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Review: A Death at the Dionysus Club – Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold

A Death at the Dionysus Club - Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold

Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy, Mystery

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Secrets, Magic and Murder…

The gentleman’s clubs of Scott and Griswold’s gaslamp fantastical London are full of secrets and the ones that Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey and their circles frequent are even more hidden than most. Beneath their respectable, or less respectable, façades, they are a haven…or a torment for men who desire each other’s company.

Now someone is leaving a trail of murder victims, each one found without a heart. Each one somehow connected to Lynes, Mathey, their friends, their enemies and the communities that they belong to. Finding the murderer could reveal everything, leading to certain ruin for some, and the loss of all they hold dear for Julian and Ned.

How far will they go to solve the mystery and stop a killer?

The Review

Edward “Ned” Mathey has become quite the expert in theoretical metaphysics, enchantments, magic, hocus, sigils and the wand. He’s very perceptive when it comes to non-conforming magic. He spends most of his time at the Commons, along with Cordelia Frost, who still works as his secretary. She is very much involved in learning all she can about metaphysics, and her suggestions are well accepted by Ned.

Ned has a special friend in Julian Lynes. Julian is a private investigator in metaphysics, but deals with seedier clients. Ned and Julian have been friends since the age of twelve, but when they webt to Oxford, they lost that connection. Ned was more interested in sports and Lynes got involved with the literary and theatre set.

Both Ned and Julian are members of the Dionysus Club, a place where men socialize, especially men who like other men. Ned has often heard suggestive statements about Julian.  

Arriving at the Commons, Ned is surprised to find inspector Hatton of Scotland Yard waiting for him. Hatton has been given a position as head of the newly established Metaphysical Crime Squad. Hatton has some men to do the “normal” work, but he needs an expert. After having worked with Ned on a previous case, and having the budget to put a metaphysician on retainer, he’s offering the position to Ned. Ned can’t afford to refuse it, and the price is right. Hatton sees it as a way for people to feel safer, working with a young metaphysician with modern methods, an Oxford man who has already solved a murder.

There’s more to it, though – Hatton already has an unidentified body found in the street, and it’s a puzzling situation. But it doesn’t stop there as the bodies start to pile up.

Julian and Ned also become involved in a case of blackmail which involves two different authors who write romance novels. Is the blackmail connected with the six men who have succumbed to strange deaths? How are the Dionysus Club and a particular group of men involved? Ned and Julian can’t escape the danger. Will Ned be able to battle this evil?

A Death at the Dionysus Club is the second installment of the “Lynes & Mathey” Victorian 18th century series. This collaboration between Mellisa Scott and Amy Griswold is just as good as the first book, Death by Silver, if not better. The authors take the readers into the world of metaphysics and those who dabble in the dangers of non-conforming magic. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous, especially when those who don’t truly understand magic mix it with evil.

Ned and Julian still have some doubts about their relationship. Even though Ned seems more secure, there are still some new things that he learns of Julians past. Julian will have to face Challice, someone from his past, who suffers from a secret. And both Julian and Ned will have to put all their doubts aside, as they have a battle to prepare for.  They have to be careful – their own relationship could ruin them if it ever got out into the public eye.

There is an audiobook version too for A Death at the Dionysus Club  released in June 2015, narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo. Ferraiuolo does an entertaining narration. There may be a few minor differences between the book and audio, but it’s still worth listening too. Ferraiuolo does quite well with the British accents, and the characters are very easy to identify with the change of vocal tones.  

I highly recommend A Death at the Dionysus Club – it’s just as entertaining now as it was in 2014, when it first published.  I’m hoping that Scott and Griswold have another Lynes & Mathey story in the works!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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