Book Reviews

Dirty Laundry (A Cole McGinnis Mystery 3) by Rhys Ford at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Private Investigator / Interracial / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Alex on 13-July-2013

Book Blurb

For ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole’s closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems—most notably, a mysterious half brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms.

As if his own personal dramas weren’t enough, Cole is approached by Madame Sun, a fortune-teller whose clients have been dying at an alarming rate. Convinced someone is after her customers, she wants the matter investigated, but the police think she’s imagining things. Hoping to put Sun’s mind at ease, Cole takes the case and finds himself plunged into a Gordian knot of lies and betrayal where no one is who they are supposed to be and Death seems to be the only card in Madame Sun’s deck.



Book Review

Even more explosive than its predecessor, the sequel to the outstanding novel, Dirty Secret, does not disappoint. In fact I’d say there is enough happening in the book to make up two novels, so be prepared for a major roller coaster event, sort of an IMAX 3-D epic that had me laughing out loud, widening my eyes in astonishment, and smiling wistfully at its deep emotional content.

Cole McGinnis, the charismatic, wisecracking, smart-alec detective, is back and once again proves that he can take a licking and keep on ticking. The hilarious kickoff of this third novel, finds Cole receiving yet another body badge of war as he attempts to rescue a small dog. But the appealing opener is merely an appetizer for the tsunami of troubles Cole doggedly navigates as he unravels the clues of his latest case.

Returning to Koreatown, Cole is asked by the local Korean fortune-teller, Madame Sun, to look into the deaths of several of her clients; they seem to be dying shortly after leaving her premises. Despite her talk of “premonitions,” Cole takes the case and finds the fortune-teller may be correct, someone does seem to be targeting her clients and it just might be her rival fortune-teller, the flamboyantly gay Gangjun Gyong-Si. But this strange and baffling case is next to nothing compared to the other problems in Cole’s life…family problems.

His brother Mike repeatedly nags him to meet his “new” brother Ichiro, the surprise ending from the previous book. His office is askew without the loving presence of office manager, turned mother figure, Claudia. She’s still recovering from the gunshot wounds she received in the last book and he fears she may not want to return. But worst of all, a case of mistaken identity creates major upset and possibly terminal separation from his exquisite lover, Kim Jae-Min.

Despite the pressure mounting in all areas of his life, Cole gamely attempts to solve the case, flat-footing around Koreatown and working with LAPD to see what, if anything, the original three clients have in common. With each person he interviews, another dead body turns up and the clues simply won’t point to a particular suspect. As the dead and injured toll mounts, so do Cole’s personal problems, as surprise visits from Jae’s sister Tiffany and Cole’s half-brother, Ichiro, supply more chaos and uncertainty.

All of the sleuthing, shooting and sexy overtones make for a, refreshingly dynamic, multi-layered, romantic mystery, which kept me wide awake as I tried to solve the case alongside Cole. Of course this was between worrying that a breakup was imminent for one of my favorite couples (No, no… this can’t be the end…) and falling in love, yet again, with the exquisite, smoking hot, mystery brother, Ichiro. (Please, please, Rhys Ford…tell me you intend to write a story of this gorgeous tattooed gay/bi/I don’t care, just-write-the-damn-story, male.)

Oh, um where was I?

Captivating new characters, like the lovely bishounen, Terry Yi, Jae’s younger sister, Tiffany and Claudia’s classy, go-with-the-flow son, Martin, provide fresh insights into the delightful world the author has built and make this a thrilling addition to the Cole McGinnis series. And of course I cannot leave without mentioning that the sex was, um, beyond hot and the romance, well, okay, I admit my eyes welled up a bit.

Thank you, Rhys Ford, for once again providing me with more entertainment than I bargained for and yet another surprise ending… “Thrilling, chilling, and lots of grinning…”





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Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 260 pages/87928 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-April-2013
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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