Sebastian Snow owns an antique shop and is engaged to detective Calvin Winter. For a year, Sebastian and Calvin have been involved in unusual, violent mysteries. It seems Seb’s penchant for sleuthing, even when he shouldn’t be, has given him a bit of a reputation, and he always winds up caught in the crosshairs of a psycho killer searching for things only he can find.
Now that he’s engaged to Calvin, Sebastian has decided to hang up his Sherlock Holmes hat and magnifying glass. Calvin always worries about his safety, and Seb doesn’t want to continue to scare Calvin…or see himself dead. However, one day at the beginning of the Christmas season, the busy time at the shop, a package with no postage arrives…and it smells. As it turns out, it’s a severed head missing an eye. This time, Seb does things by the book and calls the police. He’s determined to say on the up and up. The killer wants Sebastian to be involved, so they step up their game so he’s got no choice but to jump in.
Eventually, things become very personal for Sebastian. Now, he’s working against time to solve a mystery (the real life Mystery of the Bones) and save the man he loves. Can Sebastian clear this one last case, or will the murderer add another man to their long list of victims?
Let me start this review by saying this was the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time. I have read and loved the entire Snow and Winter series, but The Mystery of the Bones is, without a doubt, my favorite! It’s a fast paced, entertaining ride that grabbed me at the beginning and didn’t let go until the last minute. Sebastian and Calvin are back, and they’re just as smart and sexy as they’ve always been. Their relationship is sweet, but exciting, and the love they have for each other is palpable. Both men have had the craziest year of their lives. They’ve faced murders, insane criminals, and they have tried to keep their love separate from it all. Both characters are solid and fully fleshed out, and I enjoy reading them. Their dialogue feels natural and flows nicely. Their love scenes are sweet and hot, and they melt my Kindle every time.
Seb and Calvin have chemistry to spare, and even though they’re best when they’re with each other, they have good relationships/friendships with others. Seb’s dad is delightful, and loves his son to the moon and back, and he feels the same for Calvin. Max works for Seb at the Emporium. He’s a bit of comic relief, but he’s devoted to Seb and will follow him wherever he goes as long as he feels he can help. Calvin’s partner, Quinn, is as brave and faithful as Cal, and she’s sharp and funny. Lastly, there’s Neil. He’s actually Seb’s ex boyfriend, as well as a detective for the CSU. There’s a truce between the two of them, and Neil winds up being an indispensable friend when Seb needs him most. All of these people play important roles in the story without getting in the way or chewing scenery that belongs to Seb or Cal.
I don’t want to give away the mystery or the plot, but I will tell you it involves the Bone Wars. This is a short portion of the Wikipedia entry.
“The Bone Wars, also known as the Great Dinosaur Rush, was a period of intense and ruthlessly competitive fossil hunting and discovery during the Gilded Age of American history, marked by a heated rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope (of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia) and Othniel Charles Marsh (of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale). Each of the two paleontologists used underhanded methods to try to outdo the other in the field, resorting to bribery, theft, and the destruction of bones. Each scientist also sought to ruin his rival’s reputation and cut off his funding, using attacks in scientific publications.”
It’s fascinating, actually. I wound up falling down a Google rabbit hole reading about it. The interesting subject matter makes for a great plot. It’s obvious the author researched everything thoroughly, and she wrote it seamlessly. I’m extremely impressed. There are little details that I couldn’t possibly fit into this review. It’s extremely exciting, and there’s no part of the story that dragged. Every clue discovered fits into the puzzle as a whole.
The end of both the mystery and the book wrap up nicely. I found them to be satisfying and fitting. Love triumphs over all, and Seb and Calvin get their HEA. It’s well deserved, especially after all they’ve been through the past year. There is some exposition, and I suppose you could read this as a stand alone, but I don’t recommend trying that. The first three installments, The Mystery of Nevermore, The Mystery of the Curiosities, and The Mystery of the Moving Image, are incredible books on their own, and together they’ll give you an idea of how Sebastian always winds up smack dab in the middle of everything, and how he and Calvin fall in love. They’ll also make you fall in love with them. I cannot recommend this one enough. Buckle your seatbelts and get ready for a fantastic ride!
A review copy of this book was provided by DSP Publications.