Lessons for Sleeping Dogs
Author: Charlie Cochrane
While I was excited to have the opportunity to review a Cambridge Fellows mystery, I was also worried that my lack of familiarity with the series might impact my ability to lose myself in the story. Happily, that wasn’t the case at all, although I enjoyed the relationship between the two main characters a great deal and would like to read all the previous stories just to witness its evolution from the beginning. While there are plenty of tender moments between Jonty and Orlando, Lessons for Sleeping Dogs is well balanced throughout, and the mystery at the center of it all was very easy to become wrapped up in.
Despite a few references to past cases, Lessons for Sleeping Dogs follows one specific case from beginning to end, and I had no trouble following along. The case itself I found thoroughly intriguing, and I enjoyed trying to puzzle through each new development as the narrative progressed. Both men brought different strengths to the process, and their continual efforts to out-theorize each other were highly entertaining. Although it started as a fairly clear-cut situation, the mystery kept shifting in increasingly unexpected directions, making the story as a whole a lot of fun to read.
Of course, Jonty and Orlando’s relationship is the heart of the story, and it was a pleasure to see the obvious affection they share. There was a sweetness to their interactions that has clearly been borne of time, experience, and sacrifice, and, while I was certainly able to enjoy their sleuthing, it was apparent that I’d missed a lot between the two, which I truly regret. Easily shifting from teasing to concern, from flirtation to propriety, and so forth, theirs is a genuine partnership, the warmth they feel for one another achingly evident from the very first scene. Although there is no lack of passion in Lessons for Sleeping Dogs, the realities of the lovers’ circumstances are always present, and any scenes of a more carnal nature are more abstract than explicit—something that fit the narrative well, and added to my overall enjoyment of the story.
Lessons for Sleeping Dogs was a wonderful introduction to the Cambridge Fellows mysteries, especially given my lack of familiarity with the series. While it stands alone well enough to enjoy without experiencing the series in its entirety, it was clear that I was missing a lot with regards to the main characters themselves. Orlando and Jonty are far too complex to fully understand in one book, but, rather than detracting from the narrative, the notion of exploring their journey from the beginning has become all the more attractive. Not just for long-term fans, however, Lessons for Sleeping Dogs was a pleasure to read from the first page to the last, and I believe anyone fond of historical suspense and whodunits will like this story very much.
When amateur sleuth Jonty Stewart comes home with a new case to investigate, his partner Orlando Coppersmith always feels his day has been made. Although, can there be anything to solve in the apparent mercy killing of a disabled man by a doctor who then kills himself, especially when everything takes place in a locked room?
But things are never straightforward where the Cambridge fellows are concerned, so when they discover that more than one person has a motive to kill the dead men—motives linked to another double death—their wits get stretched to the breaking point.
And when the case disinters long buried memories for Jonty, memories about a promise he made and hasn’t kept, their emotions get pulled apart as well. This time, Jonty and Orlando will have to separate fact from fiction—and truth from emotion—to get to the bottom of things.
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Series: Cambridge Fellows #12
Genre: Mystery, Historical, m/m, LGBTQ
Format(s): paperback (240 pages), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley
Lessons for Sleeping Dogs (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries #12)