I’m a fan of the cozy mystery so I was interested when I saw this series by author S.C. Wynne.
It has all the elements one expects of the cozy mystery. Small town , Pearl Bay, where everyone knows everybody. Main character, Kip O’Connor, who’s lived there his entire life. And has a semi-unusual job, in this case a dog walking and animal day care business. With chatty employees who have a pipeline to the town’s gossip!
And a small town/village police chief who’s the would be romantic interest. Here it’s Police Chief Merrick Dawson, best friend of Kip’s older brother.
There’s a lot of history between Kip and Merrick, none of it pleasant as Kip was bullied by his brother and friends as a child. Something they’ve never apologized for.
I enjoyed the author’s characters and plots. It’s right along the lines of a cozy with several mysteries happening at once. And like any main character in this type of mystery,Kip, at one point, goes off to investigate on his own.
Unlike other novels where the plots and details are more gritty and the investigations are tightly realistic (and my expectations higher), the holes both in the exposition as well as in the small town police work just sort of blend together.
I think what bothers me most about the dynamics here between Kip and Merrick is the lack of communication. Merrick has known Kip all their lives. Merrick and Kip’s older brother played “pranks” on the much younger brother that to the present have caused emotional harm. Neither older man has ever apologized but expected Kip to “get over it”.
Even towards the end, after an explanation, there’s not a real connection or understanding of the harm that bullying causes.
Thats not a relationship or character that’s relatable for me.
The mysteries also had little complexity. While some might think that’s not a issue with a cozy, I’ve read many a cozy mysteries that layered their mysteries with greater depth and I’m missing that here.
The book ends with a promise of a friendship. And two more books in the trilogy.
I’ll probably save the rest for late summer reading.
If light cozy mystery with no romance is the thing for you, pick up Last Gasp (Kip O’Connor Mystery #1) by S.C. Wynne.
Kip O’Connor Mysteries :
🔹Last Gasp #1
🔹Last Date #2
🔹Last Chance #3
Cozy gay mystery romance.
Kip O’Connor lives a simple life in the little seaside town of Pearl Bay. Unless it’s tourist season, things tend to be pretty peaceful. There is, however, one never ending source of irritation in the form of Police Chief Merrick Dawson.
Merrick is Kip’s older brother’s BFF, and nothing seems to bring Merrick more joy than nagging Kip about silly things. You’d think a Police Chief would have more important things to do than lecture Kip on parking tickets and picking up pet waste, but somehow Merrick always finds the time.
Kip decides to take an art class at the local community college, and he’s annoyed to find Merrick has also enrolled in the course. The instructor takes a shine to Kip, and soon they become friends outside of class. Merrick warns Kip of the dangers of blurring those lines and befriending his teacher, but Kip is flattered by the attention.
When his art teacher is found stabbed through the forehead with a palette knife, Kip is determined to figure out who killed his new friend. Merrick naturally thinks Kip getting involved in the investigation is a horrible idea, but when has Kip ever listened to that irksome, pig-headed Merrick Dawson?
This is book one in my brand new Kip O’Connor M/M Cozy Mystery series. Each book has a cozy feel to it and there is a strong romantic (slow burn) story-line in each book. No on page steam but some mild violence. I hope you enjoy reading this series as much as I enjoy writing it.