REVIEW: Truth will out (Merrychurch Mysteries #1) by K.C.Wells
Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.
They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.
In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull….
Dear KC Wells,
I am sure I’ve read one or two of your books in the past, but I don’t follow your works on a regular basis. I stumbled on this cozy M/M mystery by accident when one of my book buddies mentioned it on a discussion board. Overall, I quite liked this story and if more books are coming with Jonathon and Mike investigating mysteries, I will definitely check the next books out as well.
The blurb tells us Jonathon is coming to visit his uncle Dominic in Merrychurch village; he gets a bad feeling when his uncle doesn’t meet him at the train station. Mike gives him a ride to the village because he is a nice guy and both men take a liking to each other right away. Mike accompanies Jonathon to the manor and they discover Dominic dead in his study.
Jonathon accepts Mike’s offer to stay at his bar because he is understandably distraught, and lo and behold both of them start to investigate the mystery of Dominic’s death.
I think it’s obvious from the blurb, but I wanted to spell it out anyway – this is an amateur sleuth playing an important, if not the major, role in solving the mystery. I don’t always find this trope believable but in this story the author made it believable enough to justify both Mike and Jonathon’s involvement.
A couple of times the narrative skirted on the edge of believability but for the most part it worked for me. Both men have reason to get involved. Jonathon has an obvious personal reason to figure out who killed his uncle, and Mike wants to help his new friend and he is uniquely suited to offer such help by being an ex-cop. The police do investigate on their own but Mike and Jonathon were eventually more successful. I also liked that they kept the police informed of their progress and it wasn’t their fault the police investigator in charge of the investigation was a little bit annoying.
In fact the only really problematic thing they did, and Mike acknowledged it, was to use Mike’s former connections to look at a certain police report. I was more than willing to let it slide. Your mileage may differ, of course. If I were to complain about anything where the mystery storyline is concerned it would be that I didn’t feel the guys were ever in danger, not even during the final confrontation with the villain. However, this is a cozy mystery, not a suspense story, and the guys not being in danger stemmed from them not engaging in much/any stupidity while investigating. That was probably a good thing.
The romantic elements in this book were definitely a secondary storyline and there were no explicit sex scenes, which made perfect sense for me and fitted this story. I liked both Mike and Jonathon, and believe their romance will blossom eventually.
I also liked that what I was worried about after reading the blurb did not happen. Reading about “a lot of people had reasons to want Dominic dead” made me worry that Dominic would be cast as the villain of the piece and, seeing how much Jonathon loved him and the love seemed to be mutual, I did not want to see that. Dominic was not a villain, even though he made a couple of wrong decisions during his life, but he was shown as a flawed and still likeable person.
I want very much to meet Jonathon and Mike again.