“On the verge of bankruptcy private investigator Mitch O’Reilly takes any gig that comes his way while running his Eye Spy Supply shop in a forgotten Los Angeles strip mall. After two tours in Afghanistan, Mitch’s life amounts to running his store, coping with his fun-loving sister, Josie, and scoring with anonymous men he meets online. That changes when he gets a break. A beloved comedy scriptwriter is murdered at a bathhouse, and Mitch is hired to prove the innocence of the club custodian. Adapting from a two-bit gumshoe to a high-profile sleuth proves more challenging than he expected.
As if Mitch didn’t have enough to deal with, playful bathhouse operator Trent Nakos enters his life. After a heartbreaking past, the manager is the definition of a man the brooding P.I. actively avoids.
Following leads from sprawling mansions to sketchy hoods is demanding but becomes more troublesome when deadly threats jeopardize the biggest opportunity of his career.” – Amazon
A Body in a Bathhouse by Brad Shreve is like the grown-up, gay cousin to a cozy mystery. The premise of how Mitch investigates is similar to a cozy with him leaving his spyware business in the hands of others (his twin sister) to work while he’s off all over the city chasing clues and talking to suspects.
And there is the start of a relationship, although this one isn’t with the typical person in law enforcement or a lawyer.
But, and that really should be a but with a capital B, that is where the similarities end since there is swearing, an uptick in violence, sexual paraphernalia, and some graphic (and very hot) sex. Any of these things would make your classic cozy reader faint or leave a scathing review.
I liked it though… a lot! As much as I enjoy a good cozy, it was wonderful to have a mystery with more grit. There is a lot of depth to Mitch and the other characters, and I can’t wait to see more of them in future books. Mitch’s sister, Josie, is a wonderful counter-balance to him, and Mitch’s lover could be so good for him.
Shreve does a great job portraying a character with PTSD, and as far as the mystery goes, he had me guessing until the end. I was partially correct, but then he threw in a twist. And at one point I was certain it was a particular person, and was really glad when it turned out not to be.
I am looking forward to reading more books by Shreve and to see where Mitch’s life and business takes him.
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