Crawshank’s Guide to the Recently Departed, Book 1
By Vawn Cassidy
Tristan Everett had always preferred the company of the dead because they were quiet and didn’t talk back. As a slightly awkward introvert working as a pathologist at the Hackney Public Mortuary suited him just fine. That is, until a freak accident with a rogue ice cube and suddenly he can see ghosts. No longer content to just lie on the table and let him figure out how they died, they’re now peering over his shoulder critiquing his work and confessing their most lascivious sins before skipping off merrily into the afterlife.
Just when he thought his life couldn’t get any weirder, London’s most infamous drag queen, Miz Dusty Le Frey, is wheeled in with a toe tag and she’s not prepared to go quietly into the light. Not only is she furious at the prospect of spending eternity in last season’s gold lamé, she’s determined that he help her solve her murder.
Suddenly Tristan finds himself thrown into a world of sequins and fake eyelashes, and worse still, he may have developed a crush on Scotland Yard’s brand new drool-worthy detective, Inspector Danny Hayes, who’s been assigned to Dusty’s murder. Oh, and the killer now wants him dead too…
All he ever wanted was a simple life but suddenly he’s juggling work, a deliciously sexy detective, a stubborn ghost and a relentless murderer… and things have just gotten dead serious….
He’s wearing another suit that, god help me, clings to every inch of a six three body, which has clearly been hand carved by the gods while angels harmonised in the background. His suit jacket is unbuttoned, his white shirt stretched across a broad and obviously well-toned chest, his tie is loosened, and his top button undone.
Jesus holy moly Christ, the man is nothing short of temptation incarnate. All he needs is a trench coat and I’d have my very own spank bank version of Constantine. He lifts his hand, raking it through his dark blonde hair, and I swear it looks like he is in slow motion. I almost reach up to check my chin in case I’m accidentally drooling.
He turns, his gaze sweeping the room, and as his piercing blue gaze lands on me, his mouth breaks into a smile, causing his eyes to crinkle slightly and revealing, not dimples exactly, but fascinating creases either side of his mouth that I find myself desperately wanting to trace with the pads of my fingers.
He crosses the room in smooth confident strides until he’s standing on the opposite side of the table to me, with Dusty’s body between us.
Great, I realise with a sinking feeling. I’ve now added my hot crush to my rapidly expanding list of hallucinations. There is no way he’s really the guy from last night. He didn’t even know my name let alone how to find me. At this rate, I’m going to have to check myself into a mental hospital.
‘Tristan Everett?’ He smiles as he holds out his hand.
Without thinking, I reach out and grasp his hand, ignoring the little zip of electricity and letting out a startled gasp. When I’d tried to touch Dusty, my hand had passed straight through as if she weren’t there, but Mr Blue Eyes’ hand is warm and his grip firm.
‘You’re real,’ I whisper as he studies me, slightly puzzled by my response. ‘Uh, I mean.’ I clear my throat and offer him a polite, professional smile. He really doesn’t need to know how much I’d like to lean forward and press my mouth to those soft looking lips of his, especially considering I’d missed out last night as I was unconscious when he had his mouth on mine, while he was busy saving my life. ‘How did you find me?’ I ask curiously, momentarily forgetting everything in the room but him.
‘Serendipity,’ he replies softly, his mouth curving as he watches me.
‘I’m sorry?’ I blink owlishly in confusion.
‘Inspector Danny Hayes, Scotland Yard,’ he introduces himself, as his gaze flickers momentarily down at Dusty’s body. ‘That’s my case you’re about to post-mortem.’
‘Ohhh,’ I reply slowly as his words sink in. My mouth forms a small, silent ‘o’ as I stare at him, lost in his denim blue gaze, only marginally aware of the soft smile playing on my lips.
‘Oh my God, are you two seriously eye fucking each other over my dead body?’ a dry voice interrupts. ‘Er…rude…’
Tristan has one little near death experience and suddenly the ghost of the dead woman on his examining table appears to him. Danny works for Scotland Yard and is tasked with finding the killer of the woman on Tristan’s table.
I loved Dusty the drag queen. The author gave her so much personality that she became the heart of the book. Bringing Tristan out of his shell enough to allow Danny into his life. Their relationship was slow burn and very hot.
Finding the killer was an interesting journey through drag queen land, not without its dangers I might add.
Well written, very British, funny, and sad. This was a nice paranormal/mystery/love story.
Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads.
Enter the Giveaway!
To celebrate Vawn’s new release, we is giving away 3 e-copies of Dead Serious!
About the Author:
Vawn Cassidy is the MM pen name of author Wendy Saunders. She lives in Hampshire in the UK with her husband and three children. She writes Supernatural and Contemporary Fantasy Fiction as Wendy Saunders and Romantic Suspense as WJ Saunders.
Suddenly Beck is her debut MM novel and was borne of her love and enjoyment of MM Romance. During the lockdown, she wanted to write something fun and light-hearted, and as a quirky and unapologetic Brit herself, she wanted to set a story back home in the UK as opposed to her other fiction which is primarily set in the states.