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  • The Mystery of the Curiosities

  • Snow & Winter
  • By: C.S. Poe
  • Narrated by: Derrick McClain
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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The Mystery of the Curiosities

By: C.S. Poe
Narrated by: Derrick McClain
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Summary

Life has been great for Sebastian Snow. The Emporium is thriving and his relationship with NYPD homicide detective, Calvin Winter, is everything he’s ever wanted. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Sebastian’s sole concern is whether Calvin would enjoy a romantic date. It’s only when an unknown assailant smashes the Emporium’s window and leaves a peculiar note behind that all holiday plans get pushed aside in favor of another mystery. 

Sebastian is quickly swept up in a series of grisly yet seemingly unrelated murders. The only connection tying the deaths together are curiosities from the lost museum of P.T. Barnum. Despite Calvin’s attempts to keep Sebastian out of the investigation, someone is forcing his hand, and it becomes apparent that the entire charade exists for Sebastian to solve. But with each clue that brings him closer to the killer, he’s led deeper into Calvin’s official cases. 

It’s more than just Sebastian’s livelihood and relationship on the line - it’s his very life. 

©2017 C. S. Poe (P)2017 DSP Publications

What listeners say about The Mystery of the Curiosities

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DNF

Serious problems with the first book that continued in this. Ran out of patience.

Sebastian has learned nothing from his previous experiences and immediately and consistently makes the stupidest decisions possible despite even having the self awareness of what a bad idea something is and how badly it's going to affect his relationships.

Gave the series a second chance because I don't like unsolved mysteries. biggest mystery turns out to be how this series is so highly rated. Everything else this author has done is better.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Follow up

Great follow up to the first book. Intrigued mystery with lovable and compelling characters. Top notch narration. Highly recommended.

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Great story

The concept is interesting and well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is good.

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A great mystery with the odd moment of irk

*Possible spoilers in paragraph five*
The Mystery of the Curiosities see Sebastian Snow pulled back into another case as he’s left notes at crime scenes, that actually start at his own shop with a brick thrown through the window with the first note attached, and being Sebastian with his never-ending need to investigate and know more, he follows where they lead, often getting himself in dangerous situations.
What starts out as property damage soon turns to murder as he stumbles across bodies at several different scenes with nothing in common it seems apart from the clues and setup of the curiosities of P.T. Barnum. His new boyfriend, homicide detective Calvin Winter, does his best to keep him safe and implores Sebastian to stay away but his sleuthing ways just won’t stay at rest. Everything he uncovers leads him closer to danger until it’s possibly too late to save him at all.
I really enjoyed the plot of this one. The mysteries and links that it all has to a person and business that actually existed I think makes it slightly more real and easier to become invested in the outcome. The way that it keeps coming back to Sebastian doesn’t look good but then he also can’t help himself from following the clues that he’s left by the unknown assailant. Everything develops at a good pace, allowing the reader time to think on everything that’s happening and what it could possibly mean whilst also following Sebastian’s line of thinking. He does get himself into trouble on a number of occasions, more physically than anything but Calvin’s worry for him stands out as he implores that he keep out of the investigation, to at least stay safe. It took me a while but I had an idea on the suspect but red herrings pop up throughout to keep you guessing.
Sebastian and Calvin’s relationship has moved forward since book one. It’s a couple of months later and for Valentine’s Day, Sebastian would like, for once, to be romantic and go all out for their date. Things of course don’t go to plan with the current case on-going but it shows how much he wants to do for and to his boyfriend. Show how much he loves and appreciates him. They’ve definitely grown closer and that’s shown with the trust that they’ve built with each other. Along with their romance is the support that Sebastian offers for the times that Calvin suffers with his PTSD. As he won’t see anyone about it, it’s hard to know what to do but whatever he can do, he is all in for it. Sebastian’s dad and Calvin’s partner are again a huge support to both men, both on and off the case.
Whilst I really enjoyed the book overall, there are a couple of things that didn’t really work out for me. I get the Sebastian is extremely knowledgeable and is actually really good at putting all of the details of an investigation together but he is actually not a cop. There is no way he would be allowed so close to a case and definitely not with his boyfriend investigating it. Taking notes from scenes and having no fallout from it didn’t sit right. Maybe if he got some kind of fallout for it but no. Then Calvin’s worry over him being in such danger with a suspect sending him notes is definite concern with Sebastian promising several times to either stay away or call but he actually does the opposite, even lying straight to Calvin about his actions. Again, if he got some backlash but Calvin didn’t react in a way that I thought he would or should. Overall, Sebastian having to deal with consequences for his actions I think could have pushed this book to be better.
Overall, I’d recommend reading/listening to this one. I let myself enjoy the mystery of everything that went on and just let slide some of Sebastian’s “quirks”. It’s definitely something that can make you think about who the culprit could be and made me interested in P.T. Barnum and his curiosities. Fingers crossed the next book brings another great plot with a bit of repercussion for Sebastian if he continues to get underfoot.
Derrick McClain’s narration is again really enjoyable to listen to. There’s variation on his character’s voices and depth provided that gives you a sense of the emotions that the characters are feeling across the story. With things going from highs to lows and back again, it’s a lot to follow but Derrick holds everything together really well and I look forward to listening to him again.

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  • Almill
  • 05-04-18

The Story has great potential!

Would you try another book from C. S. Poe and/or Derrick McClain?

Yes because i like the writing and the storyline is good. The only thing i dont like is the main Character is very annoying! He has a great boyfriend who keeps forgiving him but he keeps doing things behind his back and lying. i would not like that in someone i was living with or seeing. i would have dumped him a long time ago, especially when things Sebastian does almost get the cop killed.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

He does alot of exaggerating some words in the story almost like a grunt or he always sounds annoyed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mari Cardenas
  • 17-10-20

Better than the first one...

As sequels go, this one was a whole lot better than book 1. For one, I liked Calvin a whole lot more this time around. Sebastian is likable, even if he loves putting himself in harm's way. Then again, what self-respecting amateur sleuth doesn't do this once or several times throughout a book? LOL I'm still on the fence regarding their relationship, although their chemistry seemed better in this installment.

I enjoyed the mystery portion a lot. I had my suspicions about the bad guy's identity and was so off the mark it wasn't even funny, but I still liked playing along with Sebastian and Max as they tried to solve the clues the killer left Sebastian.

The narration was consistently good, although I kind of cringed every time Calvin called Seb by the array of pet names he loves to use. Unfortunately, listening to a grown man calling another sweetie or honey doesn't do it for me. I know it's not Mr. McClain's fault, but it is what it is and it dampened my overall enjoyment of the narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 15-09-17

hard to enjoy book when you hate main character

Not sure the writer fully understands police procedure, relationships, physiology, or human nature. Good grasp of male anatomy, though. Could've used a warning in the description about the graphic sex.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 05-08-17

Frustrating!

The main character is one of the most frustrating I've encountered. It was like watching a bad horror movie. Don't go into the basement! And he does, over and over and over again. No mystery here just a character that I wished the killer would kill.
I stopped listening with over 4 hours left to hear. I couldn't take the predictability of every scene.

1 person found this helpful

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  • VlD
  • 23-05-22

found this to be an improvement over the 1st book

This whodunit was written much better than then the 1st Winter and snow novel. I was intrigued A few times. a little lost and felt the story had took an odd twist a few times. To be honest I think Sebastian Comes across a little Well for a better term stupid.. There are times when he plays the blame game when he should. But other times When he seems to not grasp the blame for his own actions.. And we were left with a few questions that shouldn't need to wait till the next book. one being What happens to the store now. The landlord is going to be put in jail. They also never said what he did that would make him think a cop could put him in jail. other than his actions in this story .At 1 point in the story we hear Neil wants Seb back then later on we hear he does not. there's nothing happening in between the 1st and 2nd parts.. And let's not forget about Neal's impaired driving.. Now as for the lack of chemistry between the main characters makes the romantic part of this book not so interesting. If I was to give stars based based just on the love story it would probably be a one star book

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  • Zell Oakley
  • 01-12-21

The best of the series (so far)

After an initial false start, I grew to completely love this series and its two main characters (all the characters, really, except Beth who gets on my nerves). In a series where every book is (for me) five stars, this one is my favorite.

The development of the two protagonists' relationship reaches its zenith here; there are no caveats like I had in the first book when they jumped from "I barely know you" to calling each other pet names with a rather alarming swiftness. They're just sweet for each other and wonderful; think Adrien and Jake from Josh Lanyon's "Adrien English" series but with Calvin coming to his senses far earlier in the series than Jake did.

The mystery is compelling; even if the solution is a bit far-fetched, I'm still happy the way it turned out, and I can't say why without a spoiler. I'll just say that there's a particular character arc in this series that I LOVE that could easily have been ruined here, but happily wasn't.

Everything that I loved about the first book is back; Sebastian's father is still one of the best parents in m/m fiction, his disability is skillfully depicted, and the writing itself is phenomenally good. Like the rest of the series, it's not technically a cozy mystery because the murders are a bit gruesome and there's on-page sex, but it has the FEEL of a cozy, which I love.

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  • Sue 🎧
  • 10-08-21

enjoyed it

Would I listen to it again: yes ✔
Did the story keep me engaged: yes ✔
Was I invested in the characters: yes ✔

📖 Story comment: Good pace, likeable characters, nice flow. Story was interesting and kept me entertained.... that's all I need to be happy.

🎧 Narrator comment: I enjoyed Derrick McCain's narration, he suits the characters, has good cadence, inflections and intonations and it's easy to distinguish the characters from each other. Overall an enjoyable performance and he bought the characters of the book to life

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📌 Where does it fall on my personal scale? 7
• 1 not my thing • 2 didn't like the narration • 3 didn't keep my attention • 4 was good, but once was enough • 5 enjoyed it • 6 will listen again if i'm in the mood for the narrator • 7 goes on the "re-listen" list • 8 kept me up past bed-time • 9 recommended to family/friends • 10 own it in multiple formats • 11 keep a copy with me at all times
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  • M. F. Hampton
  • 23-07-19

I actually guessed wrong

I'm really enjoying this series. I was actually stumped on this one. Totally surprised by the perp. I was so convinced I knew who it was I actually stopped looking for other suspects in this story. I also enjoyed the Barnum references. I'm also glad to see Calvin's character growing. It gives me hope for their relationship.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-06-19

Great story

Just the right amount of sexy time wrapped around a great story that keeps everything moving forward. Cant wait for the next one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Zara
  • 16-04-19

Loved it

Lord this series, really cool and quirky and kinda funny at the same time.
Great and very enjoyable narration.