year and a half. In that time, there’s been nary a mystery in sight, and for a recovering sleuth like Sebastian, an uneventful life is exactly what he needs.

That is, until Calvin’s lieutenant enters the Emporium and demands insight on a bizarre object known as a spiritoscope, hailing from the early days of the Spiritualism movement. Sebastian’s extensive knowledge of Victorian curiosities leads him to consulting for the NYPD—putting him at odds with his husband. And as the bodies begin to stack up, so do the seemingly dead-end clues, which if Sebastian can’t make sense of, might result in a whole lot more death.

Mystery, murder, and marriage… Sebastian’s back.

The Review

I’m so glad that C.S. Poe has brought us another intriguing mystery from the “Snow & Winter”  series. For those not familiar with Sebastian Snow and Calvin Winter, a little recap:

Sebastian Snow owns Snow’s Antique Emporium. He’s a brilliant art historian and a collector of antiques that are odd and unique, dating back to the Victorian age. At times his curiosity has gotten him into chaotic and dangerous situations. He’s had achromatopsia since he was born, and is considered legally blind. But nothing stops Sebastian from being who he is and living his life. He’s been married to his soulmate, Calvin Winter, now for over a year.  

Calvin Winter is an NYPD detective.  He was very much closeted when he met Sebastian, in the first case of “Nevermore”.  He served in the military and has irreparable PTSD.  He still seeks therapy, but he has his own private fears when it come to Sebastians safety.

Without Calvin’s knowledge, his boss, Lt. Ferguson shows up at the Emporium and asks for help with a device know as the “spiritoscope,” which can open up the strange happenings in the world of spiritualism. Once again, this extraordinary case will lead Sebastian into unexpected danger, and it will open up old wounds from both Calvin’s and Sebastian’s pasts.  

Poe brings readers another interesting story that takes us to the world of spiritualism in the 1800’s. It deals with the invention of an instrument called the “spiritoscope” by Robert Hare., as well as the Fox Sisters with their table rappings of the spirit world and seances. It also reveals how the Fox Sisters were able to perform such a sensation, and delves into how the world of science, spiritualism and mediums are at odds. All of this leads to the competitiveness and bizarre murders.

It’s always a pleasure to get to read about characters that will always be remembered.  In this emotional, heartfelt story feelings of Calvin and Sebastian are clearly expressed.   When there’s a hint of danger, Calvin’s PTSD comes to the surface along with his private fears. Sebastian’s experience of being bullied and not being recognized for who he is now, has him making a stand.

Poe had me worried for a bit – I was afraid Pops and Maggie wouldn’t be heard from – but she does not leave them out. It’s always fun to hear from Max Ridley too, who still works for Sebastian, snark and all. Dillon is always by Sebastians side, and Neil Millett and Aubrey Grant also make an appearance.  

The “Snow & Winter” series started with The Mystery of Nevermore, and Poe has entertained and educated readers with all types of unique historical facts through each and every new novel.

This is another series on my favorites list!

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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