Book Reviews

The Death of a Constant Lover (Nick Hoffman Mysteries 3) by Lev Raphael at ReQueered Tales

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Students/Teachers/Professors / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Fiction
Reviewed by Kristin F. on 05-January-2021

Book Blurb

Mayhem at the State University of Michigan: Is it murder...or another faculty meeting?

Filled with caustic humor about university life and written with literate style and grace, The Death of a Constant Lover escalates Nick Hoffman's involvement with mayhem and faculty meetings. When the son of a professor is murdered on a campus bridge, Nick's presence at the scene puts him right where he can't afford to be: in the middle of trouble. With his tenure review coming up, he's been warned by his department chair to avoid bad publicity.

But Nick is forced to wade in deeper anyway, inexorably drawn into yet another risky investigation in the surprisingly cutthroat world of academia. He may be surrounded by academics with deadly agendas, but he's armed with the hope that his wit and insight will be enough to avert the death of his career... and maybe his own as well.


First edition published by Walker & Company, April 1999.

Second edition published by Stonewall Inn Mysteries, May 2000.

Third edition published by author, October 2011.


Book Review

I will open with the same comment I noted from previous reviews, this is not a romance novel. This is foremost a mystery with a supporting, established gay relationship. I greatly enjoy a book that explores the nuances of a mature couple and I appreciate this aspect when I can find it. With this latest book, I do recommend reading the series in order – it will help explain the relationships and overarching plot lines.

As noted in the blurb, the Nick Hoffman series are cozy mysteries set on the fictional State University of Michigan campus. Nick and his partner, Stephan, are employed by the same department and Nick is under no illusion he is only there because the department wanted Stephan as their resident author. Nick is also up for tenure and has been warned, in no uncertain terms, “don’t make any waves”. It is a fractious, argumentative, contentious department and Nick continues to wonder if he wants to stay.

Within the parameters of two murders, this installment explores the foundation of relationships and how one person can so easily sow seeds of discontent. Nick watches as a murder tears apart one family, and, despite outward appearances, questions if *he* wants to continue to stay in Stephan’s shadow. For a cozy mystery, I thought this delved into the darker psyche of people’s motivations and behaviors, which was different and interesting.

I quite enjoyed this book - the wonderful thing about cozy mysteries is they aren’t perfect. I know going in that there are an unrealistic number of murders in one location, nobody likes the detective, and the protagonist will figure it out. I keep coming back to the Nick Hoffman series because I’m invested in Nick and his relationship with Stephan, I want to know what Nick is going to do about his position at SUM, and I adore the subtle humor that weaves its way through the books. I’m looking forward to the next installment.




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
Length Novel, 304 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-November-2020
Price $5.95 ebook
Buy Link