An Unseen Attraction, part of the Sins of the Cities series, takes place about fifty years after the Society of Gentlemen series, which is where I first fell in love with Charles’ work. I don’t, as a rule, like historical fiction because I usually find it contrived–same plots and characters as today, but with different clothes–just doesn’t do it for me. I admire that in Charles’ stories, the historical period acts as a nemesis, as a character inherently vital to the plot. You can’t have a Charles’ story take place in any other time period, and that makes it interesting to me.
In An Unseen Attraction, we are introduced to a half-Asian Indian, half-white British nobleman, Clem Talleyfer, who, if he were alive today, would probably have a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. He runs a boarding house, owned by his titled brother, where several quirky people live, most important of them, taxidermist Rowley Green, who becomes Clem’s dear friend, and eventual lover. The simmering build of the relationship, how genuine it seems, how much we want it to happen, and the hot sex that finally ensues–these are also hallmarks of Charles’ stories, and we get it all here. Rowley and Clem are perfect together with all their imperfections, and it’s beautiful.
What we also get is a great murder mystery. I know, you weren’t expecting that, were you? Neither was I! But it was well done; there are clues along the way, with lots of twists and turns, some blood, violence, and gore–a solid murder mystery, for sure. And, we’re glad the victim is gone, but sorry for the real danger it puts our protagonists in. I had my suspicions, for sure, but until the mystery is solved, I couldn’t put it all together.
KJ Charles did me a solid again! Five stars, absolutely!
Loveswept provided an arc in exchange for an unbiased review.