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REVIEW: Conned – Kim Fielding

Conned - Kim Fielding

Title: Conned

Series: Bureau Book 6

Author: Kim Fielding

Genre: Paranormal, Historical, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Tin Box Press

Pages: 249

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

World War I veteran Thomas Donne is new to San Francisco. Always a stoic man, shell shock and a lost love have nearly turned his heart to stone. No matter—a private eye has no room for softness. Almost broke, he takes on what appears to be a simple case: finding a missing young man.

As a magician and medium, Abraham Ferencz cons his audiences into believing he can cheat death and commune with their dearly departed. Although his séances are staged, the spirits are very real, and they’ve brought him almost more pain than he can bear.

When Donne’s case becomes complicated and the bodies start to pile up, he and Ferencz must fight their way through a web of trickery and lies. The truth is obscured by the San Francisco fog, and in their uncanny world, anyone can catch a bullet.

The Review

“The Bureau” is a new series for me.  I hesitated selecting “Conned” because it was book six in the series.  I’m a series nerd and thought I would have to read all the books but with “The Bureau” as the books can be read as stand-alone, I didn’t have to.  All the stories deal in different areas of the paranormal:  angels, vampires, ghosts, magic, etc.  

In “Conned” the story takes place in 1928 San Francisco.   After several moves Thomas Donne finds himself settling in San Francisco.  He was once a London Metropolitan Police Officer but now a private dick.   His past experience in war and life has left him building a wall around his heart and never revealing his feelings.  He’s figuring a way to get his finances in order and move into the office.  Thomas get’s lucky when he get’s offered a case to find a missing boy.

The case leads him to Abraham Ferencz, who is known by several other names.  Abraham is skilled as a con artist in magic and seances.  When Thomas attends Abraham’s show he doesn’t believe in what Abraham can do.  Eventually, with too many bodies turning up, Thomas and Abraham team up and it leads to many scary and dangerous situations.

Kim Fielding creates another eerie and mystifying story with a mix of magic, mystery, ghosts, dybbuk, ibbur, seances that put Abraham in danger and can lead to death.  But what’s really scary are the evil, greedy men who use and hurt others to gain power and fortune.

I liked the connection that builds between Thomas and Abraham and they work well together.  There’s also a secondary character:  Crespo who is an agent of the bureau and seems to have a specialty of his own.  He also presents an interesting offer to Thomas and Abraham.  Birdie was a great character, he was pretty much a hero.

Fielding also sprinkles the story with history and gives quite the tour of the San Francisco locale.  She brings to the forefront an eerie and somewhat sad painting “Menin Gate at Midnight” painted by William Longstaff.  Also take note of “The Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs” information at the end of the novella.

Just a mention for “The Bureau: Volume 1” with narration by Joel Leslie which I really enjoyed.  Volume 2 is in the works also being narrated by Joel Leslie.  I’m excited for that and wondering what’s next from Kim Fielding and “The Bureau  Stories”.

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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