There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message—via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a babydoll dress and a wig.
But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.
As sequels go, Merchant of Death was right up there with some of my favorites. The banter between Mac and Henry was just as much fun as it was in The Two Gentlemen of Altona, but it had a more serious edge. Well, as serious as things can get with Henry dressing up like a woman and Mac getting… okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just say, Merchant of Death kept things interesting.
You’ll have to forgive me for vagueness, but there was a lot revealed in Merchant of Death and I don’t want to give any of it away. We were given a closer look at Henry in the sequel and although I adored him in the first book, this installment made me fall in love with him. He turned out to be more broken than I suspected. (Sneaky authors.) This was a book that made me want to jump into and right every wrong that had been done. I wanted to confide in Mac for Henry and tell him exactly why he had to believe in him…. just a little. The problem was that for most of the book, Henry didn’t really believe in himself. *sigh*
Merchant of Death started out with one character being in danger. It twisted itself around until that character was semi-safe and another one took their place. It ended with the character who was least likely to be a victim protected by the least likely hero. There were more twists and turns than that and there were hints of even more. Nothing is totally as it seems and enemies and allies come out of nowhere. What seemed to be a light, entertaining story (laced with murder and mayhem) turned into a lot more. And… the adventure continues.
I’ve loved every minute of the Playing the Fool series so far, but it’s a good thing that there isn’t a long wait between installments. Tempest is scheduled to release in March. Just an FYI – you’ll want to have it pre-ordered by the time you finish Merchant of Death. You can thank me later.