Review: Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1) by Rhys Ford

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner’d falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still made his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1) by Rhys Ford This is the start of a beautiful friendship between this series and I. I could tell from the first page that I was diving into a Rhys Ford murder mystery, she has a unique and all-consuming way of telling a story. That being said, it’s no formula though, the setting, the mystery and most importantly, the characters are all Murder and Mayhem.

The strength is definitely in the characters. Rook and Dante have great chemistry and their banter is priceless. They are the very definition of enemies to lovers. Dante is on board that train a lot more quickly than Rook is and given Rook’s history it’s understandable.There is more focus on Rook’s character, also understandable, his history is much more complex and if his transition from aloof and alone reformed cat burglar to legit business man and partner were too fast I would have felt cheated and his character would not have rang true in the end.

My favorite aspect of Dante, besides the hotness of course, was that he embodies the modern definition of the word gentleman. According to good old Miriam W, a gentleman is: A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper conduct. That’s Dante, with everything. Even when he breaks the rules he does it with the most noble of intentions and just the proper amount of guilt and urge to make things right again. It makes his character seem almost simple, he’s not of course, but he doesn’t waiver from his core personality and I really liked that. It made it really easy to connect with his character and his balance was needed for the chaos that is Rook. Dante was Rook’s ultimate goal to live a life of normal. No one could give that to Rook but Dante.

The secondary characters are probably some of the strongest I’ve read. The story would not have been the same without Rook’s grandfather Archie, Dante’s uncle Manny and Dante’s partner Hank. Archie is just plain awesome. He’s a complete asshole and he can afford it and he owns it. He also has a deep respect and love for his grandson buried beneath the snark and insults. Manny is Dante’s entirely too wise queen of an uncle. They are one another’s rocks and I know Manny gives Dante a tremendous amount of strength just by loving him. Now Hank is just a total kick and gives the story good balance. He doesn’t play a huge role, but he’s a great vehicle for sounding out issues of acceptance and friendship all laced with humor. I loved every conversation he and Dante had.

The overall story is heavy on aforementioned murders and mayhem and if those are go-to’s for you like they are for me, you will have so much fun reading this story. The romance and relationship aren’t as big of a focus but I’m sure more will be coming in the next installments. Reading this felt like I was reading the beginning of something much bigger for Dante and Rock. While the mystery was solved, their relationship is just beginning and I’m looking forward to more!

As an aside, I loved this:

“Loss of control could do marvelous things for someone caught in a sticky situation.”

For more info on Murder and Mayhem (Murder and Mayhem #1) check it out on Goodreads.

** a copy of this story was provided for an honest review **

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