Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review: Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell

Reviewed by Fehu
Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 200pgs
4 Pants Off

August Adahy Mendez would rather be buried in the world of his detective novels or a good film noir movie than in real life. He’s overweight, undermotivated, and stuck in a dead-end job. As a Chincha, he’s part of a long line of chinchilla shifters, but the greatest accomplishment in his life so far has been moving an hour away from his close-knit herd. That all changes when August’s grandfather leaves him enough cash to pursue his dream: becoming a detective himself.

Sam Ewing is a bitter divorcĂ© who enjoys watching football and being alone. It’s easier when his only interaction with people is when he collects rent from his office building tenants. Then August rents space from him to set up his new detective agency, and Sam is drawn to him despite his misgivings.

Sam soon finds himself involved with one of August’s cases, and the men join forces to catch their criminal. The greater challenges they face, however, are how August makes Sam want to give love a second try and how Sam makes August believe that real life might be even better than fiction.

A nice summer read, without a lot of angst with charming characters! August was losing his pants at the start of the book and it proved to be a story that can make you lose quite a lot of pants.

The cover was very cute and actually that is very fitting for the story. While it is also a mystery, the focus was on the characters, especially on August. August is a shifter, but not just your usual cat or wolf shifter, no he turns into a chinchilla. He is also a bit overweight, cannot shut up when he is embarrassed and pretty much adorable in his bumbling, geeky way. August dreams about being a private detective and after the death of his grandfather, he inherits enough money to actually make that dream reality.

Sam August's landlord, at least for his office, and love interest, is his opposite, quite, scary looking, build and afraid to trust again and set himself up to being hurt. After a bad divorce from his partner, Sam mostly keeps his own company, but the shy guy in a fedora and a detective trench coat piqued his interest.  When Sam sees August shift, while August tries to avoid discovery on his first big investigation, they get closer.  Still August has to overcome his own insecurities and Sam relearns to trust people again, for them to work as a couple. Of course there is still the case to solve, about missing money in the laundry store.

The mystery was not the best I've read and a lot was happening very fast or was told and not showed, that distracted me from the story. BUT I liked August quite a bit, even Sam with his gruff attitude at the beginning, and grew on me. The heart of this book was the characters and they hooked me from the start. August with his charming non-stop babbling, his daydreams and his sense of humour, was simply too adorable to resist. For the most part the story flowed smoothly and the dialogs were entertaining. The only thing that wasn't really working for me, even though I liked August, was his insecurity about his looks and his weight, it came up quite a lot. He was fixated on being overweight and quite insecure, which is not exactly an attractive quality in a potential lover. Oh and I thought for such a shy, meek character, without a lot of experience, well it was a bit strange for me when he turned out to be the top, because it just didn't fit in with all the things former mentioned about him or his personality.

Other than that it was a nice, read, without much drama, but quite charming with very likable characters.

4 Pants Off

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