5 Stars, Charlie Cochrane, Historical Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Review: Lessons for Sleeping Dogs by Charlie Cochrane

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Title: Lessons for Sleeping Dogs (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries)

Author: Charlie Cochrane

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 208 Pages

At a Glance: If you like period appropriate verbiage and staging, REALLY GOOD mysteries, and colorful and witty characters, then this series is for you.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Cambridge, 1921

When amateur sleuth Jonty Stewart comes home with a new case to investigate, his partner Orlando Coppersmith always feels his day has been made. Although, can there be anything to solve in the apparent mercy killing of a disabled man by a doctor who then kills himself, especially when everything takes place in a locked room?

But things are never straightforward where the Cambridge fellows are concerned, so when they discover that more than one person has a motive to kill the dead men—motives linked to another double death—their wits get stretched to the breaking point.

And when the case disinters long buried memories for Jonty, memories about a promise he made and hasn’t kept, their emotions get pulled apart as well. This time, Jonty and Orlando will have to separate fact from fiction—and truth from emotion—to get to the bottom of things.

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Review: It is now 1921. Jonty and Orlando are in their forties, and it has been awhile since that business with the wooden cat. While working at the University is challenging, Orlando is beginning to think they will never have another case to solve… But then Jonty goes to tea and a case is presented, along with a particularly good nosebag.

I knew from the opening salvo, “Inspired by the many mysteries in real life that defy solution.”, that I was in for a great mystery with this book, and it did not disappoint! How do you solve a mystery that isn’t really a mystery on the surface? A mercy killing by a doctor, who then takes his own life in regret, two suicide letters explaining it all, and the whole scenario happening behind a closed door which was locked from the inside. What’s left to know? Well, a lot it seems. What they find is a case that stretches them morally and emotionally, and the decision has to be made whether to publish their findings to the world, or just to let sleeping dogs lie.

Each of these books has not only a mystery which has to be solved but a personal battle which must be fought, and in this book the power is in Jonty’s hands to right an old wrong and to realize sometimes the truth can help old sleeping dogs to lie more comfortably. This book, while still being an intense mystery, was a little lighter than some of the others have been. Lessons for Sleeping Dogs is one of my favorites in the Cambridge Fellows Mystery Series. All of Charlie Cochranes books are amazing, but being historically accurate sometimes means the emotions of two men can be constrained. This book has a warmth to it between Jonty and Orlando reminiscent of some of the earlier books in the series when they were sorting through the beginnings of their relationship. The two men are celebrating the sixteenth year of their meeting, and in my opinion, the mysteries and the emotions just keep getting deeper and better. As the pair say,

“Happy Anniversary. May there be many more of them.”

“Amen to that. More anniversaries, more cases to solve, more mattresses to put through their paces.”

“I agree on all three counts. Especially the last.”

If you like period appropriate verbiage and staging, REALLY GOOD mysteries, and colorful and witty characters, then this series is for you. You do not have to read these mysteries in order, just pick one up – it will not disappoint – and then you will go back for more!

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5 Stars, Charlie Cochrane, Historical Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Review: Lessons for Suspicious Minds by Charlie Cochrane

Title: Lessons for Suspicious Minds (A Cambridge Fellows Mystery)

Author: Charlie Cochrane

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 258 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this book and will buy and read the next in the series to see what mystery the author has for us next.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: 1909

In the innocent pre-war days, an invitation to stay at the stately country home of a family friend means a new case for amateur sleuths Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. In fact, with two apparently unrelated suicides to investigate there, a double chase is on.
But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the risk of discovery and disgrace is ever present. How, for example, does one explain oneself when discovered by a servant during a midnight run along the corridor?
Things get even rougher for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. Worse, when they work out who the murderer is, they are confronted with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve ever had to make.

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Review: Lessons for Suspicious Minds is an Edwardian romantic mystery, an installment in Charlie Cochrane’s Cambridge Fellows series. Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith have bonded together (both personally and professionally) to become amateur sleuths, and are having a measure of success with it. Both men are supported by Jonty’s very progressive family, who not only embrace all the new technology in the world but the relationship between their son and his partner also. Jonty’s parents provide great secondary characters who add a healthy dose of support and wit to the story.

The story begins with a letter; a letter from Jonty’s mother, summoning them to Fyfield, the estate of her godmother, Alexandra Temple. Even with age, the dowager duchess is still a formidable woman, and the request is not really a request, it is a summons. Her son, Reginald Temple, the Duke, invited his old school chums—a raucous group of men who called themselves the Ambrosians—for a visit, and one of them commits suicide. Or, did he? The dowager duchess wants to know the whole story and is not convinced her son is giving it to her.

Traveling to Fyfield, the pair are presented with yet another suicide victim. Are the two connected? So, the mystery begins. I am not going to spoil it for you and tell you any more of the story, but I will let you know that I didn’t expect where this plot led me. The mystery is good, it’s complicated and twisted – and it’s logical.

This book is also a true Edwardian romance – loquacious without being verbose. The prose is very time specific, taking you back to jolly old England, mentally. As such, the romance is subdued, as would be fitting for the time period. Jonty and Orlando are deeply in love, committed and solid, but they don’t have the freedom to touch or kiss as M/F couples might. Don’t look for a lot of sex in these books, there’s not. These books are about relationships and mysteries, both being equally wonderful.

Charlie Cochrane has two more books in this series being released soon, Lessons for Idle Tongues and Lessons for Sleeping Dogs, which will be released later this year, per her home page at Riptide Publishing, and I can’t wait. My only negative on this book is that I would have loved more Jonty and Orlando – just a few more paragraphs describing them and their relationship. Even so, I highly recommend this book and will buy and read the next in the series to see what mystery the author has for us next.

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