Series: Soho Noir #3
Published by Red Dog Press on August 6, 2019
Also by this author: Tainted Love, Who's That Girl?, Crazy for You, Killer Queen, Smalltown Boy
LOOSE LIPS COST LIVES.
It’s 1986, and Adam Cave, lead singer of the pop sensation Loose Lips, is struggling to stay in the closet, especially as his group is going through a messy split, and media speculation about the reasons behind it are high.
Joe Stone is assigned to Adam as a runner for the behind-the-scenes, warts and all expose of the recording of the bands last album, and an unlikely friendship begins to form.
But when Adam’s manager, Jack Eddy, is found dead in Adam’s hotel room, in what looks like a sex game gone wrong, Joe turns to his flatmate, Russell, to help him clear the pop star’s name, and keep his secret.
Russell, meanwhile, has a secret of his own. He’s just been for a test, the results of which may change his life forever.
Gah could I be any more excited to help close the tour for Mr Hunter and the third book in his epic Soho Noir series!! I could be…wait a minute *whispers breathe just breathe*……ok I have a handle on myself now don’t worry. I am closing the tour with The Itinerarian and of course, the fabulous Red Dog Press so do be sure to check out their posts and buy the books…I know I will be.
✮ My Review ✮
Oh my days, I love this series, not just for the awesome covers, the 80s nostalgia but for Joe and Russell. These men are the best unofficial crime-fighting duo. Somehow, just somehow they seem to find themselves in the middle of mayhem, with a murder to solve. This time, everything Careless Whisper just hit home to how it truly was for the gay community in the 80s.
I am not even going to pretend to understand what it must have been like but in this novella, you get a glimpse of the fears of HIV with the testing and the waiting and the results. How these results would change your life and how the result affected other people. Certain bits in this snappy story broke my heart, I was waiting, holding my breath living the fear with them and at the end, I may have had something in my eye due to the release of emotion from the subplot.
However, the main story is Adam Cave, the lead singer of a band called Loose Lips. Struggling to come to terms with who he really is, what he is doing in such a destructive band and how to move on when a ruthless murder happens in his hotel room and he is arrested. Arrested by everyone’s favourite (to hate) Detective Skinner -urgh!
With every novella, I have not played detective, mainly because I couldn’t guess straight away who the murderers have been. Instead, I sat back, put my feet and watched Joe and Russell follow the clues, occasionally telling them what I thought and where to go next but they are always ahead of me. I love watching the two of them go their separate ways to solve the murder and reconvening at the Red lion in the seat by the window also known as their office. Building on everything they have learned and always just trying to help their friends and the community. I have to also say I loved the introduction to Gillespie and really hope he is back in the next one.
Talking of which! I need to read the next one! I have blasted these books in the last week and now I feel quite bereft. I have no more Joe and Russell to read and not quite sure what to do now, bar twiddling my thumbs waiting for Crazy for you!!
As I have mentioned before the book covers are the absolute best and so poignant! The titles too, spot on, I always love when the titles make sense in the book and when the covers do, I feel complete! Careless Whisper, for me, is quite a sad tale when you think back on the story, it’s a bit like Chinese whispers, the misinterpretation of what you think you know with what you do know can ultimately be someone’s downfall. The death was so unnecessary and so sad and all due to the offending party not having all the facts.
Yet, there are some moments that did make me chuckle, and like normal they include Paul aka Patty and his new partner in crime Scott, Ron’s son! Through the darkness of secrets and lies, you have the light relief, you have the strength of the community and you have the love of people who make their own family.
I can gush all day about these novellas, I truly could. Again, Hunter has not let me down with his writing, no words or pages are fluffy or wasted, it is just flawless. His writing is taut and you find you do fly through the book at breakneck speed to find the truth. I tried to savour every word as I did not want it to end!
Please just go back, relive your youth and buy these novellas! Plus they are just so pretty!
Until next time xxx
And because we all need the song and video in our lives!!! BEST SONG EVER
Let us take a look back at the tour for this awesome novella! (Click the blog name to be taken to their post)
I loved the friendship that starting emerging between Adam and Joe. Joe seen last the whole star tantrums and seen Adam for the who he really is. Adam is a man in turmoil who tries to hide behind the his stage persona as it where. I don’t really want to say much more than that but if you do read it you will see what I mean, he is a character I took to heart and really felt for…. As with the previous two books, Toby’s writing is on top form, compelling characters, snappy well rounded chapters that gives you a real feel of what each character is like and a real sense of what’s happening almost as if we were there ourselves.
Once again, it’s Joe and Russell to the rescue, because it sure won’t be our narrow-minded, bigoted detective Skinner who will solve this case! A lot of red herrings threw me off the scent and the finale caught me by surprise, although it was in fact my first hunch that turned out to be true but I had completely given up on that theory, because I thought I’d had it wrong. If you read the book, you’ll understand why. Come to think of it, that is exactly what I want you to do: read this book! If you liked the previous Soho Noir novellas, you’ll adore this one! While Tainted Love and Who’s That Girl were solid four-star reads for me, Careless Whisper blew me away. It’s engrossing from start to finish, and fun and suspenseful and positively satisfying in every way! I cannot wait for the next instalment to be reunited with my lovely friends once again AND to gloat at the comeuppance I see on the horizon!
Married to Books says
What a fast paced ride! It was lovely to return to London’s Soho with Joe and Russell for another murder mystery. The story-line involving Russell’s testingfor HIV was a very powerful element, I’ve not read that before in fiction, yet alone a crime thriller.
The Beardy Book Blogger says (and you should just read this post for all the craziness especially as it is hard to pull out any quotes!)
*le sigh* Well, some review this is turning out to be, huh? Just me myself and I. Just little, beardy me, all on my ownsome, with no one to tell about how great Careless Whisper actually is.
I was all geared up and ready to tell everyone how this is possibly the best book in the series so far. How Toby takes his characters to the very edge in this one, how the emotional gut punches are real and how I was left with something stuck in my eye at the end
I found Careless Whisper to perhaps be one of the best reads so far within the series, although I was prepared to hate it as normally with series they start to become flat towards the third book, but this clearly is not the case with the Soho Noir series. As with the previous two, Careless Whisper was captivating from the start. It was a wonderful read that is a must for anyone who is a fan of cosy mysteries.
Peony Denim says
So this series is set in 1980s Soho, London and I can tell you, they are fabulous mystery stories. There’s a dominant LGBT+ positive theme and the plots are so unique and gripping. If you’re looking for some new crime to indulge in, you need to give these a go.
Each story is just over 100 pages long, perfect for getting out of reading slumps or chucking in your pocket for a cheeky read when you get five minutes. Or you can do what I did and binge them because they are SO GOOD.
The Bookwormery says
A wonderful, cosy crime mystery all set in the 80’s, with its music, fashion, homophobia and the affect AIDS had on so many people…brilliant characters and so atmospheric……I can’t wait to read more of Joe, Russell and the fabulous Patty.
A good series is like a runway walk off, the rules of which were so eloquently stated by the legendary David Bowie in Zoolander, repeat and elaborate. As readers we want those elements that got us involved in the first place, the characters, the setting, the language, the humor, the style. But we don’t necessarily want each entry to be a carbon copy, hence elaborate. So far each installment of the Soho Noir series has managed that with aplomb, getting stronger and more assured with each entry and Careless Whisper is no exception.
Kati Read Some Books says
T.S. Hunter’s delicate and sensitive handling of Russell’s HIV testing is another testament to Hunter’s writing. Though I was born after the HIV crisis, the tense moments with Russell at the clinic and his anxiety in the days to come really pulled me into what was a near-daily experience in 80s Soho. Despite all the flair and fun of drag shows, clubs, and bars, the threat of HIV was an insidious undercurrent throughout Soho nightlife. These cozy crime novels don’t necessarily focus on this crisis, but Hunter’s ability to weave it into the story makes Joe and Russell’s on-page lives seem that much more real.
Cheryl’s M & M Blog says
It’s a murder mystery set in hub of a pulsing LGBT community in the flashy 80s. Hunter combines the atmosphere of individuality, freedom and the leftovers of the burnt-out 70s with homophobia and the acidic fear of HIV and AIDS. Mystery meets life and is humbled by its sincerity in this brash noirish series.
Lacy Ace Reviews says
These novella stories are so much fun, quick to read, they provide a fantastic story to read, to use your own mystery solving skills. The way the story is told, it gives you time to think about the characters that could be involved, then to work through the clues to work out who the killer is.
With this being my third book in the series, I become engrossed every time within the storyline, I’m looking forward to more in this series.
The Pewter Wolf says
This is a fast paced read with several good twists and characters who aren’t always what they seem to be. I could have very easily devour this and the previous books in one day as I enjoyed spending time with both Joe and Russell, as well as the new characters being introduced, which I think are going to become more important as the series goes on.
Entertaining, instructive, enlightening but never preachy. An interesting enough mystery, decent pace, characters full of heart, conviction and loyalty, a trip back down memory lane with the music and fashion of a period when I was in my early 20s myself and only 120-odd pages long. Perfect for a one-sitting read.
Alex J Book Reviews says
It’s a quick, fast paced little read, it’s a cracker of mystery of that tells a story of the 80s, the music and the culture, the LGBT scene, and also touches on a very serious subject matter.
I was completely drawn in by Joe and Russell, they make a great team, and also the events in the book that bring them closer as truly great friends is touching, emotional and quite brilliantly done.
The writing is both easy and inviting, and it’s a clever, classically told tale
Books are my Cwtches says
Rachel Read It says
Check out an extract over at Breathing Through Pages
Until next time xxx
Thanks to Dylan at Red Dog Press for the tour invite and the author for a copy of the book in return for my honest and unbiased review.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: