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Review: Apidae – Xenia Melzer

Apidae - Xenia Melzer

Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

No good deed—or good record of solving crimes—goes unpunished.

Detectives Andi Hayes and George Donovan of the Charleston PD are on vacation. Or at least they are until they are called back for an emergency: find Chief Norris’s missing son.

Fortunately, Andi’s insect spies lead him right to little Tyler Norris, who is safe and sound.

Unfortunately, along with the chief’s son, they find twenty-five corpses, victims of a serial killer who’s gone unnoticed for over a decade. 

Chief Norris promptly cancels Andi and George’s vacation and assigns them as lead detectives on the case. Physical evidence leads them to a mental health facility where some of the victims received treatment, but Andi’s gift—his usual secret weapon—fails him. Promising leads and shady suspects all turn out to be dead ends, and they’re running out of time. Because the killer isn’t going to stop at twenty-five victims—and Tyler Norris has just gone missing again….

The Review

When Detective George Donovan first met Detective Andi Hayes, they didn’t get along very well. He made an agreement with Chief Norris of the Charleston PD to report back on Andi’s activities in police work. George went along with it, plus he had plans beyond Charleston. There had to be bigger and better things elsewhere. Now a year has gone by, and George and Andi’s lives have changed.

For George, their vacation offers an important chance to reconnect with Andi. They are both practicing deep meditation, so George can help and even save Andi with his geschenk. When Andi makes that deep connection with the strange world of arthropodas, they pull him so far into their world that he almost fails to make it back. George has become his comfort zone, anchor, protector and caretaker. He’s the only one who knows how and what Andi needs.

George isn’t happy with the interruption from the IA Luke Gelman. Gelman had failed to help George get rid of Chief Norris. Gelman pleads his case with George and Andi, and tells them they are sorely needed. Is he friend or foe?

A fourteen year old boy has gone missing. Anyone could have taken the caseso why come to them?  It’s doesn’t sit well with George, especially when he finds out the young teenager is Tyler, Chief Norris’s son.

Andi uses his ability, and finds Tyler quickly.  As much as he doesn’t care for children, Andi has a feeling about the boy. Tyler is special, and he understands Andi is too. Tyler and his special friend Izzy reveal something that leads Andi and George to a massive grave.  

With the discovery of veterans’ dog tags, FBI Agent Geena Davis becomes involved. And as more is revealed about the victims by Dr. Evangeline Melcourt, George, Andi and Geena are led to House Cusabo, a mental health facility.  As much as George tries to protect Andi, Andi will continue using his geschenk – and bees become his focus. But George is afraid he will lose Andi to the arthropoda and bees. As the case becomes more twisted, with no serial killer in sight, the pressure and fear becomes to much for George and Andi. Will Andi finally break when Tyler becomes a victim? 

Melzer delivers another dark, twisted, gritty and gory tale from the world of arthropoda. The author has done a magnificent job researching the arthropod world, and is very descriptive and precise about so many species of insects. Bees take the focus in “Apidae” and her world building includes many historical facts about them. She also gives explanations for a variety of drugs used for those who have certain mental issues, and how they affect the arthropods.

As far as Andi and George go, I couldn’t see their relationship being written any other way – it’s perfect. Over the course of the trilogy, it progresses, and is so deeply heartfelt. It;s clear that they have a special respect for one other. The more George understands Andi and the more loyalty he shows towards him, the more Andi starts to come out of his shell, surprising everyone.

There’s a great line-up of secondary characters here too: Danny, who is always fun, teasing his brother George and giving sound advice. Tyler Norris, who brings his specialty and feelings to the story and how he relates to Andi. Izzy, who can now rest peacefully. Chief Norris and husband Aloys, who need to face the fact that Tyler is special and they have to give him the right type of love and understanding.  

And the Charleston PD crew: IT and expert hacker Shireen, Dr. Evangline Melcourt, Detectives Sandra Mescew and Tobias Gentry and Forard, head of SWAT. There’s also Luke Gelman, who came with a few surprises, and agent Geena Davis, who wasn’t as bad as I thought she would be.

I highly recommend “Apidae,” the most fantastic and well done novel in the “Arthropoda” series. I suggest starting with the first book, “Arthropoda” and then “Eruca.” Melzer has created a unique paranormal murder mystery series with an intriguing subject matter. I don’t know if there will be more to come, but this series is well worth continuing!

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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