Title: The Case of the Arms Dealer
Series: Kanaan & Tilney: Book One
Authors: Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 206 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: The Case of the Man Eater has definitely got some holes in it when it comes to establishing this new world of supernatural beings. However, the chemistry between John and Lowell, and their developing relationship, makes those flaws seem small and inconsequential.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: John Tilney–praeternatural pyrokinetic and mystery author–has noticed the bottom dropping out of the market for his usual gothic fare, so he goes to Lowell Kanaan, PI, for a crash course in noir. Lowell, the cranky wolf-shifter detective, isn’t sure why he agrees to let John shadow him–though it might have something to do with John’s weirdly endearing honesty… and pretty lips. John thinks he’s found the perfect detective novel hero in Lowell, but it isn’t long before he realizes he doesn’t want Lowell for his book, but for himself.
As they become entangled in a supernatural whodunnit involving the Zombie Mafia, black market body parts, and shady insurance deals, their partnership grows closer–and hotter. But when it comes down to the wire, Lowell’s wolfy protective side threatens to drive John around the bend, or at least out of the office. Good thing John’s as much sunshine as he is fire; hopefully it’s enough to help them catch a murderer before they end up in literal pieces, too.
Review: A complicated, surly wolf, who’s an ex-cop now working on private cases; an elementalist who smells of brunt matches, lights things on fire, and loves a good mystery; and a missing insurance salesman all make for a quirky and fascinating new series driven by the writing team of Jenna Rose and Katey Hawthorne. In a world where there are multiple preternatural species that run the gamut from pyrokinetics to beasts and more, this author duo has invented a new world where just about anything or anyone is possible.
John Tilney is a mystery writer whose unstoppable enthusiasm and tendency to speak before he thinks has him seeking out Private Investigator Lowell Kanaan in order to learn more about the noir aspects of mystery work. Lowell is an ex-cop who hides his desire to help those in need beneath a rough exterior. A wolf-shifter who has little time for the likes of John, Lowell nonetheless finds himself drawn to the man. Despite his better judgment, Lowell allows John to tag along, and before either man realizes it, they are neck deep in a deadly game chasing down a murderer who sells his victims on the black market—a piece at a time.
This first novel in the Kanaan & Tilney series, The Case of the Arms Dealer, is brimming with supernatural oddities and fascinating characters. While there is sometimes a frustrating lack of definition about this new world, the beings we are introduced to in this novel could not be more interesting. John’s ability to create fire at will is secondary to his whimsical and incredibly sweet personality. Beneath his innocent and almost childlike approach to the attraction he feels for Lowell, is the very sad reality that prior to this moment, John has never really understood or experienced what love is. John was raised by a mother who used him as she would a research assistant—rarely showing him anything but a decided lack of interest in anything other than his ability to do research. John inherently trusts Lowell from the beginning, and has nothing but a growing affection for the reticent wolf.
Being demisexual also adds to the struggle John has with understanding his feelings for Lowell. Since being demi means that John must have real feelings of love for someone before experiencing any type of physical attraction, it comes as no surprise that when he finally understands the longing he feels while in Lowell’s presence is indicative of a deeper attraction, he is very forthcoming in announcing it to Lowell. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead should be John’s motto. Lowell doesn’t stand a chance—nor does he secretly want to either.
Lowell has been alone far too much. John somehow calms his inner wolf, making Lowell feel at home for the first time in a long while. While we never get to the bottom of why Lowell left police work, what we do know is that he runs his PI business on a shoestring, often doing pro bono work for those in need. He is a lone wolf in many ways, and is reluctant to have John around—especially since he is becoming more and more attracted to the man. His need to protect John may prove to be the thing that drives John away, and Lowell is fairly certain he wouldn’t be happy if he allowed that to happen.
The Case of the Man Eater has definitely got some holes in it when it comes to establishing this new world of supernatural beings. However, the chemistry between John and Lowell, and their developing relationship, makes those flaws seem small and inconsequential. This duo is one that I cannot get enough of, and I look forward to reading the next in this exciting series.
You can buy The Case of the Arms Dealer here:
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