Book Reviews

Posted to Death (Simon Kirby-Jones Mysteries 1) by Dean James at NYLA

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Vampires / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by ParisDude on 23-February-2023

Book Blurb

Amateur sleuth, Simon Kirby-Jones is looking forward to settling into his new home in the quaint British village of Snupperton—despite a few potential challenges. Not only is Simon an American, but he’s also a gay vampire who controls his vampiric urges and sun sensitivity with an effective medication.

Delighted to be in the cozy English village of his dreams, he’s eager to make Snupperton his home, and joins the fundraising committee of the local church. But at the first meeting, an argument breaks out between the town matriarch Lady Prunella Blitherington, and the nosy village postmaster, Abigail Winterton.

When Abigail is found murdered the next day, Simon determines to reveal the murderer in town-- and in the process discovers all the delightfully sordid secrets of Snupperton!


Book Review

Lucky me! This book was recommended to me in one of the Facebook groups I’m a member of, and intrigued by the blurb as well as attracted by the minimal ebook price of €0.99, I purchased it right away, opened it, and began reading. I finished it in almost one sitting, too, because this was a fabulous fun read. Right down my lane. A quirky cozy murder mystery set in the quaint little village Snupperton-Mumsley, somewhere down the river Thames, with the right cast of delightfully eccentric Englishmen and -women.


The first-person narrator and main character of this romp is the American Dr. Simon Kirby-Jones, renowned historian and biographer of historical personae, whose success and wealth stem from his secret pastime of writing sultry romance novels as well as hard-boiled suspense fiction using two different noms de plume. Simon has just left Houston to settle down in Snupperton-Mumsley, where he hopes to find time and inspiration for his three writing endeavors. Well, as far as time is concerned, that should be no problem. Because he doesn’t need much sleep. The literary fruits of his pen name productions are not his greatest secret, in fact. No, Simon is… a vampire. Not of the suck-your-blood-until-you’re-dead kind, mind you. Modernity has reached the undead community of vampires as well, so that by swallowing a little pill at regular intervals, they can integrate themselves into the wider community of the living without anyone being the wiser.


In terms of integration, Simon takes his first step in his new home by joining a committee after having been invited by the local vicar. During the first meeting he attends, he has the privilege to make the acquaintance of the village High Society: the handsome yet weak-nerved vicar and his überprotective wife; snobby Lady Prunella Blitherington and her pouting twenty-something-year-old son; the local postmistress, quarrelsome and nosy Abigail Winterton; his neighbor Jane, who to his utter surprise turns out to be a fellow vampire; and many other strong and strange characters with whom we, the readers, expect any average English village to be populated. During the meeting, the tea is as awful as the tensions are high. The reason is of the utmost importancel: the play they need to choose for their next local theatrical production. Charming! And yet, that topic seems vital indeed. Or rather, fatal. Because a few days later, one of them is found strangled in her house: Miss Winterson. Simon doesn’t need more to stick his nose into the whole sorry affair, and suprises abound as he discovers more and more secrets.


This was Agatha Christie on LSD, plot-wise. A decent, well-constructed, almost classical small-village murder mystery with all the usual suspects in place, and yet, if you allow me to pursue my comparison with Miss Christie’s œuvre, with several twists. For one, the main character is no frail yet overclever old lady who has seen it all nor a know-it-all effeminate Belgian detective, but a somewhat naïve American vampire (by the way, even the vampire trope is slightly twisted, in the most enjoyable tongue-in-cheek way). Plus, as if that weren’t enough, he’s as gay as they come. Also so handsome that the local gays are drawn to him like moths to a light source. The dialogs are therefore, even if written in an antiquated style, still bitchy and queer enough to be a pure pleasure to read.


I loved almost everything about this book, to be honest. True, some periods were missing (no idea why), but at the end, I barely noticed it anymore, so engrossed was I in the read. True, the narrator could have been even cattier and sassier to give the whole thing that extra oomph, but I rather liked him as was. The book had all the ingredients I like in a cozy murder mystery (small village, limited number of persons and suspects, nosy amateur sleuth, helpful sidekick), plus a budding romance that will maybe be deepened in the next installments, and a certain gay-ish je-ne-sais-quoi through and through that delighted me no end. This was just pure pleasure, and I’m looking forward to the next lull in the list of books I have to read to purchase books two, three, and four of this series.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 288 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-February-2015
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link