Book Reviews

Caesar's Fall (Elliott Smith 3) by Dorien Grey at Zumaya Boundless

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Paranormal / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 02-July-2013

Book Blurb

With a new building to restore and his relationship with Steve growing more serious, the last thing Elliott needs is someone else's problem, but when lottery millionaire Bruno Caesar moves into his building he can't just ignore the man's pleas for help. Then Bruno's life comes to an abrupt end when he falls from his balcony. There's only one problem-he was terrified of heights...and never went onto the balcony.

Bruno can't rest until the puzzle of his sudden death is solved, and Elliott and John are once again searching for answers.


Book Review

We all dream of how wonderful winning the lottery would be, but in truth, it can be more of a curse than a blessing. No one knows this better than Bruno Caesar of 'Caesar's Fall' by Dorien Grey. Bruno has never had money and his sudden influx of funds brings with it a myriad of problems in the form of people holding out hands for their share. When Bruno dies after falling from his balcony, Elliott Smith, his neighbor and friend, is convinced that Bruno did not commit suicide because he would never have gone out on the balcony due to his fear of heights.

This is the third sequel in the Elliott Smith Mysteries series and is different from the first two in that we get to know the victim, Bruno, before he is murdered. This automatically made my connection to the story more personal. Even though Elliott says he doesn't want to get involved, Bruno is his friend and he feels obligated to see that justice is done. Since his brother-in-law and law enforcement officer, Brad, is not involved in Bruno's case, it is more difficult to gain access to information from the police department, as Elliott has done in the past. He has to rely on his own investigative skills, which are obviously improving; whether he acknowledges it or not; and so is his interest in sleuthing.  Along with John's help from the otherworldly side, Bruno has some input. Since he's passed, it's confusing at first. Bruno has unfinished business; he doesn't go straight to the pearly gates, but lingers in John's realm as he gathers his energy enough to be helpful. Using the scent of Old Spice as a way of letting Elliott and his friends know when Bruno is there is quite effective. It reminded me of a game children play called Hot and Cold. The strength of the scent of Old Spice effused was an indication of how close Elliott was to being correct. 

Elliott is still being persuaded by his sister and even John to admit that he and Steve are a couple. He's still frightened by the idea of commitment, but realizes he's at a crossroads. Elliott realizes that Steve knows he's withholding information and, although he's been gracious about it so far, waiting too much longer will undermine his trust. When they both fall in love with the Armitage House, where Bruno used to live, Elliott is up against a wall. In order to include Steve in his plans for providing the bottom floor with an art gallery, he has to tell Steve, not only about the depth of his feelings for him, but about John as well. Instead of being upset because Elliott has withheld all of this information for so long, Steve, in his gracious, accepting manner, takes it all in stride. He also has to hear Thank goodness and It's about time! from both his sister and, especially, John.

The mystery part of the story is intense and deliberately misleading at times, for a purpose, of course. Mr. Grey certainly can't make it too easy for us to figure out who dun it. Therefore, we are led through a series of possibilities which proves to be dizzying at some point, while Elliott, who still swears he's not a detective, but pursues the clues with a relish which seems to indicate he doesn't mean what he says. From the delicious cast of possibilities, i.e., the financial manager, the boyfriend, the nephew, the con man, and so on, who is the murderer or who is maybe shady, but innocent, and who is completely sincere and innocent? It's quite difficult to tell, but if you follow the clues, you might just be able to discern just who the real villain is before he is revealed.

I would recommend this story, not only to fans of this series, but to new readers too who enjoy a good mental romp through a deliberately misleading myriad of clues ending in a satisfying conclusion. Thank you, Mr. Grey, for the stimulating adventure and ongoing love story between Elliott and Steve whom I've grown to love. I look forward to more stories about these two amazing and interesting men.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Zumaya Boundless for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 248 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 03-November-2010
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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