Title: A Case of Curses
Series: Simon Pearce Mysteries: Book Two
Author: Jess Faraday
Publisher: Blind Eye Books/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 118 Pages
Category: Historical, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: As in book one, the cases complement the time period in which they’re set, and the time period complements the romantic elements of the series in a way that begets empathy and adoration for the stalwart Constable Pearce. I have a distinct feeling that there is still so much more to learn about him—where he came from and how he ended up where he is.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Victorian London is a dangerous place — for a gay man, even more so. And for a gifted copper working his way up the greasy career ladder of Scotland Yard, it’s a perilous position indeed. Constable Pearce keeps his head down, his eyes open, and his private life private. But when a special case brings his private and professional lives together in a spectacular collision, Pearce must put the pieces of those lives back together, one by one. Two new tales of mystery and adventure.
Review: With each new pair of vignettes in the Simon Pearce Mysteries series, Jess Faraday not only serves up interesting cases for Simon to solve but is also giving readers a bit more insight into Simon himself, into his regrets and desires, and in doing so, it’s impossible not to respond to the ways in which he struggles to find a bit of contentment and connection in a world that is new to him…and is also set up to undermine him and his happiness.
The premise for A Case of Curses is similar to A Study in Spectres only in that each of the stories has a metaphysical aspect which Simon must work through and around in order to discover the truth and solve the case while, at the same time, the romantic arc built between book one and this book remains Simon’s tenure in Scotland, his relationship with Callum Webster—which is tenuous at best and is something Simon struggles mightily to navigate—and what he will do in terms of his career. Will Simon stay on in Scotland, or will he return to London and Scotland Yard? Cal has a fair amount of influence over that decision, and the story The Star-Crossed Lovers not only gives readers an answer—at least for now—but has left me anxious to dig into the next book for clues and answers to Simon’s future.
As for Simon’s backstory, there is a distinct feeling that he has so much more to reveal about himself. By what route does the son of a bookstore clerk find his way to Scotland Yard? And to what is some of his insecurities and suspicions owed? Faraday is wisely parsing out bits and pieces of who Simon is beyond his duties as a constable, leaving a little mystery about him as well, but it’s through his work and the criminals he pursues that we see him as the bright investigator with a gift for reasoning. It’s within his interactions with his newfound friend and fellow constable, Jimmy Drummond, as well as the private moments he shares with Callum, that we see more of Simon than merely the job. Simon is a man who needs more than a beat to walk and a series of nameless encounters in a dark alleyway, and one can only hope he finds it.
Each of the cases, first in The Haunting of Comiston House and the next in the above mentioned Star-Crossed Lovers, offers readers various aspects of what could be strange and unusual occurrences were it not for the pragmatic and tenacious Simon. Once again, the cases complement the time period in which they’re set, and the time period complements the romantic elements of the series in a way that begets empathy and adoration for the stalwart Constable Pearce.
You can buy A Case of Curses here:
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