Review: The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter #2) by C.S. Poe

Life has been pretty great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s only cause for concern is whether Calvin should be taken on a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind, that all plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery.

Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. With each clue that’ll bring him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases.

It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line—it’s his very life.

This is really turning into a fun series and I believe I enjoyed the second even more than the first. Most probably because when book #1 ended, Sebastian and Calvin were still very “new” and there was a lot of evolution in their relationship in book #2 that I absolutely loved reading.

The mystery kept me connected in a fun and engaging way. If you’re looking for plot twists, turns and surprises at the end of every chapter, this is not that story and I was perfectly fine with that. I read this while on a long weekend away decompressing and this was the perfect level of mysterious for that setting. It was fun while interesting and I didn’t have to think about it too hard to keep up. I could follow along with Sebastian’s OTT shenanigans and just enjoy the ride. Was it realistic for Sebastian to insert himself into police investigations? Of course not, but I didn’t come here for the absolute reality, I came for Sebastian, Calvin, their secondary characters; the mystery-lite was a bonus. Shit happens to Sebastian because it does, that’s all I really need to know to wallow in Snow & Winter happily.

I do so love the quirk and the snark Sebastian and Calvin share, but their relationship carries some extra weight in book 2. Neither of these guys are kids and it’s refreshing to read about two characters who are getting into a relationship while also have some history that they are both working through. As we get older, we become a culmination of our experiences and that is so true for both of these guys. The story was really well balanced between the thrill of new love and the gravity of the past. Calvin’s path could have been a story in itself, but the author kept the tone even enough so that there was no question as to the pain and struggle Calvin lived with, but the chance of new love kept the story hopeful even through the worst of times described.

Major props to Sebastian’s dad, the man is a rock that both Calvin and Sebastian need and he’s one of those quiet, yet amazing characters that hits you right in the feels with a few well-placed words and unwavering support consistently. The relationship between Sebastian and his dad was well described in book 1, but Calvin was included in that mix in book 2 and it created some heartwarming moments that made my heart happy for Calvin.

C.S. Poe has a writing style that is easy to fall into, I forget that I’m reading and just flow along with the words. For me, that’s the best kind of escape and the main reason I love to read to begin with. I’m eagerly waiting for the next installment of Snow & Winter, I can’t wait to read about the next step on their way to their happily ever after.

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

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