ttg's Reviews > Primal Red

Primal Red by Nicole Kimberling
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Apr 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: m-m, reviews
Read on April 18, 2012

Primal Red is a really fun m/m mystery romance, and #1 in the Bellingham Mysteries series.

Kimberling is a good writer, and I've really enjoyed her novellas in the anthologies Hell Cop 1 & 2, and The Irregulars. Her characters were always interesting and compelling, and she has a sly humor that is fun to read. It was neat to see that she has this ongoing mystery series as well.

Set in Bellingham, WA (north of Seattle, near the border with Canada), Primal Red begins with our main character of Peter (intrepid reporter for the city's free, weekly newspaper) scoping out an alley in the middle of the night, trying to get the goods on the local Russian "tea shop," which he believes is a not-so-subtle cover for a brothel.

His investigation doesn't end with much, but walking back, he stumbles on another crime entirely-—murder! Specifically at the local artist loft building that is now home to a building full of creative and yarn-spinning suspects, including Peter's quiet, reclusive crush, Nick.

What's an intrepid reporter supposed to do except investigate all the angles? And if that means asking Nick out to see how much of a suspect he is, than so be it.

Peter is a fun character, and I loved the humor of him repeatedly writing copy in his head as he envisions different scenes, from murder to a potential romantic encounter. It's a hilarious method that allows for a quick peak into Peter's head.

The setting was also a lot of fun, but I'm super biased since I live in Seattle. There were a lot of neat Northwest touches that often made me laugh out loud. (e.g. Peter diligently biking everywhere.)

My only beef with the story is that I wish it were longer (it's about 100 pages), but that's mostly because I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind reading more. I do have the illusion of length though since there are (as of now) still three more mysteries to go, so might as well hit #2 next, Baby, it's Cold Outside.

Recommended for those looking for a m/m mystery romance-—short but good.
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