I always enjoy a 'closed-murder' books -- meaning that the victims and suspects all stay in one place. Probably influenced by my reading a lot of Agatha Christie back when I was younger. Murder in an estate/house full of guests, on a train, or even on airplane. The limited space helps quickly eliminating suspects and motives while still gives way to open dark secrets. Therefore, the setting of Blood & Dirt definitely adds to my pleasure of reading it.
The mystery is pretty straightforward, the perpetrator and motive believable. Murder is not cases that Russ is familiar with -- and I like his take towards it. I don't know if it's his age or his history with alcoholism but I found Russ to be quite logical and pragmatist in dealing with the Ellis and Landrys alongside the local law enforcement. Russ knows his limitations and he's not planning to be a lone guy cowboy taking charge of the vandalism case as well as the murders.
In relationship fort, it seems that Russ is finally willing to move forward with Colin. Although half his age, Colin is an 'old soul' and I think he will be good for Russ. But in any case, I treat this book more as a mystery book (rather than romance) and for that I'm pretty satisfied.
Thanks for bringing this into my timeline, Didi