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Review: Death by Silver – Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold

Death by Silver - Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold

Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy/Mystery

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon | Publisher

About The Book

Mystery, Murder and Magic…

When his nemesis from schoolboy days hires metaphysician Ned Mathey to investigate his father’s murder, Ned turns to his friend and sometime lover, detective Julian Lynes, for help. Together, they must navigate a maze of deceit, danger, their painful past and, perhaps, a chance at a future together, in an Edwardian London as full of peril as it is with magic. Can they solve the mystery at the heart of the murder to forge a new kind of partnership or will the past and society’s disapproval send them off on separate paths?

Winner of a Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ SF/F/Horror.

The Review

Edward “Ned” Mathey is a metaphysician. He bought his practice from old Fitzgibbons and lost some of the clientele, as many did not want to deal with a new metaphysician from Oxford. Business hasn’t been that lucrative for Ned, and he’s frustrated with a badly-enchanted garden gate.

Cordelia Frost is his “typewriter girl”, but is really so much more. She studied metaphysics at a women’s college and is very knowledgeable, but of course her education is not recognized. But Ned finds her extremely intelligent and useful for the business, and they get along perfectly.

When a letter arrives, Ned is called in on a case of cursed silver. Edgar Nevett believes his silver has become strangely enchanted. When Ned goes to investigate, he finds no issues with the silver, and closes out his investigation with sigils and “light” for a grand effect. Frustrated by his clientele, Ned wants just one thing – to spend time with his longtime friend Julian Lynes.

Lynes, is a private detective who deals with the seedier side of London. He and Ned attended St. Thomas, one of the oldest schools in England, where they suffered abuse from the senior group known as prefects – and Ned got the worst of it.

Ned and Julian have been more than friends for a very long time, and both have their doubts about where the relationship will lead. Julian is considering calling it off.

Julian receives a note from another schoolmate, Albert Wynchcombe, to investigate a stolen design for their latest risqué automaton. When Ned comes to visit and tells him of the Edgar Nevett case, Julian is beside himself. How can Ned accept a client such as Edgar Nevett, when his son Victor was one of the prefects that abused them at St. Thomas?

Their cases will become even more baffling when Edgar Nevett is found dead in his home. Scotland Yards Inspector Charles Hatton seeks out Ned’s assistance, with Julian by his side. As if things couldn’t get any stranger, Victor Nevett shows up at Ned’s office and wants to retain him to solve his father’s murder too.

I am a fan of Victorian murder mysteries, and “Death by Silver” fits in perfectly. Scott and Griswold do an exceptional job explaining the metaphysical tools of the trade – wands, sigils, enhancements, spells, special square papers and more. And I loved the Julians strange plant – Urtica Mordax!

The many suspects and the interviews conducted with them make this well constructed murder mystery shine. There is an element of danger too as Julian and Ned spend time in the seedier parts of London while dealing with their own doubts and feelings about their relationship.

There are many suspects throughout the novel, including Larkin the butler, Alice, Margaret, Jane Pugh, Miller and Sarah, and the Nevett Family. And some other interesting characters too: Annie Makins, Mick Murtaugh, Bolster, Peter Lennox and especially Bob and Digby who really earned their pay.

The audio for Death by Silver was released in November 2013, narrated by Matthew Cresswell. It’s entertaining – I did a listen/read along with the newest book. There are a few little glitches in the audio and I did slow the speed, but it’s worth the listen. Cresswell does the British wording and accent quite well, and nails the emotions of Julian and Ned.

Death by Silver is just as great and entertaining now as it was in 2013, when it first published. I am ecstatic that Scott and Griswold have brought Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey back, and am excited for the second book, A Death at the Dionysus Club, to make its appearance again. I hope they continue with some new tales from the “Lynes & Mathey” series, and their metaphysical world.

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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