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Dark Economy

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Love can’t stay buried. Medical student Cadell Meredith has been known to acquire “volunteers” from the occasional pauper’s grave in order to improve his surgical skills. While the legality of this practice is a bit murky, he wouldn’t go so far as to call it out and out robbery. His latest acquisition, however, is different. The body on his table was obviously healthy, wealt Love can’t stay buried. Medical student Cadell Meredith has been known to acquire “volunteers” from the occasional pauper’s grave in order to improve his surgical skills. While the legality of this practice is a bit murky, he wouldn’t go so far as to call it out and out robbery. His latest acquisition, however, is different. The body on his table was obviously healthy, wealthy—and murdered. Cadell feels compelled to seek justice for the dead man, but while dissection comes naturally to him, crime investigation is unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, he’s caught the attention of one of those new police officers, Blaine Breton. A handsome, sentimental fool who insists Cadell is a criminal. A criminal! Cadell is the first to admit he’s no saint, but he’s no killer. A marvelous game of cat and mouse ensues as Cadell seeks to expose the truth while hiding his own secrets. A task that grows ever more difficult as his desire for Breton grows…and the danger deepens.


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Love can’t stay buried. Medical student Cadell Meredith has been known to acquire “volunteers” from the occasional pauper’s grave in order to improve his surgical skills. While the legality of this practice is a bit murky, he wouldn’t go so far as to call it out and out robbery. His latest acquisition, however, is different. The body on his table was obviously healthy, wealt Love can’t stay buried. Medical student Cadell Meredith has been known to acquire “volunteers” from the occasional pauper’s grave in order to improve his surgical skills. While the legality of this practice is a bit murky, he wouldn’t go so far as to call it out and out robbery. His latest acquisition, however, is different. The body on his table was obviously healthy, wealthy—and murdered. Cadell feels compelled to seek justice for the dead man, but while dissection comes naturally to him, crime investigation is unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, he’s caught the attention of one of those new police officers, Blaine Breton. A handsome, sentimental fool who insists Cadell is a criminal. A criminal! Cadell is the first to admit he’s no saint, but he’s no killer. A marvelous game of cat and mouse ensues as Cadell seeks to expose the truth while hiding his own secrets. A task that grows ever more difficult as his desire for Breton grows…and the danger deepens.

30 review for Dark Economy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    You know how with some books it’s hard to pinpoint why it worked so well for you or didn’t work at all? Dark Economy is not one of those books. It has strong pros and equally strong cons. It starts off as a wonderful debut, and I found myself taking a curious peek at the author’s page to confirm that this is indeed her first work. The writing is witty and effortless, but above all: so enthusiastic! The fun the author had writing an early 19th century mystery about British medical student and part You know how with some books it’s hard to pinpoint why it worked so well for you or didn’t work at all? Dark Economy is not one of those books. It has strong pros and equally strong cons. It starts off as a wonderful debut, and I found myself taking a curious peek at the author’s page to confirm that this is indeed her first work. The writing is witty and effortless, but above all: so enthusiastic! The fun the author had writing an early 19th century mystery about British medical student and part-time grave robber Cadell Meredith, is palpable. What’s great too, is that you can tell that she did her research: Latin names are thrown around smartly during the MC’s pathological adventures, and the lightly touched upon debate about the ethics of medical professionals practicing their surgical skills on the deceased (and sometimes turning to stealing dead bodies out of necessity), adds a nice touch. The same debate sparks the cat-and-mouse game between Cadell and cop Breton, who suspects Cadell of robbing graves. This is one of the things that excited me most about the blurb. I love me a story in which the two MCs attempt to outsmart each other and the hunter becomes the hunted! And its execution is promising at first: Cadell outsmarting the ‘hard to read’ cop with his ‘cold smiles’ made me smile. However, they have far, far too little page time together! Sadly, this brings me to the cons of Dark Economy. The author focuses completely on her mystery, and appears to lose sight of the M/M factor completely. Although their occasional snarky dialogue is wonderful, there is little that points toward a romantic connection or even just chemistry between the MCs. At times Cadell lusts after Breton for a bit, but only when the men actually share a scene. He doesn’t spare him any thought when he’s busy amateur sleuthing (which is about 90% of the time). To me, these ‘horny daydreaming’ moments feel like they were added as an afterthought in a conscious attempt to create chemistry between the MCs. Something similar happens when the as ‘unreadable’ presented Breton throws Cadell on beds or against walls in sudden bouts of frustration. But most of all, in obvious attempts to force psychical interaction between the two. On top of that, their already unconvincing pairing is sabotaged by the introduction of another potential love interest? Dude! Taking this into account, I need to point out what I know will be a deal breaker for some: this is one of those books in which the breeches don’t come off until the 98% mark. And here the author cuts off about the only scene that shouldn’t have been cut short... Because for me the ultimate con of this book isn’t the lack of great M/M dynamics - although that disappoints – it is its length. The mystery meanders on for 250 whopping pages without real highlights or breathers. Since this is not a whodunit, as a reader you have no choice but to tag along for the ride, at some point not being able to keep track of the names and possible culprits anymore. Since you are not actively involved in solving the crime either, chances are that at some point you’ll find yourself not caring which 'random name' turns out to be the culprit. Dark Economy is therefore not a book that - despite the lovely writing, plot concept and gorgeous cover - I can easily and instantly rec to a whole bunch of peeps. Perhaps it's a good bet for historical lovers who are kind of fed up with MCs fucking up their mystery with their penises?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    Sometimes early reviews -- even the not so encouraging ones -- could actually motivate me to read a book. Especially if the reviews are listing those I could love. I have to thank my friend, Loederkoningin who wrote the review I read, with these words exactly ... "Perhaps it's a good bet for historical lovers who are kind of fed up with MCs fucking up their mystery with their penises?" Such a poetic way to close a review *laugh*. But it was EXACTLY what driven me to this book. I love my mystery Sometimes early reviews -- even the not so encouraging ones -- could actually motivate me to read a book. Especially if the reviews are listing those I could love. I have to thank my friend, Loederkoningin who wrote the review I read, with these words exactly ... "Perhaps it's a good bet for historical lovers who are kind of fed up with MCs fucking up their mystery with their penises?" Such a poetic way to close a review *laugh*. But it was EXACTLY what driven me to this book. I love my mystery but I admit that I usually think that the romance would get in a way. So this was a very encouraging statement. And guess what -- I loved this. It is definitely mystery first and romance second, in a historical genre, with interesting characters, blackmail, scandal, action, and revelation to the murder that is quite satisfying. Exactly what I have been looking for. I admit that while I was reading this, it brought me back the feeling of my reading Christie's all those years ago, except with a tad of romance between men. Cadell Meredith is a medical student. In order to hone his surgical skill, Cadell occasionally dig graves of the paupers and then haul the dead body to his own place, so he could practice on them. I admit, I was questioning his morale at that time. I mean, really, Cadell, grave digging?!? But it was also a different time period. Cadell reasoned that it was difficult to work actual surgical method on machine. Plus these were bodies that would not be missed. Anyway, until one night, Cadell's dead body turned out to be, well, a murdered one. A man who definitely not a pauper. Cadell was motivated to find out what had happened to the young man; it was like an obligation for him to find answers (since he already used the body for his practice). Even if he needed to imitate police officers (and probably break a lot of laws *lol*) while trying to get off the trail of a detective who suspected him. In the beginning, Cadell came to me as a little arrogant -- like he looked down on others. But it was also clear that he had a good sense of justice. He also had friends who were willing to help him, so he couldn't be that bad, right? Along the way, as Cadell discovered more clues, made more friends, as well as having sexual tension with the detective Blaine Breton, I found him mellowing a bit. The mystery moved forward alongside Cadell's adventure -- so while I could guess some of the 'players' but I practically set myself to enjoy the ride with Cadell's investigation. The scandal was surprising but definitely satisfying. As for the romance -- ah, like I said, this was mystery first and foremost. Yes, we had sexual tensions. And nope, you will not get a sex scene (the author devilishly cut off the page before it even happened) but it didn't even matter to me. It was a great historical mystery and I didn't care that it lacked romance. I really hope that Keedwell will make this into a series. It will be fun to have a team of surgeon/police to deal with dead bodies (ala Rizzoli and Isles ^^)

  3. 5 out of 5

    MLE

    I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I really liked this book. I loved that it was the mystery that drove the plot, and not the romance. It made for a much stronger story in my opinion. I liked the way the romance developed as well. That Cadell and Brenton had to learn to trust, and understand each other before any real romance started. There might have been attraction before, but there wasn't any of the silly instant love. I liked that the story felt I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I really liked this book. I loved that it was the mystery that drove the plot, and not the romance. It made for a much stronger story in my opinion. I liked the way the romance developed as well. That Cadell and Brenton had to learn to trust, and understand each other before any real romance started. There might have been attraction before, but there wasn't any of the silly instant love. I liked that the story felt very grounded in the time period, and I found the medical and police procedure really interesting. It also let me really feel how men like Cadell were treated at the time, and how that shaped the way they thought about relationships, and love. The characters were well rounded, and developed, and I liked that it extended to the secondary cast as well. There were no easy villains, and everyone was more than they first appeared to be, and this was true for both the upper, and lower cast characters. The ending was well done, and fit the story nicely. Overall a nice period mystery with a nice touch of romance.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was the book that would never end. I should have DNF at 50% like I planned to, but I thought that adjusting (and lowering) my expectations would suffice. And it did get better for awhile. But then it started dragging again and I had to skim the last 5% or so to get through this because I wanted it finished tonight. Maybe it was reading this while also listening to What Angels Fear, since they're roughly in the same time period (this one takes place 17 years after Angels) and they both featur This was the book that would never end. I should have DNF at 50% like I planned to, but I thought that adjusting (and lowering) my expectations would suffice. And it did get better for awhile. But then it started dragging again and I had to skim the last 5% or so to get through this because I wanted it finished tonight. Maybe it was reading this while also listening to What Angels Fear, since they're roughly in the same time period (this one takes place 17 years after Angels) and they both feature amateur sleuths who pursue murders that will ultimately never see true justice done for them, but I found this book lacking. Where Angels had a protag who was interesting, versatile and charismatic, Dark Economy's MC is kind of an obnoxious git. Where Angels has an intriguing mystery within the mystery - French spies in wartime England - Dark Economy has privileged boys who couldn't wait for their allowances to buy things. You've got Cadell Meredith, the obnoxious git, whose constant back-patting made my hand itch to smack him. He's supposed to be a conscientious, top-rate medical student but he's barely in class. He decided to take it upon himself to solve the murder of a man whose body he stole from the graveyard because he obviously couldn't go to the cops with the info. He also clearly didn't know what he's doing, though he did a decent job of faking it, and I was scratching my head what he planned to do with any of the information he was digging up. Even an anonymous letter to the copper who's supposedly dogging his every step yet missing 95% of his antics wouldn't do much good since Cadell messed with most of the evidence he found. Then again, who needs evidence in Ye Olden Tymes? He kept running into one dead-end after another only to find out that it's exactly who you thought it was right from the start. Then there's the "love interest," or shall I say love interests. He lusted after every other guy he came into contact with and even got a mutual hand job from one of them, but it's the copper who he really wanted. Why? I have no clue, actually. Their first interaction, Breton had broken into his home, cooked him dinner (why? IDK!) and interrogated him, threatened him, was an overall jerk and then manhandled him against the wall. I guess it was sexy manhandling??? And from this encounter on, Cadell's supposedly in lust with the guy but since he was lusting after every other guy, it was hard to see why Breton was so special. They did finally get some real interaction after the 50% mark, but most of that was so nonsensical I couldn't buy into it. They didn't actually get together until 98%. The author did well in portraying what it must have been like being a medical student at a time when grave-robbing, even for medical purposes, could get you sent to the gallows, and there's a good sense of atmosphere for the time period. Unfortunately, that atmosphere was often lost by Cadell's inner-thoughts, which made him come across more like a modern-age brat than a mature medical student of the early 1800s.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pjm12

    The revelation here is Cadell's narrative voice. It is refreshingly original and really witty. Cadell is a man of modest means, studying to be a doctor in the 1800s. He also works two jobs and volunteers at a hospital, and does a little grave robbing on the side. Only to hone his surgical skills of course, oh and to create detailed illustrations of muscle groups to sell as well. His moral fortitude, his studious and logical manner is clear for us to see. He does not suffer fools, and we hear this The revelation here is Cadell's narrative voice. It is refreshingly original and really witty. Cadell is a man of modest means, studying to be a doctor in the 1800s. He also works two jobs and volunteers at a hospital, and does a little grave robbing on the side. Only to hone his surgical skills of course, oh and to create detailed illustrations of muscle groups to sell as well. His moral fortitude, his studious and logical manner is clear for us to see. He does not suffer fools, and we hear this in his scathing opinions of government policy, his judgemental attitudes to gentleman toffs, and best of all, when he meets Breton, the constable determined to catch him at his murdering and grave robbing ways, we see and hear his hostility and aggravation towards him. The feelings are most certainly reciprocated. As Breton stalks Cadell, we watch Cadell set out to find justice for Robert's murder. This mystery twists and turns, and forces Cadell to change his opinion about toffs, question liars, thieves and Lords, and the way he treats them all equally ensures we cheer him on, and watch in glee as he thwarts Breton at his own game. Oh it's a delight. Although Breton scores a few points too. Their changing attitudes towards each other, moving from anger to respect, to gratitude and admiration is really well written. I loved this book so much. Even without any smexy. The way Cadell imagines what he and Breton might do to each other is enough smoulder to get me through. I will keep an eye on this author. I hope she writes more. Copy provided by Netgalley. Dark Economy will be out on October 13th. I urge you all to read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

    DNF @ 41%. 1.5 stars for the writing, but the story actually bored me to death. Couldn't get through this one. I think this should be classified as mystery without an ounce of on page romance. Let's be for real, I read HR for the romance in the olden days folks, and the romance that was barely there didn't even attempt to bloom by 40%. I hope for people who actually read this that they eventually get to it. Majority of my 40% was spent on one mc not trying to get caught stealing cadavers, and the DNF @ 41%. 1.5 stars for the writing, but the story actually bored me to death. Couldn't get through this one. I think this should be classified as mystery without an ounce of on page romance. Let's be for real, I read HR for the romance in the olden days folks, and the romance that was barely there didn't even attempt to bloom by 40%. I hope for people who actually read this that they eventually get to it. Majority of my 40% was spent on one mc not trying to get caught stealing cadavers, and the other one spending his time trying to catch it. I lost focus with this quickly. It took me days just to try to read it. Sorry this was not a winner. Loved the concept, just the execution didn't happen.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ☾ Dαɴιyα ☽

    3.5 stars. One of my favorite parts of Samhain Publishing books is that warning that comes at the end of book blurbs. They are always fun to read, and for me not even a warning, but actually a list of things to look forward to in a book. With Dark Economy it was: This story contains mystery, mayhem, and a male romance that starts off in the most delicious way possible—mutual hostility. Awesome warning, right? No surprise, right after I finished the book, the first sentence I wrote was: A whole lot 3.5 stars. One of my favorite parts of Samhain Publishing books is that warning that comes at the end of book blurbs. They are always fun to read, and for me not even a warning, but actually a list of things to look forward to in a book. With Dark Economy it was: This story contains mystery, mayhem, and a male romance that starts off in the most delicious way possible—mutual hostility. Awesome warning, right? No surprise, right after I finished the book, the first sentence I wrote was: A whole lot of mystery, quite a few suspects, and a bit of romance in Dark Economy... Mystery is rightfully mentioned first as it was what the book was mostly about. It starts off with the hero Cadell Meredith breaking the law. As a medical student keen on learning as much as he can, he finds his classes rather unsatisfactory in providing him with the knowledge he so desires. Therefore, he's forced to be creative in the ways of learning human anatomy, meaning occasionally acquiring bodies from pauper's graves, which was exactly what he was doing at the beginning of the story, and thus breaking the law. Right then and there we also meet the policeman who will throughout the book be his main adversary as he is an officer with a firm belief practicing on cadavers is an awful practice, which sparked many an argument between them. He will also be the man to wake a part of Cadell he spent years ignoring. But back to the mystery at hand. The body Cadell brought home to dissect did more than offer insight in the intricacies of anatomy, but also in the life and death of the person it used to be. For one, it was apparent the body didn't belong to a pauper, but to a rich young man. Second, the young fellow had clearly been murdered. That knowledge woke in Cadell the need to investigate. Why he chose to go on the mission of finding out who the man was and what happened to him, he'll ask himself several times without having a definitive answer. He felt he owed it to him, he supposed, for helping him in his medical studies, but over time it became more: “Kind of funny that you dragged me back to life by dying.” His investigation required he get help from an old friend who had been at one time more than that, he made new friends, and his path kept crossing with the bloody policeman who occupied this mind until even they made peace with each other, and for all that Cadell was grateful. Which brings me to this: Dark Economy is a story I liked, but (there's always a but) it would've been a story I loved -- the book would've been an easy five-star read -- had a few parts been handled differently. The parts I'm referring to are the ones relating to Cadell's personal life. His love for medicine and his dedication to it was well described. His dedication to his chosen studies and eagerness to put his knowledge into practice was so palpable it made me happy for him for having found a profession he feels that way about. What I would've liked to read more about was his personal relationships, past and present, as that is something that interests me about characters. It was obvious he had issues with his family, and that something happened to drive them apart. Same thing with his friend. His past love life, I thought, deserved more page space. Not to mention his present love life. He and his main love interest had little time together for the majority of the book. They didn't even become lovers until the very end. I knew going in the main focus would be solving the mystery of Treswick's murder, but I had hopes the romance would have a slightly bigger part in the plot. Why this was as it was, I do not know, but since this book seems as one of those stories that could get a sequel or more of them, if it happens, I do hope the attention shifts more to Cadell's private life. All this, of course, is because of my preferences. I do watch crime/investigation TV-shows, and even then, the episodes I enjoy most are the ones that are about cases that are personal to the main characters. Uncovering Treswick's life and death piece by piece was interesting. In fact, it was so interesting and complicated, I wished he were alive so we could get a book about him -- I think it would've been a good one. Alas, he's swimming with the fishes. However, as much as it was interesting, keeping track of everything and everyone proved to a hard task for me, and more than once I would find myself confused by all the information as there were quite a few suspects (this is something that happens to me while watching criminal investigations in TV-shows as well). Nevertheless, as a whole Dark Economy, Cadell Meredith and Blaine Breton have left a good impression. I look forward to seeing what the author will come up with next! In the end, I believe Dark Economy would appeal most to mystery lovers who don't mind a tiny bit of M/M romance thrown in the mix. I'll continue hoping M. Keedwell's next book will contain more than a tiny bit of romance. *fingers crossed* ***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    And now for something completely different. Why? Well, this was a delightful murder / mystery story where the plot drives the story first and foremost and the M/M romance of the main character Meredith Cadwell is secondary. Oh no! I hear you cry. Well, to be honest it was refreshing to read a well plotted murder / mystery where the characters are just gay and there is no need to be continually fed their bedroom antics even if there were any. Meredith is a medical student and is constantly on the And now for something completely different. Why? Well, this was a delightful murder / mystery story where the plot drives the story first and foremost and the M/M romance of the main character Meredith Cadwell is secondary. Oh no! I hear you cry. Well, to be honest it was refreshing to read a well plotted murder / mystery where the characters are just gay and there is no need to be continually fed their bedroom antics even if there were any. Meredith is a medical student and is constantly on the wrong side of the law, at least ethically for that time. Being a medical student makes him a grave robber by default but he gets something he doesn’t bargain for with one corpse he digs up. Looks like the corpse was murdered. I just loved how Meredith has this insatiable appetite to get to the bottom of things. Leaving no stone unturned until he finds out what has happened. I sort of compared him to an historical Quincy but much better looking and younger – lol! His curiosity leads him into a lot of situations where he really shouldn’t be involved but he is determined to get to the bottom of the crime. This is where Blaine Breton enters the scene. He is a police constable and this at a time where the police was very much in its infancy in the days of Robert Peel who set up the Metropolitan Police Force. Blaine takes his policing seriously and always has Meredith under suspicion for grave robbing. Well, he would be right but can’t prove anything. He is also on the track of a gang involved in a number of robberies. When these two guys always meet the sexual tension in the air is palpable. I loved the way that neither character would voice their attraction but instead a constant power play between them ensues. I reckon if we did get to read a bedroom scene these two would be hot! At least the atmosphere between them is positively sizzling. Meredith is a bit of a smart ass and Blaine is your typical suspicious of everyone but calm and collected copper. In pursuit to solve the mystery of Robert Treswick the unfortunate victim their paths invariably cross several times and leads them to having to work together to solve the mystery. At this time forensic science is in its infancy but Meredith most definitely likes the challenge of solving the unanswered and does what he can to glean as much information from the body of Robert Treswick as he can. What I also liked about the historical aspect was again the whole thing about being gay at this time whether aristocracy or not. M Keedwell has obviously done her research on this and depicts a realistic subcultural of what it was like being gay. Of course Meredith knows the people on the scene but his attraction for Blaine is strong but are these feelings reciprocated? After all a copper can’t be gay, can he? Again leading to a sexual cat and mouse game that was a delight to read. This was a well thought out historical murder / mystery with a gay backdrop so to speak. So for anyone who likes their crime stories with a dose of M/M thrown in then this book will be just the thing. I enjoyed it very much and hoping that maybe Blaine and Meredith will get more murders to solve in the future and that we eventually get the bedroom scene – lol!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    A medical student discovers the latest body he obtained illegally for study was murdered and he feels compelled to bring the killer to justice. This is all complicated by his own very real danger of being arrested and hung for snatching the body in the first place by the coldly, capable policeman hot on his trail. Yep, had to read it. There was no saying no after I saw that situation. I had to know how it all turned out. And bonus, I got to try a new to me author. The story begins when medical stu A medical student discovers the latest body he obtained illegally for study was murdered and he feels compelled to bring the killer to justice. This is all complicated by his own very real danger of being arrested and hung for snatching the body in the first place by the coldly, capable policeman hot on his trail. Yep, had to read it. There was no saying no after I saw that situation. I had to know how it all turned out. And bonus, I got to try a new to me author. The story begins when medical student, Cadell Meredith, nearly gets caught graverobbing by a dangerous gray-eyed policeman. He gets the body home and uses it to further his studies, but then makes the gruesome discover that his body was murdered. He is in a quandary. He feels compelled to seek out the truth and give the dead man justice, but he can't just go to the police or it will be him who dangles from a rope. He must seek the truth on his own. Between classes, his work at the apothecary, and dodging Officer Blaine Breton's suspicions, he slowly follows the trail of the killer. He has to learn all he can about the dead man to do it so uses the underhanded means of impersonating a policeman and breaking and entering to further his quest. A troubling former lover and a rare friend from his present also help aid him. Cadell has more motives and suspects than he can count on one hand. Those he tracks are ruthless and cunning and some are from the nearly untouchable upper class. One false step and it will end badly. During the course of his investigation, he is forced to face his past when the lover who betrayed him wants a chance at forgiveness and maybe something more, when a new man shows an interest, and his own doomed interest in the very man who wants to arrest him and see him hanged. The roguish Cadell deftly makes his way through it all. Alright, Cadell is a brilliant creation. That is all. Okay, no, that is not all, but it is the salient point about this book. The character of Cadell and his subsequent detecting and romantic adventures are good stuff. Well, maybe I overstate the romance since its more him sorting through his feelings for what he wants and having the courage to not settle for less. The focus of the story is definitely more on the suspense element, but the character and relationship plots are right there to lend depth and emotion, too. I enjoyed the attention to historical authenticity. It was the early days of the police force and things were still very rudimentary when it came to the art of detection. I liked that the story spanned all stratas of society and that Cadell was not from the upper classes. He had an education and he had a small inheritance, but he was working class. The author reveals Cadell's backstory slowly so that his present situation is known, but the rest is slowly revealed. He is a complex man. He is tenacious, hard-working, loyal, compassionate, passionate, pragmatic, but there is a touch of larceny, too. He is very much a Lone Ranger even when he is with others. He was hurt and betrayed by his family and others not accepting him so the aloofness is his protection. Cadell is the narrator and everyone else is made known through the filter of his observations and dialogue. I liked that the others around him were left deliberately mysterious. Breton is probably the most intriguing and I loved the antagonism and attraction between the two men. Nothing is easy, simple, or quick with these two. The story resolved completely, but I would really love for it just to be the first of many mysteries in which Cadell and Blaine work together to solve even as they work on a more personal relationship. I think those who enjoy m/m historical mysteries or romantic suspense should clear your weekend and settle in for a good one. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim T

    Really enjoyed this. Well thought out mystery. With engaging characters that each have their own journey to navigate towards changing their perception of each other. Cadell was intelligent and driven to become the best doctor he could be. He embarks on trying to solve a murder and puts himself in some very dangerous situations that if he were mine I would lock him in a room and only let him out with an escort. You didn't get to know Breton and how he felt about Cadel apart from wanting to strangle h Really enjoyed this. Well thought out mystery. With engaging characters that each have their own journey to navigate towards changing their perception of each other. Cadell was intelligent and driven to become the best doctor he could be. He embarks on trying to solve a murder and puts himself in some very dangerous situations that if he were mine I would lock him in a room and only let him out with an escort. You didn't get to know Breton and how he felt about Cadel apart from wanting to strangle him on most of there run ins till towards the ending, and it was worth the wait. They both change and grow during the book Which I loved, Cadel learning that he can have friends...Dylan with a history that did not end well and Lord Wrotham they are intriguing and fun and important to Cadells growth. Breton character was very stern and appeared unforgiving he too had his reasons for being so focussed on apprehending Cadell for grave robbing. They both thought they couldn't have what they most wanted and living in this era where to love anther man could get you hanged it was no wonder caution and only trusting those close to you was the only option. The mystery was interesting that your perception of the young man murdered also changed as you learned more about him. Would love to see another book about these characters and just how Breton managed to keep Cadell out of trouble, he might need more than himself I think to manage that.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Goodell

    My first by this author, I seem to say that a lot. And that’s one of the reason I love being a reviewer. I get to find all these great new authors! The ONLY reason I picked this book was it was set in 1800’s England. (MM, for me is a given) This sub genre of MM books is an automatic yes for me. And after reading this one, I have to say, this book was more mystery, who-done-it and less/zero romance. Which was fine. But if you’re looking for romance or sweating sheets rolling sex. Nope, not this tim My first by this author, I seem to say that a lot. And that’s one of the reason I love being a reviewer. I get to find all these great new authors! The ONLY reason I picked this book was it was set in 1800’s England. (MM, for me is a given) This sub genre of MM books is an automatic yes for me. And after reading this one, I have to say, this book was more mystery, who-done-it and less/zero romance. Which was fine. But if you’re looking for romance or sweating sheets rolling sex. Nope, not this time. The other thing I loved, it was about ‘normal’ people. Yes, we have Lords in it, of course. But this time they were the victim, the bad guys and it was the average guy that was solving the crime. Cadell, is a budding medical student that is just trying to survive, any way possible. When he runs across someone that doesn’t fit the mold. Benton, is a Metropolitan police man, that believes Cadell is not only a grave robber but possibly a murderer. But regardless of all that can’t seem to to leave him alone. As the story unfolds a cat and mouse game between Cadell and Benton weaves it way between the plot of the main story and helps these two become friends of a sort and then possibly more by the end. As Cadell tries to solve the mystery, we pick up several secondary cast members that play a major role in keeping the story going. Dylan an old friend that he reconnects with, Tom helps with all things unsavory, and Wrotham. The author does a wonderful job with keeping us guessing on the who-done-it part right until the end. The only thing I didn’t much care for was the time line, got a little confusing. Was it weeks that past? just days? months? This didn’t take away from the story as such but I found it a little annoying. Not enough to stop me for looking up more by her, and hope they are Period England! I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Crystals Many reviews

  12. 4 out of 5

    Misty

    Fantastic murder/mystery with a strong plot and a touch of romance! In 1829 the Metropolitan Police Act was passed, providing permanently appointed Constables to protect the capital and prevent crime .... This is a pre-Victorian London where life for common folks is bleak and dangerously cheap. Dark Economy is a long and twisty investigation, gloomy and seedy and I LOVED IT! There's a very interesting cat-and-mouse game between the two protagonists, Cadell Meredith & Blaine Breton, and a fierce, Fantastic murder/mystery with a strong plot and a touch of romance! In 1829 the Metropolitan Police Act was passed, providing permanently appointed Constables to protect the capital and prevent crime .... This is a pre-Victorian London where life for common folks is bleak and dangerously cheap. Dark Economy is a long and twisty investigation, gloomy and seedy and I LOVED IT! There's a very interesting cat-and-mouse game between the two protagonists, Cadell Meredith & Blaine Breton, and a fierce, hostile tension between these two, delicious! M. Keedwell has just left me wanting more!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    4.5 I loved it, review coming soon.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Theodora IK

    It's a really good mystery set in historical England. I want this to be part of a series!

  15. 4 out of 5

    El

    This review was originally posted on Just Love A historical crime drama loaded with tons of UST between two brilliant men on opposite sides of the law? Mmmh, yes please! Dark Economy was incredibly fun from start to finish, with a fantastic game of cat and mouse and a mystery that was expertly done. "Well, maybe this will convince you to leave me the hell alone." Breton shot him a withering look. "I know you are involved, it is only a matter of time until I catch you." (Kindle Loc. 1175) Cadell This review was originally posted on Just Love A historical crime drama loaded with tons of UST between two brilliant men on opposite sides of the law? Mmmh, yes please! Dark Economy was incredibly fun from start to finish, with a fantastic game of cat and mouse and a mystery that was expertly done. "Well, maybe this will convince you to leave me the hell alone." Breton shot him a withering look. "I know you are involved, it is only a matter of time until I catch you." (Kindle Loc. 1175) Cadell Meredith is a medical student who is also, technically, a criminal. He digs up the graves of criminals in order to practice his surgical skills in secret late at night. Unfortunately for him, police officer Blaine Breton is on to him, and Breton doesn't care about Cadell's noble intentions. When one of Cadell's corpses turns out to be an obviously wealthy-- and obviously murdered-- young man, Cadell feels obligated to investigate and find the killer, even with Breton doing everything possible to throw him in prison. At first I didn't like Cadell very much. He's arrogant and selfish and totally full of himself. But he's also brilliant and very good at his job, and he does seem to genuinely want to help people. He decides to investigate the murder that he discovers through whatever means necessary. But I did absolutely love Breton, the police officer who basically stalks Cadell. And the two of them have a great love-hate relationship, with plenty of sexual tension, but also sarcasm and wit. [Breton] thumbed through the sheaf and hesitated over one. "Charming. The secrets of the fairer sex revealed. Can it be that you are a medical student?" "Your powers of observation amazing me," Cadell bit out. "You must truly be the pride of your company. (Kindle Loc. 397) The mystery itself was really well done, and Cadell makes a great amateur detective, although there were a few times where I thought he was too good at his task. He seemed to have everything going for him; in addition to being a brilliant surgeon, he was pretty well versed in the illegal side of things. I really hope that this is the beginning of a series, because I think the snark and banter between Breton and Cadell is incredibly well written, and I'd love to see more of them solving crimes together! If you're looking for a good historical mystery with a dash of romance, you should definitely check this book out! This review was originally posted on Just Love

  16. 5 out of 5

    ConM

    I liked this mystery a lot, very well done. The romance however could have been a bit more present, IMO. I like the idea of a series with this pair. Also, stories about some of the other characters would be welcome.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Full review available on All About Romance - http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookRev... Raise your hand if you think grave robbing is sexy and romantic. No one? Yeah, me neither. But it was definitely a staple of medical students and full-fledged doctors in the 1820s. Somehow, the author of Dark Economy makes both the mystery and the characters shine on their gothic backdrop. I’m not sure how the author did it, but I sincerely hope that we get more. Lots more. Preferably of these characters, becaus Full review available on All About Romance - http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookRev... Raise your hand if you think grave robbing is sexy and romantic. No one? Yeah, me neither. But it was definitely a staple of medical students and full-fledged doctors in the 1820s. Somehow, the author of Dark Economy makes both the mystery and the characters shine on their gothic backdrop. I’m not sure how the author did it, but I sincerely hope that we get more. Lots more. Preferably of these characters, because I’m kinda in love. Cadell Meredith is a medical student, an apothecary worker, and a grave robber. The grave robbing thing is really only to support his medical studies, so it’s okay, right? Well, not really, it’s still illegal, but at least he’s not killing people to sell the bodies. But then as he’s working on one particular corpse, he begins to notice discrepancies - this isn’t some pauper, but a gentleman, possibly a lord even. And it’s fairly obvious that this gentleman has been murdered. With a sense of guilt, basically haunted by the corpse of the young man, Cadell takes it upon himself to try and discover who exactly he was, as well as who killed him. Unfortunately, he’s also being dogged by a police officer, Breton. Every time Cadell turns around, there Breton is. It’s maddening. And arousing, apparently, since Cadell can’t think of anything else half the time. But he’s got to figure out the murder to assuage his own curiosity and guilty conscience, and do it without Breton catching on to the multiple laws he’s been breaking. So it starts out a little slow - and it’s absolutely ages before we get to anything resembling romance - but it is definitely not boring. Cadell is trying to negotiate med school, a job, and an illegal night time pursuit, and then adding dodging a particular and persistent officer to the mix? Fascinating. We get to see some of the beginnings of forensic science, and how the laws shaped the study of medicine. We ride along with Cadell as he traverses all rungs of society, from the family of the young lord to the gutter he’s more familiar with. Cadell is of modest means, at best, and Breton isn’t much better off than that. And oh, the sexual tension! It was actually making me tense as I read it, as the characters were working through their rather drastic differences. And I think what I liked best about it is that the building tensions and romance between the characters didn’t mess up the mystery. Cadell was inspired to work even harder to figure out what he had stumbled upon, especially since Breton seems to be lurking behind every corner.

  18. 4 out of 5

    hedgehog

    An odd book straddling the line between the mystery and romance genres. There's not enough Romance here for the Romance folks, I suspect, and Mystery readers will find the Romance baffling at best and a distraction at worst. Dark Economy is a solidly plotted mystery with plenty of twists and turns (perhaps too many by the end), but also saddled with tired romance tropes and shoehorned-in sex that brought the whole thing down a few notches. The sexual tension between Meredith and Breton in the ea An odd book straddling the line between the mystery and romance genres. There's not enough Romance here for the Romance folks, I suspect, and Mystery readers will find the Romance baffling at best and a distraction at worst. Dark Economy is a solidly plotted mystery with plenty of twists and turns (perhaps too many by the end), but also saddled with tired romance tropes and shoehorned-in sex that brought the whole thing down a few notches. The sexual tension between Meredith and Breton in the earlier parts of the novel amounts to the former being randomly assaulted by the latter, which is somehow grounds for all-consuming attraction. Only in romance novels does this ever signify good boyfriend material. Pass. Ditto the groan-worthy scene where Meredith oh-so-coincidentally overhears yenta!Beth blessing Breton/Meredith's (at this point, purely hypothetical) relationship. Help, it's 1996, and fanfic wants its tropes back. On the plus side, I liked Cadell Meredith a lot. He's prickly and more than a little annoying in the beginning with his holier-than-thou attitude, but Keedwell manages to make him sympathetic without blunting his edges. I heartily enjoyed the characters not falling into heteronormative roles; most of this novel is a cat-and-mouse game, but the mouse has claws and more than a few tricks up his sleeve (mouse sleeves? I'm not a writer, obviously). Unlike other 3-star reviewers, I thought the slow-burn mystery and the emphasis of plot over The Romance was great. It's the romance that lost me, in the end. The emotional journey Meredith and Breton take felt more dictated by genre conventions than organic, in-universe reasoning. I just didn't buy it. The clumsy, overly emotional ending was a total letdown that didn't feel like it fit the characters at all. Technical notes: Errors include a handful of comma splices, as well as the repeated use of "discrete" where the author meant "discreet". This being a Regency-era murder mystery with queer characters, one can imagine plenty of opportunities that required the word to pop up. There were also stray anachronisms, e.g., "homosexual" (in 1829!), though overall the Regency London setting felt solid, and Keedwell obviously did research on the medical aspects. I'd still recommend this for anyone who likes their m/m romance with well-crafted plot + smart, competent—if not necessarily immediately likable—protagonists on equal footing with each other.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 stars So this story grabbed my attention as a mystery/suspense with an enemies to lovers component. I love this theme and it seems like a perfect fit, pitting a criminal and a cop together and ultimately seeing them fall for one another. In the end, one of these elements worked great for me and the other fell somewhat flat. What works here wonderfully is the mystery element. It is twisty and well developed and moves in a variety of directions. Cadell makes a great amate A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 stars So this story grabbed my attention as a mystery/suspense with an enemies to lovers component. I love this theme and it seems like a perfect fit, pitting a criminal and a cop together and ultimately seeing them fall for one another. In the end, one of these elements worked great for me and the other fell somewhat flat. What works here wonderfully is the mystery element. It is twisty and well developed and moves in a variety of directions. Cadell makes a great amateur sleuth. He is clever and pretty fearless and frankly doesn’t have a lot of pesky conscience to stop him from lying, stealing, and breaking into places he shouldn’t. Although the story does definitely give time to Cadell’s role as a medical student, the mystery of who killed young Robert is the strongest plot in the book and the major focus of the story. I enjoyed seeing Cadell putting the pieces together, sneaking in and out of places and managing to figure things out that even the police couldn’t discover. This part of the story is clever and very well done, and if you are looking for a good mystery, I definitely think this book delivers. Where it didn’t work so well for me is on the romance end. There is just not nearly enough of these guys together at all to really even call this a romance, to be honest. The story is told from Cadell’s POV, so we only see Breton when the two cross paths. And in the first half of the book, this means Breton is on page maybe three times. The two meet, they dance around each other as Breton tries to figure out what Cadell is up to and catch him for the body stealing, and then they separate. Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mitya

    It definitely feels like the romance was largely forgotten in this book for the sake of the mystery solving. And the mystery solving definitely dragged on too long. It would have been nice if the book had matched the blurb with the whole antagonism, chasing, etc. but the book was much more low key than that, especially since the cop wasn't even in the book that much. I kept expecting him to be pulled in, for them to join up, the tension and everything to just come together. And really the romanc It definitely feels like the romance was largely forgotten in this book for the sake of the mystery solving. And the mystery solving definitely dragged on too long. It would have been nice if the book had matched the blurb with the whole antagonism, chasing, etc. but the book was much more low key than that, especially since the cop wasn't even in the book that much. I kept expecting him to be pulled in, for them to join up, the tension and everything to just come together. And really the romance started strong then fizzled out, and honestly the moment when they finally got together was rather a bland letdown. I also saw no point in all the additional drama with his friend and the lord and the other lord. The writing itself was strong, and I really liked the characters. But the book needed to be shorter and the lover interest present for more than like 10% of the book. Still, I did read it all the way through, which says plenty, and would be willing to read the author again in the future.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maryann Kafka

    Really found this mystery very entertaining. Like that it was set in London in the 1800's. Thought Ms. Keedwell did a great job creating Cadell Meredith.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    The focus was more on the mystery than the romance, but the mystery wasn't that great. The prose was fantastic. I wish there had been a proofreader because literally the first thing I remembered about this book before anything else was that "discreet" had been misspelled throughout.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela Goodrich

    I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. I’m not exactly sure of how to review Dark Economy. I haven’t read many (if any) M/M historical romances, so I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. In all actuality, it was the concept of a graverobbing medical student trying to solve a murder while avoiding the new constable that really appealed to me. The M/M romance aspect of it was simply a bonus, which was a good thing because Keedwell holds true to the era and the his I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. I’m not exactly sure of how to review Dark Economy. I haven’t read many (if any) M/M historical romances, so I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. In all actuality, it was the concept of a graverobbing medical student trying to solve a murder while avoiding the new constable that really appealed to me. The M/M romance aspect of it was simply a bonus, which was a good thing because Keedwell holds true to the era and the historical romance genre by keeping sexual interactions limited despite both parties being men and having no virtue to save for marriage. As a fan of suspenseful historical romances, this proved to be right up my alley. I have great respect for those people who can perform dissections without issue. For whatever reason, as a psych major I had to take an Anatomy & Physiology course in college and I opted for the one with the least amount of dissection in it. So even though I can’t do it, I found Cadell’s ability to do so and the lengths to which he was willing to go in order to become the best surgeon possible quite admirable. Was the way in which he “procured” cadavers the most appropriate? No. But I understood his ability to compartmentalize what he was doing and appreciated that he went to great lengths to obtain bodies from mass burials rather than disturbing family plots. This distinction is why I agreed with his justification that he wasn’t a graverobber, per se. I was actually quite fond of Cadell from the beginning and when his conscience kicked in once he realized that there was no way the latest body was from the workhouse, I was a total goner for him. Much like Cadell, Breton’s demeanor had me confused – enough so that I went back and reread the blurb because I thought I was wrong as to him being the eventual love interest. That said, Cadell himself kept his inclinations tamped down so well that when he finally has an encounter with another man it was made that much hotter because it was unexpected. Now, now, before you get all up in arms because I seem to be contradicting my earlier statement about limited sexual contact, you should know that the tryst was hands-on only and considering that at the time, men could be hanged for homosexuality, it was the first time in years that Cadell had indulged himself with another man – and at this point he wasn’t convinced that Breton had similar tastes, much less as to whether or not he’d be receptive. Because the book is focused largely on the murder and Cadell’s attempts to solve it, there is actually limited focus on romance and we are well into the book before we discover that Breton is indeed attracted to Cadell. In an M/F historical romance, this wouldn’t work. But as I said before, in an era when men are hanged for homosexuality, it made sense that there wouldn’t be many romantic overtures, especially from a constable. As an introvert, Cadell thinks about Breton a lot, but his thoughts tend to be lustful rather than the wistful ponderings of a romantic, and this felt right for his character. I liked that rather than turning Cadell into a super sleuth, Keedwell wrote Cadell’s investigative activities like I would expect a well-educated medical student would carry them out. He analyzed the info he had while utilizing his contacts cautiously. I was surprised (yet not) that our budding surgeon was so adept at lock-picking and no qualms with breaking and entering. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Cadell and Breton progress from adversarial and antagonistic to begrudging respect to friendship to possibly more. I liked how the investigation took unexpected turns that kept it from being predictable and I can easily seeing the author expanding this into a series in which Cadell and Breton investigate murders together. Dark Economy was an enjoyable read and I hope to check out more of Keedwell’s writing in the future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Drianne

    In 1829, it's still very difficult for medical students to get a hold of enough cadavers to practice on, and the newly-instituted Metropolitan Police are determined to stop resurrectionists from plying their trade. A medical student procures his own cadavers, decides to investigate the murder of one of them, gets entangled with a Peeler. Everything I'm going to say is probably going to sound like a complaint, but I really liked this. The summary given is terrible, ignore it. The book is way bette In 1829, it's still very difficult for medical students to get a hold of enough cadavers to practice on, and the newly-instituted Metropolitan Police are determined to stop resurrectionists from plying their trade. A medical student procures his own cadavers, decides to investigate the murder of one of them, gets entangled with a Peeler. Everything I'm going to say is probably going to sound like a complaint, but I really liked this. The summary given is terrible, ignore it. The book is way better that the author's summary. The cover photo is pretty dreadful too. And there are a lot of anachronisms (e.g., one of the characters uses "homosexual" at one point, oops). And the mystery was one of those 'last character standing did it' plots. But really! I really, really liked it. There are good points! The MC has other gay friends (whom he sleeps/has slept with at points, but still, better than a lot of m/m books). The characters themselves are mostly really appealing. I really liked the romance between the MC and the constable (no, they don't get together until the very end, and no, it's not very explicit, but it's fine for me). I enjoyed the MC's investigating, even if some of the things he gets away with are a little silly. Also, the MC's name is Cadell, which is apparently a Welsh name (often a surname now), that comes from... Catullus, the Roman poet. Awww. (Yes, he's Welsh, so it's okay.) I mentioned liking the characters (and I do). The constable ("Blaine Breton," which is a TERRIBLE name) is a very Javert-y "I am the law and the law is not mocked"-type, which I LOVED. And for the most part, I really liked Cadell -- he's mostly a 'I have my personal morality that doesn't match up to Society's but I'll follow it doggedly'-type, especially in how he takes personal responsibility to find out who killed the body he graverobbed, helps charity cases at the hospital, wants to be the bestest doctor he can be, etc. But. I just cannot get over how at one point, while he's investigating the dead dude's bedsit at Oxford (to which he just pops up a couple of times, like poor medical students totally would in 1829, you know), he sees the guy's pocketknife and takes it because, "He won't need it any more!" UMMMM. And then! Then! He goes back at one point in case he missed clues and STEALS THE MONEY OUT OF THE POCKETS OF THE DEAD GUY'S CLOTHES. That... is not okay. That's not "I'm going to take these bodies that no one will miss from the cemetery because it serves the greater good for me to have more practice," that's just straight-up theft. I kept thinking Javert would catch him with any of those items and accuse him of the murder, but nope... he just keeps his ill-gotten gains. So. I think there was supposed to be some kind of Robin Hood-y redistribution of wealth message, but... NO. Anyway, that aside, I really really really did like this book, and I would so so so so so read sequels. Or other books by the author.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Veronica of V's Reads

    This is a LONG, but interesting, historical mystery with a DASH of M/M romance. Cadell Meredith is a medical student in 19th century London. Driven to supplement his income by drawing true-to-life medical diagrams for some of his professors, he stoops to stealing fresh bodies from graves, which is how he comes across the recently murdered Robert Treswick, son of an earl and buried unnamed in a pauper's grave. It's also how he falls onto the radar of Constable Blaine Breton--of his majesty's serv This is a LONG, but interesting, historical mystery with a DASH of M/M romance. Cadell Meredith is a medical student in 19th century London. Driven to supplement his income by drawing true-to-life medical diagrams for some of his professors, he stoops to stealing fresh bodies from graves, which is how he comes across the recently murdered Robert Treswick, son of an earl and buried unnamed in a pauper's grave. It's also how he falls onto the radar of Constable Blaine Breton--of his majesty's service. Seems Breton has a particular dislike of graverobbing louts, and lumps Cadell in with this criminal sort. Cadell is drawn into discovering who murdered Treswick and that puts him into contact with Breton more than feels comfortable. The unnatural urges he's squelched since he and a childhood friend were caught experimenting and Cadell's father disowned him eight years ago are all inflamed in the presence of the cold and calculating Breton. In order to turn the tables in his favor, and work toward the mystery's end, Cadell devises a plan to steal one of Breton's constable suits and masquerade as an officer. This does move the plot along, and forces Breton to follow his quarry, Cadell, more closely. I'm not going to belabor the talk of the plot. It's long, and circuitous. I felt as if I was reading Alistair McLean again, at times, with all the misdirection and partial clues. I will say that I wanted there to be more of a spark between Cadell and Breton. They have a very tentative dance--how does a man approach an officer of the law with his unlawful desires, anyway! That's one stumbling block. The other is the graverobbing. Both crimes would get Cadell swung from the gallows. That said, there are moments of quiet intimacy where a rapport and grudging regard are built. When Breton needs assistance, be it medical or menial, he calls upon Cadell. There are others involved in the morass, a friend of the late Treswick who becomes an intimate confidante, and a reconnection of Cadell with his teen love. Throughout, however, there is this excellent discipline of Cadell's to remain obsessively focused on deciphering the guilty party. By the end he's uncovered three bastards, foiled a theft ring, and solved three murders--while nearly becoming a fourth. If you're looking for a spicy romance, this is not your book. If you are looking for a complicated mystery with some M/M elements and excellent historical accuracy, this is your read. I did enjoy it, but would have loved a bunch more lovin'. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Fascinating book. Tricky to rate, so I rounded up. I liked so much about this. The atmosphere is great and Cadell is a really interesting character. I really enjoyed the level of historical detail and the romantic tension is well done. It's nice to read a Regency-era historical about people who aren't part of the aristocracy. This is mostly a mystery, with a bit of a budding romance, but Cadell's amateur sleuthing takes up the majority of the story. The medical student in 1829/grave-robbing aspe Fascinating book. Tricky to rate, so I rounded up. I liked so much about this. The atmosphere is great and Cadell is a really interesting character. I really enjoyed the level of historical detail and the romantic tension is well done. It's nice to read a Regency-era historical about people who aren't part of the aristocracy. This is mostly a mystery, with a bit of a budding romance, but Cadell's amateur sleuthing takes up the majority of the story. The medical student in 1829/grave-robbing aspect is what particularly drew me to this book, and I found that part of the story quite interesting (The anatomy student in me squeed at the detailed and accurate dissection scenes.). The very squeamish should perhaps tread cautiously in places. I had some niggles, mostly about the lack of snappy pacing. It felt a bit too long and there was a lot of excess stuff that didn't seem strictly necessary, as well as there being a heap of side characters that blended together. This appears to be the author's first book and it's a really great debut. The writing is really solid and to me the research seems thorough (though I am no historian). I enjoyed it, but wanted to enjoy it more because it's a great premise. I look forward to the author's next book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erica Chilson

    I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 3 stars. DNF. Dark Economy started out very strong with the narrator stealing a body from a grave for research purposes. The writing was vivid, drew me right in. The narrator was witty, quick thinking, and a delight to read. Instantly you know the cop seen in the graveyard is one to be on the lookout for later on in the story. The reason for the DNF is strictly on my tastes and not a mark against the author or the story. While th I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads 3 stars. DNF. Dark Economy started out very strong with the narrator stealing a body from a grave for research purposes. The writing was vivid, drew me right in. The narrator was witty, quick thinking, and a delight to read. Instantly you know the cop seen in the graveyard is one to be on the lookout for later on in the story. The reason for the DNF is strictly on my tastes and not a mark against the author or the story. While the pacing is fast, it is also very dry in my opinion. My attention was wandering while our narrator was using the Latin names for body parts and dissecting the body. In-depth, it was fascinating at first. Then a mystery appears which needs to be solved. I just felt bogged down with the details. High on mystery, a light romance thread, Dark Economy is sure to intrigue many readers.

  28. 4 out of 5

    nisie draws

    OMG GAYS AND GRAVEROBBING AND MYSTERIES! it was slow to start, but an enjoyable and satisfying read. Cadell was likeable protagonist and all his love interests were charming, and the chemistry with constable Breton was A++ I love gay romances with a plot and this one delivers! Autopsies, dissections, surgeries, chasing criminals and shooting bad guys, etc, so much action to keep you entertained between the hand jobs! I would have like a more detailed sex scene at the end, but it was satisfying eno OMG GAYS AND GRAVEROBBING AND MYSTERIES! it was slow to start, but an enjoyable and satisfying read. Cadell was likeable protagonist and all his love interests were charming, and the chemistry with constable Breton was A++ I love gay romances with a plot and this one delivers! Autopsies, dissections, surgeries, chasing criminals and shooting bad guys, etc, so much action to keep you entertained between the hand jobs! I would have like a more detailed sex scene at the end, but it was satisfying enough as it is.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Raj

    Too little romance amidst too much darkness.Reads like a gay Sherlock Holmes murder mystery that dominated the entire novel to such an extent that by the time I reached the end of it I gave zero fucks as to who dunnit. And the character Cadell must be a cross between The Hunchback of Notre Dame & Frankenstein to be able to transport a dead body across his back at high speeds through the streets without being accosted once. Aside from the excessive focus on the sleuthing rather than the romance asp Too little romance amidst too much darkness.Reads like a gay Sherlock Holmes murder mystery that dominated the entire novel to such an extent that by the time I reached the end of it I gave zero fucks as to who dunnit. And the character Cadell must be a cross between The Hunchback of Notre Dame & Frankenstein to be able to transport a dead body across his back at high speeds through the streets without being accosted once. Aside from the excessive focus on the sleuthing rather than the romance aspect I found myself really enjoying my jaunt through old London. I will definitely read a 'Keedwell' novel.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    3.85 stars rounded up. An impressive addition to the m-m historical genre. At first I was apprehensive that the secondary role of the romance would bother me. But the slow burn relationship was intensely portrayed and I enjoyed seeing a credible tentative romantic connection. The investigation plot could have been written more tightly. Even so, I liked the author's style.

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