Book Review by Mel: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, by KJ Charles

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secret casebook of simon feximal kj charles

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, by KJ Charles
Publisher: KJC Books
Release Date: June 16, 2015

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell
September 1914


M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Paranormal Romance
Ghost Hunter

Content Warning for:
Mention of Past Child Abuse
Blackmail Related to Homosexuality

Review by Mel

This book made me very happy. If you happen to not have read it, although it’s been out quite a while, you do not want to miss it. I picked this book up now because there’s a new series coming out this summer that is set in the same universe as Simon Feximal and I wanted to read up on this.

KJ Charles has quickly become one of my favourite authors and everything I’ve read by her lately has been just wonderful. Like usually, the historical setting is palpable and an integral part of the book. There are many different places the reader can explore in this book and many English folklore and ghost stories to indulge in.

The format of the casebook worked really well for me. On the paranormal side of the story, there is not one overarching mystery but many different cases to solve, which made this a fast-paced and interesting reading experience. On the other hand, Simon and Robert as individuals and their relationship develop over the course of the whole book, so that is doesn’t appear like an anthology or just some random pieces. This dichotomy was very impressive and rewarding for me as the reader. I want to add here, though, that the very first case in the book seems more separate in style and was to me the weakest point of the book. The reason may very well be that this case was originally published on it’s own. The rest of the book more than makes up for it, though.

The cases where multi-facetted and never boring. Some of them scarier or bloodier than others. Some more centred on the case, while others focused more on Simon’s and Robert’s relationship to each other or to secondary characters.

The romance… *sigh* Oh my… I absolutely loved it. My heart still goes all mushy just thinking about it. These two together are just beautiful. They can be tender and romantic, strong and independent, fighting or making love… I seriously loved everything about their love story. And the ending… Man, it’s just perfect.

Simon Feximal was a delight to read and I cannot wait to dive into this new series that is right on the horizon waiting for me to dive in.


KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or email her at kjcharleswriter {at] gmail {dot} com. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.

You can purchase The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal from:
Google Play
Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

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8 thoughts on “Book Review by Mel: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, by KJ Charles

  1. Ooh, I didn’t know about the new series. That’s exciting.

    I really loved The Secret Casebook. That said, I want to mention that a few of my online reading friends wanted a more clear cut hea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hehe, you’re welcome. I am super excited about more books.

      I especially liked the ending! It seems I forgot to mention it above. I thought it was lovely and I didn’t need it spelled out. But even if they didn’t make it, I believe their life was fulfilled…


      • Yeah, I thought it was really lovely too and I thought it fit the rest of the book, which also didn’t exactly fit genre romance conventions. And it was still lovely and romantic.


  2. Pingback: Advanced Book Review by Mel: Spectred Isle, by KJ Charles | Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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