Book Reviews

Madison Square Murders (Memento Mori 1) by C.S. Poe at Emporium Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Law Enforcement / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 31-December-2021

Book Blurb

Everett Larkin works for the Cold Case Squad: an elite—if understaffed and overworked—group of detectives who solve the forgotten deaths of New York City. Larkin is different from others, but his deduction skills are unmatched and his memory for minute details is unparalleled.

So when a spring thunderstorm uproots a tree in Madison Square Park, unearthing a crate with human remains inside, the best Cold Case detective is assigned the job. And when a death mask, like those prominent during the Victorian era, is found with the body, Larkin requests assistance from the Forensic Artists Unit and receives it in the form of Detective Ira Doyle, his polar opposite in every way.

Factual reasoning and facial reconstruction puts Larkin and Doyle on a trail of old homicide cases and a murderer obsessed with casting his victims’ likeness in death. Include some unapologetic flirting from Doyle, and this case just may end up killing Everett Larkin.


Book Review

“I stopped talking about how I felt because I knew no one cared anyway.” ~ unknown


Detective Everett Larkin, of ‘Madison Square Murders’ by C.S. Poe, is not the easiest person to get along with but his expertise in cold cases is remarkable. When an unusual case comes along, he needs the help of a forensic artist to recreate the victim’s likeness. That’s when Detective Ira Doyle comes into the picture. Ira is everything Everett is not: personable, optimistic, and charming. Most of all, Everett is attracted to him in a way he doesn’t understand, but it may have something to do with Ira being more compassionate than anyone else in his life.


Fifteen years ago, someone attacked Everett and his boyfriend. They killed his boyfriend and struck Everet, causing permanent brain damage. Although his short-term memory suffers, he can remember everything else with a frightening amount of detail. It may seem like a blessing, especially in detective work, but, many times, it’s a curse. For example, Everett has to protect himself from forming memories because if he does, he will be forced to relive events that most of us can move beyond. Also, he has PTSD; a simple event like a rainstorm can cause a meltdown of epic proportions. Everett realizes his tendency to control every thought or feeling causes him to come across as challenging and even unfeeling, but it’s the only way he can retain his sanity.


Ira is attracted to the brash but brilliant detective. He flirts with Everett but it makes him uncomfortable, so Ira tries to restrain himself. It’s hard to do because Ira is someone who enjoys making people smile. He doesn’t know that Everett is married until later. With Everett’s efficiency and preciseness toward his work, Ira finds it difficult to imagine Everett is miserable and insecure, but it’s obvious to Ira that he is. When Ira witnesses one of Everett’s PTSD-induced meltdowns, his heart aches for him. Since Ira respects Everett’s marriage, he knows they can’t be lovers, but he resolves to be the best friend that Everett has ever had.


‘Madison Square Murders’ is a brilliant and intriguing mystery. Everett and Ira’s love story is a roller-coaster ride between two competent yet flawed men who have handled their adversities in different ways. In each other, they find someone who can help them heal. Thanks, C.S., for an engaging and unique book. I look forward to reading the next installment in the series.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 299 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-September-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Buy Link