Broke Deep (Porthkennack #3) by Charlie Cochrane

Morgan Capell’s life is falling apart by small degrees—his father’s dead, his boyfriend dumped him, and his mother’s in the grip of dementia. His state of mind isn’t helped by his all-too-real recurring nightmare of the wreck of the Troilus, a two hundred year old ship he’s been dreaming about since his teenage years.
The story of the Troilus is interwoven with the Capell family history. When amateur historian Dominic Watson inveigles himself into seeing the ship’s timbers which make up part of Morgan’s home, they form a tentative but prickly friendship that keeps threatening to spark into something more romantic.
Unexpectedly, Dominic discovers that one of the Troilus’s midshipman was rescued but subsequently might have been murdered, and persuades Morgan to help him establish the truth. But the more they dig, the more vivid Morgan’s nightmares become, until he’s convinced he’s showing the first signs of dementia. It takes as much patience as Dominic possesses—and a fortuitous discovery in a loft—to bring light out of the darkness.

I’ve read the first book (Wake Up Call), Broke Deep and the fourth book (House of Cards) in the Porthkennack series. I skipped the second book because it’s historical. I don’t hate historical, but the genre isn’t one of my favorites, so I skipped A Gathering Storm. I may go back to the historical offerings in the series later, we’ll see…

I almost grudgingly have to admit that out of the three books in this series I’ve read so far, Broke Deep is my least favorite. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like Broke Deep, because I did. I also really like Charlie Cochrane’s writing. I guess it had to do more with the fact that I didn’t relate to Morgan and Dominic as easy as I did with the rest of the characters that have been introduced in the other books. Just a personal thing, so don’t let that deter you. To be honest, it may have just been the fact that I wanted more to their story. It felt like there was still a little bit of mystery left at the end – both for the characters and the actual ‘mystery.’ *sigh*

Even though Morgan and Dominic weren’t my favorite Porthkennack couple, I still enjoyed my time spent with them. Even though they hadn’t known each other long, there was an easiness about them when they were together. I also enjoyed the silly banter that masked a nervousness on both sides. That nervousness came from Dominic’s willingness to be there for Morgan and Morgan’s unwillingness to allow Dominic to go through the pain of losing him bit by bit, like he did with his mother.

Each book in this series adds another layer to the community of Porthkennack, yet none of them are really connected by anything other than the actual location. There’s also a hint of ‘magic’ centered around the town. Nothing blatant or even really alluded to other than the feeling that’s created by a place bathed in local lure and kept alive by the generations of locals who’ve lived there for centuries. Given Morgan’s vivid dreams of a historic shipwreck, I was kind of hoping for some ‘real’ ghosts in Broke Deep, but they only seemed to inhabit his dreams. Again, just me… I’m a sucker for a good ghost story. 😉

House of Cards by Garrett Leigh is next in the Porthkennack series and I’ll be reviewing it shortly, so stay tuned! 

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Jury of One (Lindenshaw Mysteries #2) by Charlie Cochrane

JuryOfOneInspector Robin Bright is enjoying a quiet Saturday with his lover, Adam Matthews, when murder strikes in nearby Abbotson, and he’s called in to investigate. He hopes for a quick resolution, but as the case builds, he’s drawn into a tangled web of crimes, new and old, that threatens to ensnare him and destroy his fledgling relationship.
Adam is enjoying his final term teaching at Lindenshaw School, and is also delighted to be settling down with Robin at last. Only Robin doesn’t seem so thrilled. Then an old crush of Adam’s shows up in the murder investigation, and suddenly Adam is yet again fighting to stay out of one of Robin’s cases, to say nothing of trying to keep their relationship from falling apart.
Between murder, stabbings, robberies, and a suspect with a charming smile, the case threatens to ruin everything both Robin and Adam hold dear. What does it take to realise where your heart really lies, and can a big, black dog hold the key?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I absolutely loved the first book in the Lindenshaw Mysteries, The Best Corpse for the Job. I was such a fun, quirky read. I was even more excited when I got to the end and found out that it was going to be part of a series. When Jury of One was offered for review, I requested it immediately.

So, first, I need to say that if you haven’t read The Best Corpse for the Job, you don’t need to worry. It works great as a stand alone. Second, if you’ve read The Best Corpse for the Job, Jury of One isn’t quite as quirky. Was I disappointed? Not in the slightest. It was still a sweet little romance with more than a couple of mysteries to solve along the way. The characters were still well developed and likable. Once again I found myself enjoying my time spent with Adam and Robin. What more could I ask for in a sequel?

Robin and Adam have settled into a semi-comfortable relationship, but they still have some wrinkles to iron out. Any problems that crop up in Jury of One stem from the fact that neither one of these charming, witty men believe they deserve the other. Honestly, seeing them stumble just a little makes me love them even more.

Once again, their canine friend steals the show by saving the day. Adam does something without thinking about the consequences and the bad guy isn’t who anyone really expected. I’m really hoping that there’s more to come because I’m really enjoying my time with Adam and Robin 😉

DragonFlyRating4

The Best Corpse for the Job (Lindenshaw Mysteries #1) by Charlie Cochrane

BestCorpseForTheJobTea and sympathy have never been so deadly.

School teacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straight forward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.

Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.

As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh, I really liked this one. Just enough mystery to keep the pages turning and just the right forbidden chemistry between the two main characters to make me want them to end up together. *sigh*

The Best Corpse for the Job was a perfect mix of seriousness and lightness. Of course those light moments came when Adam and Robin could block out the world around them. Considering that Adam was a potential witness/suspect, things obviously got a little complicated. Robin didn’t want his judgement clouded, but the attraction was hard to ignore. The great thing was that Adam understood… yeah, I kinda loved these two together.

Throw in a cast of characters that had a hard time telling the truth because more than one of them had something to hide, a lovable dog that was also an amazing judge of character and not so pleasant memories from one of the main characters. The ‘who’ of the mystery I almost had figured out, but the ‘why’ was a surprise. The Best Corpse for the Job ended up being a great ‘who-dun-it’ with a sweet little romance that left me with a smile. 😉

DragonFlyRating4

 

Second Helpings by Charlie Cochrane

Old kitchen table rural cottage morningStuart Collins’s life might as well have ended a year ago when his partner died in a car crash. Even Stuart’s widowed father has found new love with an old friend, Isabel Franklin, so why can’t Stuart be bothered to try?

Then he gets a phone call from Isabel’s son, Paul, who wants to check out whether or not Mr. Collins is good enough for his mother. During dinner together, though, they end up checking out each other. Trouble is, Paul’s got a boyfriend—or maybe he doesn’t, since the boyfriend’s supposedly giving Paul the push by ignoring him. Or maybe Paul just wants to have his cake and eat it too.

Honesty with each other is the only way to move forward. But maybe honesty with themselves is what they really need.

This one was short and sweet. The jury’s still out on whether 140 pages was enough to tell the story that needed to be told.

Second Helpings was a story of love and loss. It was also a story of trust. Stuart had lost the love of his life and Paul was desperately searching for his. I have to CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1admit that I got aggravated with both of these characters at times. Neither one of them seemed to have the ability to see what was right in front of them. Both of them almost blew any chances that they had to even try to start a relationship of any kind. Yet, there were things that I admired about both of them too. I loved Stuart’s easy relationship with his father. They were more than just father and son and it was obvious in the way that they interacted with each other. As for Paul, I loved his protectiveness over his mother. Their relationship had come full circle and his leeriness of anyone getting close to her was understandable.

Then there were the parents themselves. I loved them both. They were wise, the way parents should be, without being pushy or overbearing. Both men having supportive parents made the turmoil that they were putting each other through a little bit easier.

If the story were a little bit longer it would have given me time to get to know the characters and be a little more invested in their relationship. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the story though, or like the characters. Spending a little more time with them would have just made me like them more. 😉

DragonFlyRating4