Lessons in Power by Charlie Cochrane

Cambridge Fellows Mysteries

Samhain Publishing

Gay Historical / Mystery

ISBN: 978-1-60504-750-8

Reviewed by Cassie



Cambridge Fellows Jonathon “Jonty” Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith have finally moved from their rooms at St. Bride’s into their own cottage nearby.  Having solved several mysteries and gone through a lot in their time together, they are ready to settle down into calm domesticity and a bit of rugby for fun.  They don’t get much of a chance to relax, however, before they’re faced with a new mystery courtesy of Matthew Ainslie, a man they met while solving a previous crime.  Ainslie wants them to help prove a friend of his didn’t commit murder.  Much to Jonty’s horror, the victim turns out to be one of the boys who tormented him at school, leaving emotional scars that still haven’t healed.  Orlando and Jonty take the case, but will the terrible secrets they learn be too much for Jonty to bear?

Lessons in Power is another great installment of the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries.  Charlie Cochrane’s writing really conveys the historical setting.  I love her descriptiveness and wordy-in-a-good-way style.  In this installment, Orlando has fully recovered from the events of Lessons in Disovery, and Jonty and Orlando are happy in their new home.  Of course, a case pops up to throw a wrench in the works (although not in a terribly contrived way, fortunately).  In Lessons in Power, Jonty and Orlando have a bit of a reversal in their roles.  The normally sunny, happy Jonty is weighted down by awful memories of the abuse he endured in school.  Ms. Cochrane deals with a painful subject in a sensitive manner, neither making light of it nor making it seem insurmountable.  Orlando, whose normal role is to be analytical, shows his protective and emotional inner core.  Watching him try—sometimes unsuccessfully, although he never gives up—to help Jonty through the resurgence of his memories is sweet, and it made me love Orlando even more than I already did.  The mystery itself is a twisty affair, with lots of horrible revelations and scandalous secrets.  As always, Jonty and Orlando manage to put things to rights, bringing Lessons in Power to a satisfying conclusion for most of the characters involved.  Fans of the Cambridge Fellows series will be certain to enjoy this installment, just as I did.  Anyone new to the series ought to start with the first one and work their way up to this one, as they’re all quite good.


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