Series: A Charm of Magpies, Book 3 Published by: Samhain Publishing on October 28, 2014 Rating: 3stars (★★★☆☆)
Life for Stephen Day has never really been what one would call normal. But things are getting weird even for him. The justiciary is still in the process of rebuilding their forces, and one of the apprentices may be going mad with power. Of course, this only adds to the stress between Stephen and his lover, Lord Crane. A stress that comes to a head over the investigation of a theft in which Crane finds himself the victim. Can Stephen help solve the theft, figure out what’s going on with the young apprentice, and keep his relationship afloat?
I have enjoyed this series; the combination of historical and paranormal always has a way of drawing me in. And the characters here are the same characters that I’ve grown to enjoy reading about during the previous two installments. I have to say that I do feel like there’s just a little bit too much going on in this one, though. There’s the case at the core, there’s the drama with the justiciary, there’s the short-staffing of the judiciary–it’s just so many layers and makes things suddenly more complex than I feel they have been thus far. Perhaps I just wasn’t ready for this turn. I still enjoyed this book, and I absolutely recommend it. It just didn’t quite hit the spot in the way I expected it would.
Title: A Case of Spirits (A Charm of Magpies, Book 2.5) Author: K.J. Charles Published: January 6, 2015 Pages: 32 Publisher: Samhain Publishing Publisher Link: link Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Review:
Stephen and Lucius are pulled into another most curious case. This one involves ghost sightings followed by bouts of madness and a rather painful route to blindness. And it becomes personal for them once Lucius’s servant (and friend), Merrick, becomes the latest victim. The two must work together, along with Stephen’s colleagues, to track down the cause and, hopefully, the cure…
This series: what can I say? Even in the shorts like this, K.J. Charles manages to bring this world to life in a way I think few authors can. I’m continually impressed with how this series has developed and the way each installment seems like a fresh and unique look at these two guys and the mysterious, magical, and frightening world in which they live.
Title: Interlude with Tattoos Author: K.J. Charles Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Review: Having read the two books in this series, I’m very much a fan of Stephen and Lucien. It was interesting to go back and read this (which takes place between the two books) after having read the second book – it isn’t really plot-essential but is a nice little set of moments between the two of them. I ate it all up and am so looking forward to the third book coming out in January.
Title: A Case of Possession Author: K.J. Charles Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Review: The second book in the A Charm of Magpies series, A Case of Possession picks up shortly after the end of The Magpie Lord. Lucien and Stephen are continuing with their relationship, though Lucien can’t help but feel like there’s a limit to their connection – there are things Stephen is keeping from him. Before they get a chance to try to sort this out, they get pulled into another mystery surrounding several murders and a suicide and attempts by one of Lucien’s former associates to blackmail him, Stephen, and one of Lucien’s good friends. There more paranormal adventure here as well as a number of further tests of Lucien and Stephen’s young relationship.
While I liked The Magpie Lord, I feel like this one is even steps above it. There is more depth in this book and while there’s a lot that happens, I found it easier to follow. Meeting Stephen’s associates was also a great touch that added more depth to the world in which Lucien and Stephen live. Another great historical paranormal mystery romance.
Title: The Magpie Lord Author: K.J. Charles Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Review: Lucien Vaudrey has returned to England after a twenty-year exile to China to take up the title of Lord Crane following the deaths of his father and brother. Not long after his return, however, he started having blackouts in which he’s tried to injure himself and is therefore very concerned. When a friend sends him someone who might be able to help, Stephen Day, he has some hope despite Day’s own history with the Vaudrey family. Lucien needs Stephen to find out what’s going on and help him, but Lucien can’t help feeling drawn to Stephen and the attraction seems mutual. And Stephen is left trying to root out the source of the problem while trying not to be distracted by the new Lord Crane.
This was the first book by K.J. Charles that I’ve read and I can see why she is one of the bigger names in m/m fiction. It was easy to understand and connect with the main characters and she writes them in a way that makes you root for them. Personally, the paranormal and mystery elements in the story are a draw as I do enjoy stories that contain either (and especially both). There is a lot that goes on in this book, though, and a lengthy roster of secondary characters that can be difficult to keep track of. Overall, though, I’d certainly recommend giving this a read – especially if you’re someone who appreciates m/m romance historical paranormal mystery.