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!