Locke & Key are back and it’s a triumphant return!

The Magnolia Murders CoverThe Magnolia Murders by Aimee Nicole Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s always a risk going back to a beloved pairing but Aimee Nicole absolutely nails this return to the world of Royce Locke & Sawyer Key.

Fear not, there’s no messing about with their happy, other than the usual dilemmas about the next steps to take and worries about whether they’re good enough for the other.

The narrative which surrounds their relationship is a beautiful one, filled with the love that oozes between the two men and with declarations of pride and happiness.

But what I adore the most about this Savannah based series, is just how much work Aimee puts into making the mysteries top quality. You could take out the romance elements of the Locke & Key stories and still have a 5* murder mystery read.

Of course, it wouldn’t have the delicious relationship at its heart which makes these books so special. On top of that, we also get a secondary thread with Royce trying to reconnect to his sister and her kids which is played alongside the investigation.

What I really loved about Magnolia Murders is that we get two cases. Sawyer is promoted and put in charge of a Cold Case Team, looking into the deaths of three beauty queen pageant winners spanning back 38 years.

While Royce is offered a new job running a team working with teenagers interested in joining law enforcement, he’s still working fresh murders and there’s been a new Magnolia murder.

The clever way the cases unwind is brilliantly done, and there’ll be no spoilers here, suffice it to say, I was enthralled throughout as the twists and turns wrap around both the cold cases and the latest killing.

With the stakes getting higher, Royce and Sawyer work every angle to try and bring resolution to families who’ve been dealing with the loss of their daughters for decades while also bringing the heat to their own relationship.

The way they love each other is palpable, they’re both nurturing but also capable of stoking the fires of passion high and this book is explosively hot!

I’m so happy Aimee went back to this world, I’d happily read a bajillion more stories with this bunch of characters. I will say, you do need to read the Zero Hour Trilogy before these if you want to get the full depth of Royce & Sawyer’s love affair.

The Magnolia Murders also lays down some new story threads which I suspect are going to be running through the next two books as well and all I can say is bring it on!

#ARC kindly received from the author via GRR Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review

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