My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've been hearing about this series forever but I'm slow as molasses in winter when it comes to ebooks. This book is everything I could want, historical paranormal? Thank you! Whyborne is from a prominent family in Widdershins, MA, but he bucked the family business studying philosophy and language, working for the Ladysmith museum. Into his staid controlled life (remembering that being gay in this time period would result in jail time and loss of job at the very least), comes an ex-Pinkerton detective, Griffin Flaherty who needs him to translate a diary of a murdered young man.
From there things all but explode. Whyborne finds himself draw into a strange brotherhood of town founders who were into dark rituals including resurrection and the mashing up of humans and animals into undead monsters. Naturally Griffin also blows up Whyborne's button down life as they fall for each other.
Without spoiling the story there is temptation to do wrong as both men are living with things on their consciences. such as the loss of a childhood friend (and someone WHyborne was secretly in love with ). THe action holds up well for the most part and the ending really worked for me. One thing that bugs me in stories like this is the action of the climax happens because the protagonists do something stupid to get in trouble. That is not the case here. It was believable and smart.
As for the characters I loved Griffin and Whybourne, not to mention a side character, Christine, an Egyptologist bucking Victorian society. She is a delight. I hope she remains in the series.
As to why not five stars? It was close and mostly it's just personal taste. Whyborne went on a few too many times about his fears about being gay (not that they weren't believable but it didn't feel like it was advancing anything once you got to the fourth or fifth time. And once they were a couple there was a bit too much sex for me. I was so wrapped up in the story that taking long side trips into the bedroom pulled me away from the tale. I'm sure that would work well for others (and they were done well at least) Can't wait to move on with the series.
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