Peter Fontaine is a reporter writing for a free weekly newspaper in the quirky little town of Bellingham. Nick Olson is a reclusive painter with questionable past and a studio in the Vitamilk Building. Peter has a knack for choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case that place is the Vitamilk Building and the time is the moment that Shelley Vine, local art professor and rising star of the art world, is stabbed to death.
Determined to understand why Vine was killed, and convinced that breaking the story could jumpstart his career as an investigative journalist, Peter begins his own investigation into her death. As Peter uncovers more information about Vine, Olson, and the interconnected lives of the rest of the artists at the Vitamilk Building, he finds himself falling in love with Nick.
I’ve always enjoyed a good cozy mystery. Primal Red is my first M/M cozy and I absolutely loved it. What makes a good cozy to me? Enough secondary characters to make one wonder ‘who dun it’, a quirky amateur sleuth, a good best friend, and a good reason for the sleuth to be sleuthing.
Primal Red had it all. First off, I loved Peter, journalist with The Hamster, dreamer of being a big name one day, and a man who makes up interesting prose in his head no matter what time of day it is. His roommate Evangeline was quirky, fun, and gave him someone to bounce thoughts off of. And being embroiled in the murder from the beginning? Brilliant.
But I think the author had me from the ending of the first chapter. The police officer’s response to Peter’s reason for being at the Vitamilk building made me laugh. The characters were fun, quirky, and quick. I was hooked.
While I figured out relatively early who the killer was, it did not ruin the fun for me. Because there was a lot of fun in this book. From Peter’s flirting with Nick to Evangeline’s pubic toupee, to the Spinnin’ Wimmin. I loved this story.
The only downside was there was the occasional word that was missing. And I’m not talking about Dmitri’s speech. This was in the narrative.
But it was not enough to take away from my pure enjoyment of this cozy.
5 stars. Get it. Really. You’ll want to cozy up with Peter, Nick, and the artists at the Vitamilk Building.