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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Smoked Havoc: A Cozy Murder Mystery Comedy by Rupert Harker is the third book in the Urban-Smith Cozy Mystery series. Fairfax Urban-Smith comes face-to-face with his arch-nemesis in this thrilling conclusion to the adventures of Urban-Smith and his partner Rupert Harker. When a man employs them to look into the activity of his biological father that happens to be a Duke, the two are drawn into a series of unexpected events which includes Rupert uncovering a betrayal, facing a shocking development in his relationship with Nell, and solving a case involving spontaneous combustion plaguing the city.
Rupert Harker ups the danger and the stakes the lovable duo faces in this thrilling new case that takes them up against Dr. Saxon Schwarzkrote for one last showdown. The case is full of surprises as Rupert begins with a run of the mill case that draws him and Urban-Smith into a new mystery as they investigate the discovery of a leg. The case ends with several twists that neither of the dynamic duo could have predicted as Rupert is taken on an emotional roller coaster in both his professional and personal life. Together they tackle the case with the same wisdom, humor, and craziness as the previous two installments. The case has the usual chaos and twists that are part of Harker’s engaging style, which includes found limbs, spontaneous combustion, and a final showdown with an arch-nemesis.
A few familiar faces return, bringing their usual candor and attitude toward the case. The relationship that stays constant throughout is the partnership between Rupert and Urban-Smith which at this point has an easy banter and a strong dynamic based on trust, loyalty, and respect. They may not agree on every point, but they see eye-to-eye on what matters most about solving murders and investigation methods. Harker has developed the friendship between the two characters over the course of the trilogy with heart, humor, and intelligence. Smoked Havoc is a thrilling mystery with new twists, surprises, betrayal, chaos, and fun.