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What happens when an autistic firefighter and his paramedic boyfriend share a thirst for true crime?

Osian Garey and Dannel Ortea live together in a colourful flat in Covent Garden. They run a podcast and throw themselves wholeheartedly into Cosplay, video games, and musical theatre. This year, they’re all fired up to attend their annual convention with a group of first responders.

When Osian finds a paramedic friend murdered in the middle of the crowded venue, the police immediately turn their attention to him.

They have one question on their mind.

Is he the first witness on the scene or the killer?

As the mystery unfolds, Osian has to face the trauma of his last job as a paramedic. Somewhere in those memories, a killer waits to exact revenge. They’ll have to prove Osian’s innocence and fight for their own survival when the killer puts them both in their sights.

211 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 5, 2020

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About the author

Dahlia Donovan

42 books728 followers
Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress. She prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters. An autistic and occasional hermit, her life wouldn’t be complete without her husband and her massive collection of books and video games.

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5 stars
46 (25%)
4 stars
73 (39%)
3 stars
51 (27%)
2 stars
11 (5%)
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3 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Gustaf.
1,393 reviews120 followers
September 13, 2021
I liked this one but I didn't love it. Basically it took me days to read it because I didn't feel any desire to go back and pick it up again. Everything felt a little repetitive.

The mystery part of this one was the strongest. I liked it a lot. Especially all the twists and turns. I'm not sure if I liked any of the MC's though.

Will I pick up the second book? Not sure.
Profile Image for PaperMoon.
1,356 reviews56 followers
September 19, 2021
The author's Grassmere Cottage trilogy I quite liked - especially with the featuring of a high functioning autistic MC. Likewise here - fire fighting Dannel Ortea is autistic and has a long established relationship with lover/partner Ossie Garey so I was expecting to find a similar degree of enjoyment. Not so I'm afraid.

My first quibble is the introduction of soooooo many secondary characters by the third chapter that mu head was swimming with names - work colleagues, immediate and extended family, neighbors, suspects and investigating police ... it got to the point when I had to do a double take around the 36% mark when it twigged that a secondary character was called Warren instead of Wayne for a little while!! Anyhoos - I persevered to the end but I don't think I'm sufficiently interested or invested in the MCs to continue with the series - 2.5 star at the max.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,865 reviews49 followers
August 10, 2021
4.5 stars rounded up to 5 because Dannel deserves all the stars. The autistic rep in this was wonderful, and my heart went out to Dannel every time he struggled and persevered. I enjoyed that the story starts with an already established relationship. Dannel and Osian together are precious, and the care and attentiveness they showed each other made my heart melt. The only thing keeping me from giving this a solid 5 stars is Osian. While he was great in his relationship with Dannel, outside of it he didn't make smart life choices lol I love the easy flow of cozy mysteries and this one was just that and I can't wait to read book 2.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,383 reviews418 followers
December 7, 2020
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Dahlia Donovan’s new novel, Cosplay Killers, is out and it is brilliant. A riveting tale of murder and mayhem, the story brings together a few other characters from another published mystery, Poisoned Primrose, and introduces a few new ones like Dannell and Ossie. A routine call to a major accident has left Ossie a bit shell shocked and just gutted over the fact that he could not save the woman they were transporting from the scene. Her husband has since been appearing not only at Ossie’s home, but also at the police station trying to get Ossie convicted of murder. The man is obviously overwhelmed with his grief, but the novel asks if that grief has turned to something much more malevolent.

Read Sammy’s review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,322 reviews47 followers
December 5, 2020
Something about Donovan’s writing just completely clicks with me. I enjoyed this cozy-ish (I think it fits the bill technically, but felt a little grittier than a typical cozy to me) mystery immensely and was completely engrossed in the story. Oz (Osian) and Danny (Dannel) were both such completely likeable characters IMO, and while I usually like a more prominent romance plot, I felt it worked without it here as I could definitely see and feel these two’s love for each other. The mystery was interesting, if a little predictable in the final whodunnit, and had enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat. I look forward to many more (a girl can hope) books in this series!

I also want to point out to anyone new to Donovan, this is an own voices book so it, along with a lot of Donovan’s other works, has wonderful and realistic autism representation.
Profile Image for George.
477 reviews33 followers
May 2, 2021
2.75 stars - Once again I find myself in the minority.

Based on the description and the clever cover art for Dahlia Donovan’s ‘Cosplay Killer (London Podcast Mystery One)’, I’d really expected and very much wanted to enjoy this book.

I didn’t.

There are too many characters, too much angst, too little compliance with police instructions, too many suspects, too much repetition - just too much.
Profile Image for |Stephanie|.
1,035 reviews33 followers
August 10, 2021
I’m still a newbie to cozy mysteries but I really enjoyed Cosplay Killer. While I liked Osian, Dannel stole the show for me. I loved this man with my whole heart and I wanted to give him the biggest hug while protecting him from harm. I really appreciate the author writing a lead with autism and what it is like for them in their day to day life. And while Osian could be frustrating at times, I loved his love for Dannel and how he always put him first before anyone else. And it was nice to read a story with a couple that have been together for so many years. You could feel the love and respect these two had for each other and they made sure to communicate which isn’t always the case in fiction .

The whodunit was done well with little clues along the way and while I was 99% sure I knew who the culprit was I still had some doubts which is a sign of a good story. Cosplay Killer was an entertaining read and I’m looking forward to reading book two in this series. 4 Stars!
Profile Image for Jax.
841 reviews33 followers
May 24, 2021
DNF @30%. This writing is not gelling with me. There’s something just a little odd about it. Can’t describe exactly what except I was very much aware that I was reading a book. These did not feel real people. I see now that I abandoned another book by Ms Donovan so I guess we aren’t meant to be.
Profile Image for Jess.
451 reviews12 followers
November 9, 2021
The mystery vibe wasn't intense and pretty cozy. I love the the MCs. They are established couple who were together for very long and know each other very well. Its pretty sweet and endearing how they both support each other. However, as a mystery lover, I'm not very engaged and excited about what's coming next. Its a nice read but I might not continue the series.
Profile Image for RACHEL REED.
941 reviews1 follower
December 10, 2020
This is the first book in the London Podcast series and can be read as a standalone.

This book revolves around an autistic firefighter and his paramedic boyfriend and thier first crime case.

Ossian and Dannel were well written and likeable characters.
The storyline was well and the writing was gripping.
I enjoyed reading about the mystery and the case.

I love characters with disabilities and this one was so well written.
If you like a fast paced romantic suspense with all the feels.
I would definitely recommend this one.
Profile Image for Cassie.
385 reviews32 followers
November 19, 2020
Received an ARC from GRR in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. It was great, the characters were endearing and wonderful and this was about an established couple, but it was not a romance, and I was seriously missing that so much. With how much I enjoyed the characters, I would have loved to have some intimate moments with the two. And the one time I thought maybe, Ossie actually said I will keep my hands to myself, like Dannel was not interested. But they never touched on that at all, so am unsure what was even meant by that. Dannel is autistic, so I wondered if that had something to do with it, but again, nothing was ever said. The mystery was cool and the way they went about solving it with their podcast and such was really cool as well. This would have definitely been a 5 star read had it been a bit more about their relationship, but it was a great book nonetheless.
Profile Image for ML.
1,101 reviews1 follower
November 18, 2020
Osian and Dannel are both first responders that host a mystery pod cast. They are an established couple and have a sweet shorthand with each other.

I enjoyed getting to know both characters and their friends/family. There are a ton of characters in this book but it doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed as you read about them. Everyone has a part to play in the overall story arc. I enjoyed the mystery aspect. It had a satisfying conclusion and I look forward to more books in this series.
Profile Image for Edga.
1,620 reviews17 followers
December 5, 2020
This is the first book I've read by this author, and it wasn't half bad. I enjoyed Ossie and Danny as main characters. They were different from the usual MCs in a mystery/crime story, both having an almost child like quality.

The mystery was well written, although I didn't think that their interference with police procedure was particularly realistic. Saying that, I'm certainly willing to give the couple another go, if there is a second book. Overall, it was a fun read.
Profile Image for DeeNeez.
1,653 reviews14 followers
April 2, 2021
Sweet and nerdy, and loved every minute. A great cozy mystery. The first responders cosplay group become targets in a murder investigation. I definitely want to find out what happens Ozzie and Dannel in the next of the series.
Profile Image for Lisa.
526 reviews4 followers
April 18, 2021
I recently finished Dahlia Donovan's Grasmere Cottage Mystery series and needed more Poirot/Father Brown murdery mystery whodunnit! Cosplay Killer (London Podcast Mystery #1) is the first book in her new series which deals with a podcast couple, Osian and Dannel, living together. Dannel is an autistic firefighter who enjoys cosplay, video games, musical theaters and running their crime-fighting podcast with Osian. Osian is a paramedic who had to take a step back from his career after a horrific accident a year ago where he and his partner, Gemma, lost a patient at a crash scene. The accident is mentioned over and over again because a vengeful murderer is on the loose and wants justice. Who is targeting Osian and his paramedic team? There are lots of twists and turns in this story with a satisfying conclusion.

Cosplay Killer is written in a similar style to Grasmere Cottage with humor, funny moments, a murder mystery whodunnit, and supportive side characters. Cosplay Killer is told from the dual POVs of Dannel and Osian which is a departure from the Grasmere Cottage mystery series in which each book was centered around one POV so I really enjoyed this dynamic. Readers and fans will be pleased to know that this did not end on a cliff hanger (thank goodness!). I'm excited to read Ghost Light Killer which will feature Dannel and Osian on a new adventure :)
Profile Image for Xanthe.
1,763 reviews27 followers
November 25, 2020
Osian and Dannel are an interesting couple to read. Whilst there isn't hot, intenseness between them, there is such a strong bond of trust, friendship and support that they built up since becoming friends as toddlers then boyfriends as teenagers.
Osian is the most supportive person for Dannel when it comes to how he lives with his autism and coping mechanisms, able to tell instantly when he needs a step back, retreating to musical playlists and a dark room. Dannel, whilst not apt at reading visual cues, when it comes to Osian he's his perfect match in wanting to care for and love his boyfriend, especially since he left his job as a paramedic the year before agree a bad case. Their families are brilliant in being over protective, sibling quarrels, all converging when times get tough.
Osian gets caught up in a murder case of his ex colleague and friend, Gemma. Seeing as they already host a true crime podcast, why not ask a few questions of those who could possibly involved? What could go wrong? There are several tense moments, especially once the killer gets closer to the MC's and I enjoyed how information is revealed to the reader as we work through the story. It has a touching narrative and you can sympathise with the reasoning behind actions but in no way agree with what happens.
This has a great cast of characters that I look forward to hearing more from and the plot of the story was entertaining as it brings the reader mystery, murder, red herrings and two very nosy podcasters.
I received an ARC and am happily giving a review.
Profile Image for Ezekiel Blessing.
56 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2022
I really enjoyed the premise given on the Amazon page and I couldn't wait to read it. However, it didn't meet my expectations and I DNF-ed at 67%. Firstly, I expected more of the podcast to play a role. It's a little thing, but with the title of the series and all maybe one could see where I got that idea from. Two was just how disjointed the timeline was. I prefer something slower paced so this is just my thoughts, but entire days were kinda just waved away in a sentence or two. Then suddenly we have reason number three: two attempts on the protagonists' lives in two chapters. That whole thing with the tickets was just flimsy to me, but I was willing to look past it since I was intrigued. I hate to be that guy but the thing that made me decide to stop it was the fact there was an inconsistency with Ossin's descriptions of things. He said that their *beer* tasted bitter, unusually so, at the theatre but mentioned drinking *wine* to the police. I just decided that I wasn't enjoying it anymore and decided to stop reading it. I'm disappointed, but it wasn't poorly written or annoying. There were just too many things taste-wise
Profile Image for Shannon.
2,296 reviews165 followers
December 7, 2020
Cosplay Killer was an entertaining read. It was kind of a nice change of pace to read something more mystery centric than romance. Although I really did like Osian and Dannel as couple, I thought they were completely endearing! I loved the way they cared for each other, which was shown time and again in this book.

Although the mystery of who murdered one of their friends was the main focus of the story, it's not the only thing Osian and Dannel have to deal with- Dannel is questioning if being a firefighter is really what he wants to do with his life, and Osian is still feeling the effects of an incident from when he was a paramedic. I enjoyed the way everything was woven together in this story, and gave Osian and Dannel a chance to really think about what they wanted out of life. I'm very much looking forward to reading more about these two characters, and can't wait to see what kind of trouble they get into next.
Profile Image for Angelique.
319 reviews16 followers
January 2, 2021
Ossy & Dannel are the cutest couple I have come across in a long while #couplegoals. The two of them have this really amazing relationship where they know each other so well that they instinctively know how to just be there for their partner. Ossy is a disenchanted ex-paramedic who just cannot take losing another patient and therefor gave it up. His very supportive partner Dannel completely understands and there is absolutely no judgement. If only Dannel could just tell Osian about his own feelings about his job as a firefighter.

This was a really great book. I would be hard pressed to find anything in it that I didn’t like. The story line was intriguing, funny at times, heart warming and really really well written. The characters are interesting, well rounded and so incredibly real. You cannot help but fall in love with both Osian and Dannel as well as their ragtag group of neighbors and close friends and family.

I loved it. Every single word.
2,885 reviews28 followers
November 24, 2020
This is a great book!
The two main characters are perfect for each other...they support each other in every way and their love and affection for each other is genuine.
The mystery is wonderful. The clues come fast and furiously as they try to whittle down the list of suspects.
So many decisions are taken out of the hands of Osian and Dannel, as far as solving the crime, but in the end it all comes together perfectly...
Though not without a few trips to the hospital, relatives descending on them (repeatedly) and the assistance of friends and neighbors.

This was a great start to what I hope will be an exciting series.
Profile Image for Ashish Rastogi.
Author 3 books15 followers
April 29, 2021
A fast paced murder mystery.

Osian's and Dannel's life goes for a toss as they get embroiled in a murder. The narration keeps you engaged with a plethora of characters forming the wider friends, family, and colleagues of the two MCs.
Profile Image for Antisocial Recluse.
2,707 reviews
August 30, 2021
Okay but confusing

Went on far too long IMO. So many character names, too much running around playing detective but pretty much just being stupid about things. Tried to squeeze too many red herrings into the plot. Cozy mystery, not a romance if you’re used to the author’s other works.
Profile Image for R.
1,691 reviews
November 15, 2020
Cosplay - the activity or practice of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction (such as a comic book, video game, or television show)

Osian left his dream job as a paramedic when he lost a patient. Dannel is a a firefighter, trying to deal with sensory overload and failing miserably. When a close friend is murdered and Ossie is a suspect, Dannel’s autism steps to the forefront. How can he take care of the man he’s loved forever if he can’t even take care of himself?

I like this author and her writing very much. As an autistic herself, I believe her writing is genuine and factual. Her characters are very much about family and always well done. This was a nice quiet romance, even though it dealt with death, stalking, and a couple of red herrings. I enjoyed it.

I received an arc of this book.
Profile Image for Susana.
1,183 reviews36 followers
November 15, 2020
Osian and Dannel are two first responders (paramedic and firefighter) who have problems coping with the stress in their chosen professions. But when they find one of their closest friends murdered, they both face a even more stressful situation, that of being the apparent target of a determined killer…
So… This is a cute romance, but there were so many things that did not work for me. I was attracted to the book by the fact that one of the main characters is in the autistic spectrum, and the dynamics of Osian and Dannel relationship was really sweet. It was the one thing that worked for me in the book. The rest… well, both main characters behave childish and immature most of the time, making puns and silly jokes and giggling when one of their best friends has just been murdered. Besides, Osian seems to have a really serious death wish, behaving reckless and disregarding any logical measure when knowing he is the next target of the murderer. Visiting suspects, going to the crime scene and stealing proof, forgetting to tell the police about the threatening emails, and walking the neighbour’s dog solo after suffering two murder attempts and seeing a suspicious figure lurking outside… really? The murderers… well, let’s just say they are not the brightest bulbs, and many things are left unexplained, namely, Gemma’s murder…
In short, a cute romance in a not very successfully plotted mystery
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Anne Barwell.
Author 17 books93 followers
January 7, 2021
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are likeable, there is a wonderful family vibe, and loads of red herrings that kept me guessing as to the identity of the murderer.

I loved Osian and Dannel. They’re sweet together, and there for each other. I liked how Osian gets Dannel’s autism and the coping mechanisms he needs to deal with the sensory overload of everyday life, and particularly his job. I think it says a lot for Dannel’s strength of character that he’s managed the stress of a job that would be difficult without his extra issues. I also liked that Osian realistically came across as a paramedic with his medical knowledge etc. I’ve read books where a character is a nurse or some other professional and you never see them in the field, or showing why they’re good at their job.

I also loved the supporting cast. Osian and Dannel’s family and friends don’t only talk about being supportive. They’re there immediately they need any kind of help, and that includes the murderer trying to make them the next victims! The mystery part of the story is very clever, and I liked how it all tied together, and made sense, yet wasn’t that obvious as I was reading. The author writes a great action scene too, and as an aside, Chris is totally a secret agent or something. He totally rocks.

I’m very happy this cozy mystery is the first in a series. I’m looking forward to reading more.
Profile Image for Si Clarke.
Author 11 books77 followers
January 7, 2021
Osian and Dannel have been together forever. Dannel's a firefighter and Osian's a paramedic. Was a paramedic – he quit after in the aftermath of serious accident and a patient he couldn't save. Now someone's killed Osian's former partner and is trying to pin the blame on him.

The characters are all wonderful. I adore the way they all fit together and bounce off one another. The plot is compelling and writing style is consistent.


I had to take a star off because the representation of London kept pulling me out of the story. The author has a good knowledge of London geography – and zero understanding of Londoners. The main couple live in a flat that ought to cost double what than the pair of them earn – but it's okay because Dannel's uncle won't accept rent. The rest of the block is filled with other people who in no way could afford the rent either.

Two characters own SUVs, which they routinely drive around central London (ULEZ – what's that?). The rest take cabs everywhere – even journeys that amount to a five-minute walk. No one cooks because they all eat out for every single meal – on civil service salaries. And they have guns. Londoners … with guns.
Profile Image for Katherine.
163 reviews3 followers
December 7, 2020
I wanted to love this, I really really did! Unfortunately, I struggled with the writing, with the main character's "voices"... I struggled to finish it, finding both the writing and the characters immature and slightly annoying. I love a good murder mystery, and the genre is always full of interfering and busybody civilians getting in the way of the police, but this version of the trope was just frustrating (Osian should surely be charged for interference with a police investigation!).

I can see where Donovan was going with the relationship dynamic between Dannel and Osian, but it never clicked for me - I did like that Danny has autism, it was good to see that representation, but I think Donovan's writing just didn't click with me. It felt simply too immature and unrealistic for me..
Profile Image for Kristin.
1,094 reviews30 followers
October 20, 2022
‘Cosplay Killer’ falls securely in the “cozy mystery” genre. I would not shelve this as a romance – the two main characters, Dannel and Osian, are a well-established couple via the route of childhood friends. Osian, “Oz”, comes to the story as a former paramedic coping with PTSD after losing someone at the scene of a horrific car accident. Dannel is questioning his career choice of being a firefighter, finally understanding it may not be a good fit with his autism.

During a cosplay (costume play) convention Dannel and Ozian find their good friend dead. Police suspect Osian as having done it as he was first on the scene and all cameras capture him leaving the room alone. Osian and Dannel proceed to investigate because they know Osian would never hurt their friend and the police are inept. While police ineptitude is on par for cozy mysteries, it was refreshing that the police were not antagonistic (think Father Brown mysteries).

What niggled at me: descriptive aspects were repetitive. While I understand the necessity of establishing character traits, I felt at times I was being hit over the head with the same description(s). It was a bit unrealistic how much the main characters ate out, or got coffee and snacks to go, given Osian was living off their budding podcast income and Dannel was about to leave his job. And, finally, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the podcast aspect involved.

What I enjoyed: the aforementioned relationship with the police was more positive than hostile. Osian and Dannel are an already established couple who know how to support each other. The ongoing issues with having walked away from a job and dealing with PTSD were well written. The internal angst Dannel was struggling with as he contemplated walking away from a job because it’s not compatible with his autism. And, finally, interesting supporting characters both with family and friends.

Dahlia Donovan is a new-to-me author. I enjoyed the writing style, I liked the mystery, and it was an engaging set of both main and supporting characters. I’m looking forward to the next book.

NOTE: This book was provided by Hot Tree Press Press for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Mx Phoebe.
1,000 reviews
December 12, 2020
Dannel reminds me of me so it is no wonder I immediately connected with Dahlia Donovan’s new investigating team in the Cosplay Killer. I love cosplay and I always thought a comic-con would be the best place to kill someone as no one is who they say are. Donovan takes it a step further and nothing is as it seems.
Donovan tackles the emotional toll being a first responder can have on a person. The different ways that people respond to this type of stress are fully explored. Ossie is a paramedic and Dannel is a firefighter and each have different types of stressors yet they have very similar ones. Donovan showcases both of their inner turmoil and what they think they show to friends and coworkers.
Cosplay also focuses on how your family treats you when they think there is something wrong with you. I find Myron’s re-entrance into Dannel’s life fascinating and like Dannel I am suspicious as to what instigated this reentry.
On top of this everyday life drama, Donovan kills off one of the gang’s own members. There is no chance for every one to really deal with the grief, so I am curious how Donovan will display this in later books. Immediately after the killing, suspects are everywhere and Ossie and Dannel are right in the middle of it.
I guessed part of the mystery, but was completely thrown by the entirety of it. Donovan has once again got me in one of her mysteries. Awesome! I love being surprised with a mystery.
Donovan creates an interesting set of secondary characters that I cannot wait to see more of in future stories. I will confess that I want Abs with a girl and not you know who. Ian is hilarious and I can already see a murder at the theater. I really am crushing on the Fire Chief because he is just that bear you want in your corner - lucky Dannel.
Basically I am already hooked on a series that has just begun and we get in on the ground mystery. True crime podcasts here we come as Ossie and Dannel move even deeper into the quagmire of real-life. Cosplay Killer is the mystery to get cozy with this winter.
Release price is now $2.99 and moves to full price of $3.99, so grab it today!

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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