…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Jeremy Spencer never imagined the occult order he and his boyfriend, Bowyn, started as a joke in college would become an international organization with hundreds of followers. Now a professor with expertise in Renaissance music, Jeremy finds himself drawn back into the world of free love and ceremonial magick he’d left behind, and the old jealousies and hurt that separated him from Bowyn eight years ago seem almost insignificant.
Then Jeremy begins to wonder if the centuries-old score he’s been asked to transcribe hides something sinister. With each stanza, local birds flock to the old mansion, a mysterious fog descends upon the grounds, and bats swarm the temple dome. During a séance, the group receives a cryptic warning from the spirit realm. And as the music’s performance draws nearer, Jeremy realizes it may hold the key to incredible power—power somebody is willing to kill for.
Before you start Murderous Requiem, make sure your thinking cap is firmly in place. Bonus points if you have a working knowledge of anything occult and music theory-related. Got all that? Well, you’re in for a treat!
Honestly, Jamie Fessenden writes some of the most cerebral and just all-around engaging stories out there, and I’d like to walk around his mind to just…absorb the smarts. There’s quite a lot going on in this book, so CliffsNotes:
1.) You’ve got music professor and MC Jeremy returning “home” to help a collection of former lovers (yup, plural), plus a few friends, translate a very valuable but bizarre piece of music from the late middle ages.
2.) The “home” is now a large occult living on a sprawling Victorian estate–clothing optional!–and some weird stuff is going down.
3.) There are bad guys lurking, and as the reader, you’ll be challenged to sort out who’s good, who’s bad and who’s just plain CRAY.
My eyes crossed in a few places where Jeremy talked about the music/translations, but I enjoyed him and MC Bowyn together. Even though they’d been apart for a few years, they reconnected seamlessly. (Their relationship dated back to their college days, and they had some serious chemistry.) I rooted for them throughout the novel, even when I wasn’t entirely sure about Bowyn’s motives. I also really liked the supporting cast of characters–bad guys included!
The book packs in a lot of free/group love, and there’s some interesting paranormal activity involving ravens (creepiest bird ever, FTW). It all leads up to an equally disturbing…séance where some Really Bad Stuff goes down.
Things get tied up pretty neatly and quickly after the séance; though there is a time lapse, I think I would have liked a prologue set a little further down the road.
Guys, honestly: Fessenden’s brain. I can’t imagine the amount of research and effort went into writing Murderous Requiem. If you’re a fan of “thinking books” and you like fantasy/mystery/paranormal, I suggest you grab this one up asap.