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The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean (Middlemark Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – September 15, 2018
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About the Author
- Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (September 15, 2018)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 204 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1641080159
- ISBN-13 : 978-1641080156
- Item Weight : 7.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.25 x 0.6 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,489,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Dr. Lewis is just a bit too pathetic so it’s kind of hard to fully embrace him when you just want to shake him and say “snap out of it”, especially with the existence of the Ramon alter ego. Blaine is also just a bit too unrealistic. I guess I needed better background/motivation for his sudden attack of conscience or ability to fall for Llew.
The subplot is a bit silly and never fully explained but I guess it works as a device the author needs to get to the ending she wants.
I’ll probably try the second book to see if the MCs have become more likeable.
Right from the start I was intrigued by the fact that MC # 1 has an altar-ego. Dr. Llewellyn Lewis is a famed academic. His specialty is researching historical mysteries. He's a tenured history professor at a smallish private college, but doesn't do much actual teaching these days as he's shy and socially awkward. He speaks with a stutter, and lives a decidedly khaki life (including his wardrobe). His "other half" as it were, is Ramon Rondell, an history writer whose specialty is also historical mysteries, but only those of the more sensational and shocking variety. Dr. Lewis pulls off the dual personas fairly easily as Ramon Rondell is known to be very reclusive, only rarely appearing publicly. When Ramon is seen, he's always in flamboyant garb, big sunglasses, and any one of various hair colors/styles (aka, wigs). Dr. Lewis' stutter is anxiety-linked, so when he's acting the part of Ramon the stutter is absent.
Blaise Arthur (MC#2) is a teaching assistant who recently joined the university's English department. He's got a BIG secret as well; his mother is a journalist who is the rival/arch enemy of Ramon Rondell. Blaise's mother has begun to suspect that Ramon Rondell is really the meek and mild Dr. Lewis, and wants Blaise to help her prove it.
Anne de Vere is a descendant of the 17th Earl of Oxford Edward de Vere. That gentleman is one who has been proposed by some as the true author of the poems and plays attributed to Shakespeare. Anne has 5 million dollars at her disposal, and is willing to donate it to the university's history department if Dr. Lewis can prove (or as close as possible, given that the question has only been debated for more than 400 years) that Edward de Vere was INDEED Shakespeare.
Dr. Lewis is under a HUGE amount of pressure, for the sake of the money. Anne's family HATES the idea of the family bucks being spent on this, though by the terms of an ironclad will that's the way it is. Other donors are also pushing, because they want the new building to have THEIR name on it, instead of de Vere's. Then Anne is found dead on the floor in Dr. Lewis's office. And thus the murder mystery begins. Who done it? Why?
I will say no more about the murder mystery, as I don't want to accidentally give anything away. I read a LOT of mysteries, so for a book to keep me guessing right up until the BIG REVEAL -- WELL DONE.
I wish I could say the same for the romance part of the book. From start to finish I was angry about Blaise hiding his mother's motives and going along with his part of trying to prove Dr. Lewis and Ramon Rondell as one and the same. You always knew that he felt badly about it, yet his guilt never stopped him.
Also, I never really got the feeling that I was reading a romance. The relationship between Llewellyn and Blaise was much too clinical for my taste. They described themselves as dating, but it felt more like guys who were equally intrigued by a real-life murder, and oh yeah, by the way, they were bonking each other. "Are you busy tonight? No. Want to come over and screw? Sure; sounds good."
Up to this point I had never read a Tara Lain book that I could put down. I LOVE the sweetness of her characters, and you usually really feel the building emotions between the MC's. This time, though, it was like there was virtually no emotions at all beyond lust I still have been able to put down a Tara Lain book without finishing it but in this case it was ONLY the murder mystery that kept me going.
Sorry Tara, but no home run this time. It's a solid stand-up double at best. I'm giving it 2 out of 5 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
It was quite a gentle read with likeable characters, although I did need time to warm up to Blaise, I thought Dr Lewis was adorable. His stuttering made him even more endearing along with the way he treated his feline friends. His assistant Marie was a little gem. The other characters involved in this murder mystery, whether they were nice or not, made for a good storyline. I liked that everything Dr Lewis knew, the reader knew so there were no unexpected curve balls and because of this I figured out whodunnit at around about the same time he did. Yay! But it was the journey he made to get there that kept me interested.
This was a low action, low angst read with some drama because of the plot, some sexy times and romance too and a very satisfying ending.
I have now read four books by this author and am looking forward to reading more, with possibly another case to solve for the sexy Shakespearean.