Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Bellingham Mystery Series Volume 1

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Bellingham Mystery Series Volume 1 (2015) Nicole Kimberling

The Bellingham Mystery Series Volume 1This is a collection of three novellas: Primal Red, Evergreen, and Black Cat Red.

Primal Red

Peter Fontaine is an investigative journalist for The Bellinghamster, or just The Hamster, the free local paper in Belligham, WA.

In addition to writing articles, Peter was in charge of circulation, which meant that every Thursday morning he drove bundles of the free weekly to various locations in the city and in greater Whatcom County. A glorified paperboy position, true, but at least it was in his field.

He wants to break a big story–to make it as a journalist–and stumbling upon a local murder might just be his ticket to an award. Unfortunately, the guy found with the body is Peter’s crush, Nick Olson.

He couldn’t tell them about the Pierogy Tea Café. Not yet. He didn’t have enough material to write his piece. So he said, “I was trying to get up the courage to ask Nick Olson out on a date.”

The two police officers glanced at each other then Officer Clarkson said, “I think you might want to re-evaluate your plans.”

The first story is, unsurprisingly, the weakest of the three. That does NOT make it a bad story, but it definitely feels like an early story.

It’s cute. It’s fun.

“You mentioned the shellfish farm down the road in your sleep last night,” Nick said.

“Did I?”

“You did. You mumbled that we should bike down there and get a couple dozen kumamotos since we were so close.”

“And why didn’t we?”

“Because it was midnight,” Nick said. “Also because you were, much like the shellfish farmers, asleep.”

And it was an interesting mystery.


The second story finds Peter and Nick on a New Year’s Eve camp-out / snowman building contest.

Peter and Nick are definitely a couple, but Peter wants more from his career, and is considering interviewing for a paper in Texas, which would mean leaving Nick.

Speaking of that, one of their snowmen’s tree-branch arms had fallen off. He rose and started pushing it back in, careful not to wreck the image of super gay happiness that they had created. Above all, he didn’t want the straight people to see him weep.

The murder here was an interesting one–it’s a bit of a locked room mystery, and one of Peter’s suspects is Nick’s cousin.

I did feel like there was one continuity issue, but it was a major one. If the murdered man had already spoken to Janelle, how did he not share everything he meant to? It seems to me that if he could not have spoken to her, for the reason for the murder to have remained.

But it was still an interesting story.

Black Cat Red

This was the strongest story of the lot, because the characters are all well-settled into their personalities, and the mystery was interesting.

Evangeline (Peter’s best friend and ex-roomate)’s cousin has been working for the paper as a delivery guy, but when he takes off to get away from some trouble, it causes a bit of trouble for Peter.

“I saw him about a week ago. He is really taking the wrong drugs. I don’t know which ones they are, but they are definitely not right for him.”

The secondary arc, however, was very interesting, since we finally discover a little but about Nick’s ex–the one who died and left Nick the house/studio. Nick still remains a bit of an enigma, but it fits with the story, since Peter is a little bit self-absorbed, and the entire story is from his POV.

And the mystery was–for a Halloween story involving possible satanists–not exceedingly heavy.

“Has it occurred to you that it might actually be more dangerous to go poking around the property of an animal mutilator than a cracked-out Satanist?”

“Why? You’re not a cat.”

Also, there’s a kitten.

I also decided to give her an interim name so that I’d have something to yell apart from No.

I very much enjoyed the stories and immediately started the next book.

Publisher: One Block Empire
Rating: 7/10


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