Thin as Smoke has been out only a few days, and it has a few well-crafted reviews!
I count myself lucky. My writing seems to draw the kinds of readers and reviewers every author pines for—ones who can look into the soul of a story, understand the symbols and themes, explore the sometimes complex motivations of the characters.
One such reviewer is Suzana Wylie, author of M/M paranormal literature, poetry, flash fiction, and other work. She did not write this review of Thin as Smoke with any “mutual back-scratching” arrangement. In fact, she has no idea I’m even doing this! Her review is so penetrating that I reproduce it here in full.
Another reviewer, this one a sharp-eyed reader, is Fiona Rachel Warner. I freaking love her unvarnished sentiment, her way of approaching the book as a wide-eyed reader with no preconceptions. In a way, hers is the kind of review I most cherish, because it’s beautifully written and comes straight from the heart.
First, Suzana Wylie:
She does it every time. When I pick up a book by Erin O’Quinn, I know I’m going to enjoy it. That’s a foregone conclusion. With her Gaslight Mysteries series, it’s not simply enjoyment; it’s magic. One moment I’m sitting in my familiar surroundings opening a book; and before I’ve finished the first paragraph, space and time have contracted and I’m in Dun Linden, Ireland, in the early 1920’s.
Thin as Smoke is every bit as magical as the previous three books in the series. O’Quinn delivers both a mystery taut with danger and a love story, just as taut and just as dangerous. In many ways, this is the best of them, and I have loved each one.
Simon Hart, reticent and reluctant to embrace his own sexuality, and boisterous, brash Michael McCree are partners in their firm of private investigators, and often as agents in Michael’s own covert activities. They are also sometime partners in the bedroom, though not nearly often enough to suit Michael. Each is trapped inside the snare of his emotions, straining to find a means of escape, not from each other, but toward each other.
Into this already tense situation comes a presence from Michael’s past, a former partner, one who holds a part of Michael close to his own tubercular chest, one who goes by the familiar name of Dashiell Hammett. Hammett and a private client are each in need—of Michael in one case, and Simon in the other. Rather than their accustomed work together, they must work separately to solve these cases. Separately, but not alone. The man Hammett is there, thin as smoke and yet hard as flint between them.
There is more than one way to step into danger; there is more than one way to damage a relationship, perhaps beyond repair. Though he stands between them, Hammett may hold the key to uniting Michael and Simon in deeper ways than ever before.
It’s a brave author who pulls a flesh-and-blood [historical] character into a work of fiction. Rarely have I seen such skillful weaving-in as O’Quinn does in Thin as Smoke. Very highly recommended. Five stars!
Next, Fiona Rachel Warner (UK reader):
“Quirky, original, different and stimulating—who could ask for more!”
Five stars …
I have been sent an arc of this fourth Gaslight Mystery and I have devoured it in two days such was my enthusiasm to find out more about Simon and Michael’s lives. And this in my opinion is the best of the 4 books. I liked the additional characters and the storyline was intriguing and exciting, but the developing relationship between these two men was the cause of much angst and wishful thinking and for me made it a real page turner.
Not going to ‘spoil’ it for any of you so no comments on the story; but suffice it to say that Erin O’Quinn should be extremely proud of this book. It was so well written and the style so magical and evocative of the time that it was a delight to read just for that. And it certainly wasn’t predictable… I genuinely enjoyed it. Quirky, original, different and stimulating – who could ask for more!
Just a reminder … Thin as Smoke is the fourth of the series. The art below shows the spirit of all these m/mysteries.
The books are all available on my Amber Quill Press author page… Coming soon to amazon dot com and dot uk. Note that Thin as Smoke is being offered at an introductory 35% discount for a limited time only.
You’ll find the trilogy also on my Amazon author page, complete with 45 five-star reviews: