REVIEW : The Flourishing -Leicester Trilogy Book #1- Merlina Garance

The Flourishing Book Cover The Flourishing
Leicester Trilogy Book #1
Merlina Garance
LGBTQ Mystery, Lesbian Fiction
May 20, 2023

When Andy Campbell, Detective Inspector in Leicester, gets assigned the case of Mr Parry’s disappearance, she expects to find nothing else than an umpteenth marriage ruined by a husband taking off with his mistress.

Instead, she ends up investigating a murder case, and struggling to fight her attraction for the wife of the missing man. When she realises the feelings are mutual, things definitely get complicated…

A secret, forbidden relationship caught in the middle of a murder investigation... Can it become something more?

Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Andy Campbell and Claire Atkins are Detective inspectors in Leicester, best friends, partners and gay. They are both in their forties and have just been given a missing persons case. Andy is not what you would expect in a detective, when she is angry everyone knows it whereas Claire is the one always trying to calm her down.

John Parry is missing; his boss and wife have filed reports and Claire and Andy have been chosen to work on the case. Andy doesn’t hesitate to express her dislike of the case, figuring it was just one more case of a husband running away with his new younger girlfriend but despite her disappointment she had a job to do. She went to the Parry’s home to speak to the wife but when there was no answer, she just opened the door and walked in. Mrs. Parry had been in the shower and when she greeted Andy, she was totally naked.

Mrs. Parry was less than pleased but acted as a perfect host offering tea and willingly sitting down to answer questions. The house was immaculate not a dust bunny in sight but that was not the only thing bothering Andy, when she asked for the wife’s phone number, she was informed that she didn’t have one, the refrigerator did not contain a lot of food and Andy had a gut feeling things weren’t right in the Parry home.

Each time Andy visits the house she becomes more and more suspicious, her suspicions are directed towards the husband and her belief he abused his wife. Andy finds herself attracted to Mrs. Parry and tries to make sure that nothing can happen to her. Her husband John is still at large and when a video shows him with another man and that man turns up dead it becomes imperative that Andy assures the wife’s safety.

Andy fights with herself not to let her attraction go too far and as an officer of the law she knows what a risk it would be if she allowed herself to give in. When the wife openly shows her attraction to Andy all bets are off and not giving in gets swept out the door. Thalia was forced into marriage when her parents learned about her sexual preference and now, she has a woman she cares about, a husband on the run now considered a murderer and the woman she cares about risking her job to protect her. Staying on the case is wrong on so many levels for Andy especially the fact that all she wants is to kill John Parry.

Claire tries to pull Andy back from destroying her career, but it is no use, Andy has found love after years being alone and she can’t see her way back. John must be found but each time they have information on where he could be it turns out to be just one more waste of time.

I know this book is supposed to be a mystery, but I couldn’t get my teeth into it since most of the story centered around the romance between Andy and Thalia. The mystery is solved at the very end of the book, and it would have been much more interesting if there was some clue earlier on in the story.

There was little suspense but saying that I did find the characters wonderful.

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