Title: The Merchant of Death
Series: Playing the Fool 02
Author: Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock
Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Genre: Contemporary, Murder Mystery, RomCom
Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (15th March 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: All’s fair in love and war.
There’s something rotten in the state of Indiana. When con man Henry Page takes it upon himself to investigate the death of an elderly patient at a care facility, he does so in true Shakespearean tradition: dressed as a girl.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness has more to worry about than Henry’s latest crazy idea. Someone is trying to send him a message – via a corpse with a couple of bullets in it. He needs to figure out who’s trying to set him up before he gets arrested, and he really doesn’t have time for Henry’s shenanigans. Then again, he’d probably be able to focus better if Henry didn’t look so damn distracting in a baby doll dress and a wig.
But when Mac discovers that Henry has been keeping a secret that connects the cases, he has to find a way to live on the right side of the law when he just might be in love with the wrong sort of man.
Review: A continuation of The Two Gentlemen of Altona, book two in the Playing the Fool series, The Merchant of Death keeps playing along with Henry’s creative acts. It’s very hard to review this highly entertaining mystery without giving away the big surprises, but there’s plenty of new adventures and new characters to this story.
Henry is making himself at home at the station, making friends among Mac’s staff members, and along the way he’s making Mac crazy. A constant change in identity, keeping Mac guessing, and keeping the bad guys off his tail, all start to spell trouble for our lovely couple.
We learn a new secret about Henry, something right out of Shakespeare’s classics, and he will do anything to protect and care for that secret, even if it means ending his romance with Mac before it gets a chance to truly begin. Henry’s biggest guise yet is to play the sexy temptress, throwing Mac for yet another loop when he finds himself attracted to Henry even disguised as a woman.
There is plenty of nail biting action, murderous plots, and humor in this second book, but this time we get hot and steamy too! We finally get to see the fireworks fly between Mac and Henry, even though there’s a bit of a surprise and twist in the bedroom too!
More characters come to visit us, we get to learn so much more about Henry’s back story, and as we get to know the other court members in Henry’s life, one can easily see new stories begin to unfold.
Russo is an excellent narrator, giving unique and enjoyable voices to both male and female roles. I really look forward to the next book in the series.