Review: Cosplay Killer by Dahlia Donovan

Ready for a cozy mystery? Come find out what happens when an autistic firefighter and his paramedic boyfriend share a thirst for true crime…


Cover Design: BookSmith Design

Osian Garey and Dannel Ortea live together in a colourful flat in Covent Garden. They run a podcast and throw themselves wholeheartedly into Cosplay, video games, and musical theatre.  This year, they’re all fired up to attend their annual convention with a group of first responders.

When Osian finds a paramedic friend murdered in the middle of the crowded venue, the police immediately turn their attention to him.

They have one question on their mind.

Is he the first witness on the scene or the killer?

As the mystery unfolds, Osian has to face the trauma of his last job as a paramedic. Somewhere in those memories, a killer waits to exact revenge. They’ll have to prove Osian’s innocence and fight for their own survival when the killer puts them both in their sights.


“I’m going to insist you come with us to formalise your statement.” Detective Inspector Khan got to his feet. He focused on Osian and Dannel briefly. “Please stay in your flat. Don’t take any more unnecessary risks. If he’s right, they’ve no interest in stopping until they’ve gotten a hold of you.”

With those words of warning, the detectives escorted Chris from their flat. Osian locked the door, then rested his forehead against the wood. Dannel joined him, wrapping his arms around Osian from behind.

“This is not your fault.” Dannel brushed a kiss against the back of Osian’s neck. “Don’t let this ruin all the progress you’ve made. You did everything possible to save lives that day.”

“I know.” He twisted around in Dannel’s arms. “Have I mentioned I love you?”

“We’re not going outside.” Dannel eyed him suspiciously. “Are we?”

Osian grinned at him. “Don’t you want to see how Ian is doing?”

“I want to keep anyone else from getting hurt. I don’t think our presence at the hospital will do anything to help Ian.” Dannel led him away from the front door. “Why don’t we record the podcast? It’ll keep us both out of trouble.”


Grabbing a bag of crisps from the cupboard, Osian snagged two bottles of ale as well. They got comfortable in the living room to finalise the script for their podcast. He was glad he didn’t only keep notes on his laptop, since the detectives had it.14

Ossie is right. You cannot help loving Dannel, because he is adorable. (smile)

Dannel reminds me of me so it is no wonder I immediately connected with Dahlia Donovan’s new investigating team in the Cosplay Killer.  I love cosplay and I always thought a comic-con would be the best place to kill someone as no one is who they say are. Donovan takes it a step further and nothing is as it seems.

Donovan tackles the emotional toll being a first responder can have on a person. The different ways that people respond to this type of stress are fully explored. Ossie is a paramedic and Dannel is a firefighter and each have different types of stressors yet they have very similar ones. Donovan showcases both of their inner turmoil and what they think they show to friends and coworkers.

Cosplay also focuses on how your family treats you when they think there is something wrong with you. I find Myron’s re-entrance into Dannel’s life fascinating and like Dannel I am suspicious as to what instigated this reentry. 

On top of this everyday life drama, Donovan kills off one of the gang’s own members. There is no chance for every one to really deal with the grief, so I am curious how Donovan will display this in later books. Immediately after the killing, suspects are everywhere and Ossie and Dannel are right in the middle of it. 

I guessed part of the mystery, but was completely thrown by the entirety of it. Donovan has once again got me in one of her mysteries. Awesome! I love being surprised with a mystery. 

Donovan creates an interesting set of secondary characters that I cannot wait to see more of in future stories. I will confess that I want Abs with a girl and not you know who. Ian is hilarious and I can already see a murder at the theater. I really am crushing on the Fire Chief because he is just that bear you want in your corner – lucky Dannel. 

Basically I am already hooked on a series that has just begun and we get in on the ground mystery. True crime podcasts here we come as Ossie and Dannel move even deeper into the quagmire of real-life. Cosplay Killer is the mystery to get cozy with this winter.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Release price is now $2.99 and moves to full price of $3.99, so grab it today!

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Further Details:
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing, 978-1922359346, 5 December 2020
Editor: Hot Tree Publishing
Series: London Podcast Mystery, Book 1; Settings: London, U.K.
Pages: 211; Sex: N/A
SC: Bisexual



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