Book Review: Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper (Dick and the Sidekick #1) by Isobel Starling
"Every good Dick needs a sidekick…
Actor Tom Lewis’s world came crashing down when a honey trap and tabloid exposé outed him and put pay to his flourishing career. The housewives favorite was most well-known for his role as ‘Detective Fox’ in the quaint British series 'Malmesbury Murders'. But after the media speculation about his sexuality, the show is in hiatus and Tom hasn’t worked six months.
Now things are getting serious, the money he made from M.M is running out and he needs a job desperately. So when Tom’s agent offers him a six week seasonal acting job, he reluctantly agrees… and takes on the role of Santa for a top London department store. This decision changes Tom’s luck. Not only will he have an income for the holiday season, he’ll also be working with a very sexy young elf that he spotted at the auditions, named Eli Mason.
The plot gathers pace when, during a break Tom overhears two unidentified store workers discussing a ‘job to get a little Christmas bonus”. He realizes the job is of the illegal sort. Now, Tom could call the police, but then again, wouldn’t it be great for his flagging career if Detective Fox saved the day?
So Fox is on the case, and as every good Dick needs a sidekick, Tom decides Eli will fit the role, in more ways than one!"
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*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*
Well, this was a bit different than I thought, luckily I still found it quite enjoyable. It's fairly short, yet has a lot going on and a very full cast of characters that I at times was scared I might not be able to keep track of. I'm not too sure about how realistic the plot was but it was entertaining.
Tom is a big name television actor who has recently been outed by a man who he slept with after meeting on Grindr. Now with his career possibly on the chopping block, he is given the opportunity to work as Santa at a high-end famous department store. Not wanting to accept this new job but really not having much of a choice, Tom concedes and accepts it as a temporary bump in his career.
Eli is just getting started in the business after graduating from school. Going for a job as an elf in Santa's Grotto, Eli hopes this will help launch his career. Along with his best friend JJ, he is hired to work through the holiday season. Meeting the famous Detective Fox aka Tom is just an added bonus. And when the two find their relationship quickly progressing from colleagues to lovers all while doing some real life sleuthing both men realize they've found more than a great job.
There was some great chemistry between Eli and Tom and their sex scenes were pretty steamy. I wasn't sure how I felt about them as individuals, though. Eli for some reason just rubbed me the wrong way but I can't exactly put my finger on why. I liked him when he was with Tom but other times I just didn't care for him. As for Tom I liked him more than I did Eli but I have to warn readers that he has some kinks that I didn't see coming. It threw me off and personally I like to have warning when it comes to kink.
Overall it was an enjoyable read and I recommend it to fans of Isobel Starling and those who are looking for a funny and easy read.
3* Reminded me of a good old British farce.
This is quite a funny read that's light and not too complicated, and that ends in the leads having fun together. I can't say that it was more than having fun, as there wasn't a discussion about where they went from there.
The book follows the blurb, with the actor lead, Tom, and RADA-graduate, Eli, joining forces and playing Detective Fox and Sidekick in real life, getting their friends involved, and sleuthing. I liked the idea of the plot, but it felt a little too convenient with both Tom and Eli overhearing the plotters on separate occasions, and I am pretty sure that if you're standing on the roof of a tall London building outside in winter, smoking a ciggie, then not only would the smoke waft and be visible, but others up on the roof would also smell it and possibly see it (though conveniently, after this, the author had the others on the rooftop also having a smoke).
I liked the thinly veiled use of brands/the famous such as Oscar de la Renta turned Oskar de la Mer, Hamlyns turned Hamblings (which in turn was a thinly-veiled Harrods) and the Farouk brothers (a take on the former Harrods owner, Al-Fayed).
It doesn't end in a HEA and it's not really a romance, just a little fun and games. But, it really could do with the author using a proof-reader, as there are quite a lot of mistakes in this, such as apostrophes used in places they're not meant to be used in, and occasionally, typos (e.g. acouterments used in lieu of accoutrements, cafe's used instead of correct plural, cafés, etc.).
Still, it's worth a read on a cold day. And, given that it's an ARC, perhaps all of the above will have been corrected by release day!
ARC courtesy of the author and Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure.