A murdered artist. A threatening group. A brother with a secret.
Artist Xander Draper needs help. Members of The Dirty Dolly gang are threatening him, and PI Jordan Jenner is hired to find out who the members of this elusive group are.
But when Xander is killed, his body displayed as a final exhibit, Jordan realises the extent of the trouble Xander was in. Now, there are people following Jordan. They know his name, and they want revenge.
Time is running out to solve the murder of this famous artist, and find the members in the elusive Dolly gang. And with the return of Ashley Jenner, Jordan’s brother, Jordan begins to fear his brother may be responsible.
Hi and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Art of Murder, the second instalment in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series! Many thanks to Panther Publishing for the invite, for the eARC and for working around my #Orentober schedule!
Well what can I tell you except: oops! … I did it again: I accepted a review copy and started reading it without ever even glancing at the blurb. All I knew was that I really liked Murder on the Rocks, the first instalment in the Jordan Jenner series, which ended with a cliffhanger with Jordan’s brother being in trouble, and I wanted, nay NEEDED to find out more. So as soon as lovely James at Panther Publishing sent me an e-copy, I dove right in, thrilled to be reunited with my favourite gay PI and his cat Oscar who is so my cwtch (that’s right, I’m learning Welsh, one weird word at a time ?). The Art of Murder is set – unsurprisingly – in the art scene and before long, I felt myself bonding with Xander, the artist targeted by the Dirty Dolly gang who hires Jordan to protect him and to find out who is behind this gang. Had I read the blurb, I would have known not to get attached to Xander since he ends up stabbed to death in a cage instead of making a grand entrance at his exhibition. Well, to be fair, he did make a grand entrance, just not in a way he could particularly enjoy. You know… on account of being dead and all…
While The Art of Murder is absolutely a mystery, it feels less cosy than Murder on the Rocks. Blood flows rather freely, although it never turns into a blood bath or a gore fest, but still, Jack Strange really seems to have enjoyed putting not only Xander and Jordan but also a number of other characters through the ringer! The mystery of the plot and the subplots are successfully spun out all the way to the finale. I never knew what to believe, what was truth and what red herring. The characters are juggled around carefully and as a reader, you never quite know whom to trust. With Twitter as my witness, at 91% I still didn’t know for sure whodunnit. I saw foul play in everything, and I was looking warily at everyone. While the entire story is highly entertaining, the final part is also extremely suspenseful and full of little reveals that took me completely by surprise. You know you’re emotionally invested in a story when you’re so shook up when it’s ended that you DM the author to vent all of your emotions ? I would love to tell you what I told Jack but I would be giving away part of the plot, so I’m not doing that, just trust me when I tell you that the events had really got under my skin!
I feel that Jack Strange has grown as an author, and in the process, Jordan Jenner has grown as a character. The reader is told very little and shown a lot, which is just the way I like it. With a few chosen words, scenes are set and although I’ve never been to Cardiff, I could see the story play out before my mind’s eye perfectly and I’m sure that Welsh readers will have great fun in picturing Jordan in their streets, at the Welsh dragon, at Castell Coch. The Art of Murder gives us a Jordan Jenner who is still smart and devoted to helping people, but also a whole lot more vulnerable than he was last time around. We are granted a peek behind the façade and it makes him come alive; when the walls came down I no longer saw a character, I saw an actual and utterly believable person. Or maybe that’s just because Jordan seems to be sharing his creator’s love for Britney Spears ?
I was a fan before, and I’m an even bigger fan now. I’m ready for whatever Jack comes up with next and I can’t wait to see what Jordan will get up to in the next instalment!
The Art of Murder is out tomorrow! Don’t miss it!