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  • A rousing read with lively characters

    3.5 Stars The boys are back in “The Mystery of the Moving Image” the third entry to “Snow & Winter” series. Sebastian is as prickly and snarky as ever, Calvin is practically a putty in his hands, and their circle of nearest and dearest are supportive per usual. Since Sebastian seemed to attract more hassles in this chapter of Snow and Winter adventures, he needs all the support available. This character-driven story kindles all short of emotions that had me laugh, smile, sniffle, rage, and sigh in exasperation. Told from Seb’s POV the book revolved around an antique that suddenly dropped on his shop which attract assault, burglary, and murders. This entry also marks a development in Seb’s relationship with Calvin; not only they officially move in together, but Seb was finally - with gentle nudge from his dearest ally - open up more to Calvin. I like Seb with all his prickliness since I first read this series, but here it feels like he shed the last few layers and finally laid bare for Calvin (and readers, of course) to see. And I can’t help to like him more for it - drawback, insecurities, and all. For his part, Calvin don’t really stand out this time (at least not to me) other than his apparent affection and devotion to Seb. He should’ve known better for all Seb’s promise to stay away from trouble, trouble would come looking, and put a shorter leash on his boyfriend! :D Likely, the existence of Seb and their pup, Dillon, mellows him out even when he’s struggling with PTSD. The case itself is a bit tricky in the way it didn’t actually impact anybody - given how old the incident was - until the body count started. Yet, considering the number of casualties, I find it a bit frustrating over the lack of caution either Seb or Calvin showed - I mean, Cal got to know Seb’s gonna nose-around no matter “promise no more amateur sleuthing” he throw, right?? At the very least Cal should’ve made him taking someone with him wherever he go for a while!! *end of rant* Of the “Snow & Winter” books I read, it’s safe to say “The Mystery of the Moving Image” is my favorite so far. The pace of the story and balance between romance and puzzle the guys solving had me immersed from start to finish. Interestingly, there is a regular character - one who I previously disliked - who stand out among Seb and Calvin mutual associates: one CSU detective Neil Millett, none other than Seb’s ex himself. It’s such a relief to find there’s no hard feeling left between them, that they become good friends even (fingers-crossed the Neil would get his own spin-off story soon! *grin*).

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