- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 465 KB
- Print Length: 411 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Beeson Press (14 Mar. 2019)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07N7MFV8V
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 29 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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A Body in a Bathhouse (A Mitch O'Reilly Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"If you're into PI books - this is one to grab! It's creative and will keep you engaged to work beside Mitch in his personal and private life for success". - Sheila, Archaeolibririan
"I recommend! Get your thinking caps on and find the clues!" - Becca, Love Bytes Reviews
"I loved the twists and turns in this book. I'll admit I didn't figure out who the murderer was till near the end. Good story with a lot of characters intriguing in their own right." - Jessica, OMGREADS
"I very much enjoyed this book and it's got me hyped up for future Mitch O'Reilly mysteries." -Dilyana, Dilyana's World
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
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I struggled with the book, wanting to DNF it several times and tbh, had I bought it, I likely would have. As I seem to have requested an ARC, I felt a duty to try to persist with it, and at about 87% of the tale gone, I began to be interested in it. That's not me meaning to be unfair to the tale or to the author when I say that, so I'll try to explain.
I wasn't sure if this was a tale with the lead, Mitch, meant to have a 'love interest', to use the term very, very loosely, and for much of it, I wondered why Trent was made out to be so weird in terms of his personality and his habit of spouting a tale for every subject that was mentioned, and how he was potential lead material. I mean, he was 25, acted like an immature juvenile and I couldn't really see what Mitch was allegedly seeing in him, though it became clear later that Mitch was focusing on his looks; he couldn't have been focusing on much else, as several times Mitch bordered on rudeness and dismissiveness with Trent, and, seemed irritated with him. I wondered why Trent bothered even being civil to him, when Mitch was less than polite and was clearly using him for information. And, I wondered where the charismatic guy from the blurb, aka Trent, was, as I never saw him once during the tale. Trent came across as nice, naive and a bit dim.
I did like Josie, Mitch's sister, but I didn't quite get how she could hold down a job and still be at his shop so much. And, we don't get told about Mitch's past until a while into the tale, but it's very brief and his... issues (trying not to Spoiler here) don't get revealed until towards the very end of the tale, and I think the author missed a trick with it. Someone with those issues could have ended up endeared to me as a reader, had I known about them and understood the character a little as a result.
I don't for a moment think that the author was portraying a character that he wanted readers to love in Mitch, as he was pretty flawed and didn't seem to have much ambition in life at 30yo and he didn't seem to have anything much going for him, and I was reminded of a Columbo-like character. Mostly in the way Mitch did things, thought about things, but not in his looks - I think we got told he was okay looking. I wonder if Mitch's very ordinariness, his Joe Averageness, his 'doesn't stand out as lead material'ness is meant to grow on readers? Having reached the end of the tale, I just felt that I got told snippets about Mitch, but really needed to know more about him, about his past and why he'd ended up where he is, and why at only 30, he came across as so resigned to life being nothing but a slog.
The tale does have a mystery at its core but for most of it, Mitch seemed to question a lot of people, rub them up the wrong way, and got very little from them. He also came to trust Trent - I'm not sure why and I don't think it was particularly believable of him, on either a personal or professional level, as for once - refreshingly - I couldn't say that a lead was thinking with his little head. Mitch seemed to be thinking with the head on his shoulders most of the time, but he kind of seemed to do repetitive interviews and not get much out of his subjects until really, really late in the book, where he had a couple of moments of actual insightful PI-brain. And, I'm not sure that any of the stuff he was lacking in could be blamed on the two belated reveals.
This tale reads a little bit like Lanyon's stuff, in that there's a hint of a relationship building at the very, very back of the tale, not at the forefront; that's kind of refreshing in books with LGBTQ characters. I particularly can't use the word romance, as there wasn't any and tbh, I can't see either Mitch or the guy I suspect he'll end up with (it's too vague to call it, and I don't know if Mitch is capable of doing relationships, because I don't really know if he's living or just existing through life) together. There wasn't a spark between them that I could see, though I did think there might have been something more than simply going through life just existing for both of them (I use 'existing' because face it, they're both in jobs that aren't really doing anything for them and neither seems to have a personal life), during the scene in the Greek restaurant. But, the Trent's connection with Greece wasn't explained and I didn't really buy that part of the tale. I know Mitch is the main character in the tale, but it'd have been nice to have some of the other guy's immaturity and weirdness dispelled and/or explained.
For me, this book read like the author had various ideas for a tale, for a lead and a possible eventual 'love interest' but didn't really blend them that well. Maybe in future tales we might get to know Mitch more and come to like him. I just can't see myself reading more, as there wasn't anything charismatic about him or about the book. It didn't involve my emotions, whether positive or negative; I just felt rather neutral about it, and was only glad I got to the end. The last 3-5%, when the bad guy/s? got revealed was the best part of the tale, and I hadn't seen that coming. I think if the author had concentrated more on building the tale's mystery, rather than on the mundane-ness of Mitch's reality, I might have enjoyed it more. Or, am I missing a trick and the author's MO is deliberate?
I also think there's a discrepancy in the book: Mitch makes a sale of $2900, and is overjoyed and tells the client he will pay the sales tax as a thank you for the business, and the client deliberately leaves without the item and he places it back on the shelf. The 'sale' had been an excuse for Mitch to accept some money when he wouldn't be bribed. Anyway, so he retains his asset and has cash in hand, too, and we're told that he has money for gas, food and living expenses for a while, and yet the next moment his landlord is giving him 30 days' notice to vacate the premises due to 2 months' unpaid rent, and another being owed for the current month, and he's selling his goods for below cost price on eBay to raise funds. His premises are a tip (the description made me want to send in fumigators), so I couldn't fathom the maths.
Finally, I wondered about the reality of bathhouses in 2019 USA given how easy it is to hook up, or are these mainly for the un-hook-up-able or those who prefer something even more fleeting than apps?
ARC courtesy of the author and SignalBoost Promotions, for my reading pleasure.
The mystery was fairly straightforward. However, the way in which Mitch went about solving it was pretty bizarre, I was never sure whether or not he was actually interested in solving the case, despite his need for cash. I found the whole story intriguing while, as I was reading it, I also found it irritating!
I appreciate the work that Mr Shreve has put into the story, and while i realise that it is the beginning of a series, and may improve, I really am unsure as to whether or not I want to read the next book.
Top international reviews
I couldn't quite connect to Mitch throughout the book. Maybe it was his humour, maybe something else. The way he worked on the case also struck me as very particular. But hey, it's nice to see fresh ideas every so often. The other characters were well portrayed, some more likeable than others. Overall everyone in the book seemed pretty real.
Considering that those character biases towards Mitch are probably a matter of taste, I'd urge you to give this book a try, if you like this kind of story!
Mr. Shreve has written a modern day version of the archetypal sardonic, wise-cracking private investigator story that's as cleverly crafted as his main character, a contemporary Sam Spade, Mitch O'Reilly. I won't comment on the story, except to say that you must read this book, it's as full of red-herrings as it is of substantial clues, hidden in plain sight. It's that sort of crime fiction that's a delight to read. The ability to lead the reader in the right direction, yet not giving them an entirely clear picture of the pathway ahead, is one of the most salient features of this book.
As for Mitch himself? What a honey! Despite his apparent hard-bitten exterior, underneath lurks a heart of gold. A sensitive man, whose PTSD is carefully treated by the author, is someone I'm looking forward to reading more about.
Bring it on, Mr. Shreve! Can't wait for the next adventure in the series.
The novel had me guessing throughout, and even though I felt pretty sure “who done it”, I end up only half-right, which made the reading experiencing even more enjoyable. Shreve pens in clear, deliberative prose, avoiding such pitfalls as overusing clichés and unnecessary filler just to keep the plot moving along; a fine, well-written, tightly plotted mystery that keeps the reader engaged and guessing. I am looking forward to reading more about Mitch O’Reilly and his struggles to succeed in business and in life.
Author Brad Shreve utilizes that third person viewpoint to keep the reader guessing right along with Mitch as he doggedly puzzles out whodunit through realistic investigation - questioning and requestioning witnesses, tracking inconsistencies, and uncovering hidden connections. Mitch carefully sifts through the conflicts, misdirections, and his own inexperience until the case is resolved. Because Mr. Shreve executes the limited viewpoint so expertly, I was left guessing right up until the end.
_Body in a Bathhouse_ is a classic mystery - the mystery is the point. Although Mitch and the other characters are complex, and there are moments of humor and sorrow apart from the main plotline, we never forget that we are here to solve a mystery.
This was a strong debut for Brad Shreve and Mitch O'Reilly. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
It is gay, but no content warning for that as it is not a plot point at all. It's just who they are. That right there is worth the fifth star on my rating.
CW, dead bodies of characters we meet in the story. It is a murder mystery.