Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Jury of One is the second book in a series, and reads fine as a standalone. It is also a mystery, with a faint hint of romance.
Inspector Robin Bright and his partner, teacher Adam Matthews, met nearly a year ago when Robin investigated a murder at the school where Adam teaches. Their attraction was initially tempered by suspicion, but that’s all water under the bridge. They’ve been together just long enough to have moved in together, but Robin still has yet to let out his flat, and they both work a lot. Thus, building their new relationship has been difficult.
Robin being assigned a new murder investigation in a neighboring town makes life more difficult. Abbotson has plenty of constables, but the detecting force is out for the Abbotson Slasher, a scrote who’s stabbed three women over the past few months on the night of the new moon. So, when a male ex-spy is murdered on the night of the next expected slashing, Robin and his sergeant are called in to work that case.
The thing is, the witnesses are odd, and one turns up on Robin’s doorstep. He’d been a witness in a case on which Adam had served as a juror more than a decade ago, and he’s currently openly flirting with both Adam and Robin. The deeper Robin digs, the more likely it seems that some members of the police force are mixed in shady dealings.
Robin and his team are good rozzers, and find the bad guys despite the red herrings, but it doesn’t mean that all’s well, because Adam’s at risk; he knows some of the players in this case quite well, which, yeah, gets him into deep trouble by the end.
I picked this one for TBR Pile Week for Reading Challenge Month because it’s been out over a year and I have enjoyed some of the historical mysteries I’ve read from Charlie Cochrane. This is a contemporary mystery, and it was well-paced and well-plotted. There are lots of diversions distancing us from the culprits and Robin and his investigators are diligent in their duty. As a mystery, it works nicely. The romance/love between Robin and Adam is present, but I’d characterize it mostly as longing. They long to be near one another. They are mostly comfortable, and they do not burn up the sheets on the page. They spend long evenings apart and are sometimes too knackered to get it on when they manage to have a night in together. And, it’s always fade-to-black when they do have the energy.
I’d highly recommend this series to readers who love both mysteries and British colloquial English as the language could be frustrating to people who haven’t developed an ear for the vernacular. (Note: I’ve used some of the fun Brit-y vocab I picked up from the book in this review.) I’m a little sorry I didn’t read the first book, because I would have liked to see Robin and Adam connect. The story wasn’t hard to follow, having not read the first book, though. One other note: Robin and Adam are dog daddies to Campbell, a protective Newfoundland who is quite heroic in both stories. It’s fun how much they love him.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for TBR Pile Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from NineStar Press. Four lucky winners will each receive a $25 NineStar Press gift card. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on TBR Pile Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!
I have read this one – whilst it works as a standalone I did think having the background to Robin and Adam from book 1 helped as their romance was more background to the mystery in this one.
As a Brit I enjoyed the cultural references and the lingo – I did find all the twist and turns towards the end needed to be read carefully to keep it all straight, but a thoroughly enjoyable read!
I agree, as I mention in the review. I’m glad you like the series! It was a fun departure for me, as it was contemporary. Amazing how elastic the English language is, from century to century… 😀
I am one of those people who don’t enjoy British colloquial English. I read the first book and I found it a bit dry. I think it’s more that I don’t enjoy the writing style. I think I’ll skip this one, though. Thanks for the review.
I’ve got the set, and I really enjoyed them. 🙂
I do like the British slang, as long as it doesn’t distract from the flow–sounds like fun!
I don’t have an issue with British slang so long as I can gather sufficient cues from the surrounding verbiage. I’ll admit though to being curious now as to the meanings of rozzer and scrote. I’d happily give this book a try. Thanks for the review, Veronica.
Definitely readable within the context, and it’s fun to fall into that lingo and be transported into the story locale.
Thank you for the review. I have the first book of this serie on my reader and after reading your review i think it is time that i start to read this serie. I love this reading challenge month because it is fun to read the reviews but it also makes me realise that i have so many great books on my reader that i definitely must read.
I’ve tried to get into Charlie Cochrane’s stories but the writing hasn’t ever pinged for me. It’s a shame because I really love mysteries and always want to find more with lgbtq characters. I have this one and will no doubt give a try at COchrane’s writing again. It could just be me reading at the wrong time. Sometimes that happens.
This was very different from the historicals, so it might be the one that turns your crank.
I’ve heard a lot about Cochrane but never read any of their titles! Maybe it’s finally time?
I am more likely to try a contemporary mystery as historicals are not my thing. Being married to a Brit, I’m not too worried about following along. I am a fan of many British authors. I have been enjoyjng the Porthkennack series so my first book by this author will likely be Broke Deep.
Well, this one’s contemporary–so it might be right in your wheelhouse. I have BROKE DEEP, too, and need to make time for it!
I love Cochrane’s writing but unfortuently don’t care for historical’s of most kinds.
So, maybe a contemporary mystery might be perfect for you.
Thanks for your review. I’ve read the first in the series & definitely plan to continue with this book as well. I’ve noticed a couple of comments referencing historicals & I’d like to point out again that this series is contemporary.
Very true! I did state it in the review, but the author’s quite famous for the historical mysteries….
I’ve been looking for a good suspense/thriller/mystery book to pick up and I haven’t really read anything by Charlie Crochrane before. This was great timing that I came across the review at this time. I’m also okay with a slow burn romance.
Thanks for the review. I’m definitely reading this series, it has a mystery after all and I love a good one. And about the language, I don’t tihnk it will bother me once I get used to it. Before, I wouldn’t have accepted any book with just a “hint of romance” like you say but after reading some good mm myteries with very little romance, I realized I was missing out on a lot of good reads.
I really enjoyed both books in this series. I’m hoping for more soon!
I have both of this series in my TBR pile but just since a couple of months so this time I couldn’t read along with you. English is not my first language but I love to read books in english and the differences in the english language around the world are fascinating. At least for me 🙂
I like straight up mysteries, but these days I would prefer a little more romance along with the investigating.
I do too, though, I did feel the connection between the characters in this one. And, it’s fun how they collaborate without even trying.
Thanks for the good review, Veronica. I love gay mysteries, it doesn’t have to be just about the romance for me. And like you, I also love Cochrane’s historicals, as well as the English setting. So it’s good to see it translate into a contemporary. Definitely one to check out.
This sounds interesting, though I do like it when the romance and mystery aspects get equal play. I’ll probably start with the first book in the series.