Tinsel Fish - Harper Fox
4.5 Stars

Harper Fox delivers another thoroughly embraceable taste of the metaphysical in Tinsel Fish, the continuation of the increasingly strange occurrences in the romance of medium Lee Tyack and his constable lover, Gideon Frayne.

Where the danger in Once Upon a Haunted Moor came from without, in Tinsel Fish it comes from within when Lee is attacked by a dark and dangerous spirit lurking in a home with much to hide, and while I don’t think the sense of evil and danger necessarily eclipsed or even matched the goose bump inducing fun of Haunted Moor, I did find these two books tantalizingly twitch inducing in different ways—Haunted Moor is the scary story told by the village crone to keep small children close to hearth and home; Tinsel Fish is the story told by an author who enjoys a bit of the macabre, a bit of murder mystery, and has just so happened to set her stories during times of the year when, perhaps, the veil between this world and the other is at its thinnest.

The introduction of Gideon’s brother Ezekiel in this installment was a great bit of dynamic tension between the three men, and while I expected to loathe him (point of reference: he’s a minister of the rather traditional sort), Ezekiel turned out to be a rather decent seeming guy, albeit grudgingly so, as he becomes integral to the investigation into what it is that’s haunting Lee. I find myself hoping that he, Ezekiel, will show up again in the next two books, if for no other reason than to see if he’ll play to stereotype or if he’ll put his prejudices aside and simply be Gideon’s brother. Ms. Fox plays their connection out perfectly, not offering immediate solutions, nor giving me a solid and inarguable reason to like Ezekiel, but not shutting things down between the brothers either, which added an emotional sub-text to the plot.

Harper Fox is taking her time with Lee and Gideon’s relationship, allowing them to build upon their mutual attraction, their fears, their uncertainties in a way that fits perfectly with what we know about them and their past relationships. It’s a lovely thing watching Gideon become more comfortable with his feelings for Lee, coming out from under the teachings of his father’s religious prejudice and publicly acknowledging the affection he feels for the man who is becoming his partner in every way, and I’m anxious to see where the author will take them, and us, next. Wherever it is, there’s sure to be more adrenaline pumping, mind freaking moments to love.

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