Sebastian Snow is living a great life. His antiques emporium is doing well, and his new relationship with police detective Calvin Winter is damn near perfect. He’s very happy with the positive direction his life is taking…until a brick crashes into the window of the emporium. A note attached to that brick leads him on a path of dead bodies. Each new clue leads to a discovery and they tie together as hints about P.T. Barnum.
Detective Calvin Winters is as in love with Sebastian as Sebastian is with him. All Calvin wants is to keep Sebastian safe, and he tries to keep Sebastian from investigating these clues by himself. He’s right to do that because not only are there murders, it seems like Sebastian is in danger, and his time might be running out.
I loved the original story in this series, The Mystery of Nevermore, and I was so excited to get the opportunity to read this second installment the Snow & Winter series. This book is the perfect follow up. I sat down, opened my Kindle, and I didn’t stop reading until it was over. It was fun, interesting, and compelling. I learned a lot as well. Pretty much everyone knows who P.T. Barnum is. He’s the circus guy, right? I didn’t know a lot about his Museum of Curiosities. He had actual whales there! It was all quite fascinating, and it’s all worthy of future Googling to find out more.
The characters of Sebastian Snow and Calvin Winters are wonderfully written. The author has done so well with her descriptions of their appearance, voices, and temperament. Also, her descriptions of Sebastian’s antique shop, the police department, even the places where the bodies were discovered were excellent. I would also say the city of New York was a character in the book as well.
The chemistry between Sebastian and Calvin was electric. Their relationship is new (about a month and a half), so they still have those stars in their eyes. They’re sweet to each other and the sex is smoking hot. Sebastian commented several times about what a thrill he got when Calvin called him “Baby” or “Sweetheart” in public. It was adorable and sexy at the same time.
Now, you have to remember this is a murder mystery, so I can’t give a lot of the plot away. I don’t want to ruin it for you. It is tightly written but has a flow to it. The detail is perfect, but it never gets overwhelming. Also, it’s obvious the author did a lot of research. Here’s a bare bones set up for the story. Sebastian begins to have bricks turning up everywhere. Each has a sentence written on it and leads him on a macabre scavenger hunt of sorts. Calvin is constantly asking Sebastian to call the police rather than investigating them himself, but Sebastian can’t help himself. When the bodies start turning up, Sebastian finally does start contacting the police (and thus, Calvin), but he still not giving up. Bad things happen, and Calvin actually begs Sebastian to stop. He tells him he’s just found him and doesn’t want to lose him to a psycho with a penchant for bricks and Barnum. The two wind up working together to catch the bad guy, but it could possibly be too late to bring the person to justice. That’s it. That’s all I can give you without telling you everything. Trust me, you’ll enjoy The Mystery of the Curiosities so much more by not knowing who did what, when, and to whom.
Aside from Sebastian and Calvin, there were three other characters I would consider important to the book. Quinn is Calvin’s partner. Max is Sebastian’s employee at the emporium. I would consider him to be a bit of comic relief. Finally, there is William, Sebastian’s father. I really liked how much he love his son, and he wasn’t afraid to show it. Also, he has a great relationship with Calvin and even helps him to deal with a difficult situation in his life. The situation is painful, but the help is delightful.
The ending was awesome. The whodunnit was unexpected. I will admit I had an inkling and figured it out before the big reveal, but it didn’t make it any less satisfying. There was some action, some confusion, and a lot of relief. I was pleased, and considered it to be the exact way the story should end.
As mentioned, this is the second in the Snow and Winter series. You don’t have to read the original, The Mystery of Nevermore, to grasp what is happening here. However, I highly recommend you do. First of all, it’s a great book on its own, and second, it will give you peek into Sebastian and Calvin’s personalities, and let’s you see how the two men begin falling for each other.
If you’re a mystery fan, enjoy learning a little something, and are a sucker for a hot but adorable couples, The Mystery of the Curiosities is definitely for you. Pick it up!