REVIEW: Mystery’s Afoot by Carmen Longacre

Cathryn Leander is a private investigator who dreams of living up to great-grandmother, Alice Proudfoot, LA’s female PI. The beautiful Rebecca Mayes steps into Cathryn’s office on immaculately-pedicured toes and offers Cathryn just the juicy case she’s been hoping for: Rebecca’s 23-year-old sister Kayla has been brainwashed by a foot fetish pornography studio, and is being forced to perform.

In order to save Kayla, Cathryn hatches a plan to infiltrate Spangler films posing as a model—But Damien Spangler’s Girl Friday, the beautiful and sure-footed Sadie Lavender, might be more than Cathryn bargained for. WIll she get Kayla out safely, or will she herself become the next brainwashed foot slave?

Warnings: Dubcon, depictions of con noncon,

Category: M/F, F/F

Mystery’s Afoot is a three part series of fetish novellas. It is a PI investigation story about a sinister sex-trafficking cult that has been luring women in with it’s pornography company front. The story focuses primarily on foot fetish, and on tickling fetish. While these are not my fetishes, I was interested in reading a genre of content I had never really delved into before… Unfortunately however, I was only able to read part one, as since purchasing it the author’s works have all been removed from Amazon and as far as I can find, are no longer available anywhere, which is a shame, because I really liked it.

This is written in a really fun style. It’s quite fast paced, and feels shorter than it is because it reads so smoothly. It’s very clearly evoking and parodying the noir genre, the hard-boiled private investigator, but it is light hearted and playful with the tropes of the genre. It knows its a porn parody and it’s very good at making it engaging to be so. I wish I had been able to read more of the story, as this first bit didn’t delve very far into the mystery, intending to set the stage for the real meat of the story, so I can’t comment on how well the mystery itself was fleshed out. Still, the bits that I did read were well written and engaging enough that I did very much want to keep reading.

I really did love Cathryn as a character, she was fun and her voice was relatable. Her sexual frustration and her playfulness were very engaging. I do wish that we had been able to see a bit more of her and her life and relationships before she dove directly into the mystery, but with a short novella like this time is often of the essence. The dialogue is well done, and feels natural. Cathryn as a woman slowly discovering a new sexual kink and turn-on is very lovingly portrayed, and I felt right there with her on the journey.

Worldbuilding is not a major feature of this novel; it takes place in a modern day and since I didn’t get into the book where presumably the sinister cult organization would be explored and fleshed out, I didn’t get to see much in the way of setting. It is intriguing however, and I was kept wondering more and more about them, if they hypnotize their victims or if they use other lures and ploys. Is it blackmail? Is it supernatural? This beginning stage of the story does a good job at building that suspense.

Every sex scene focuses on feet and tickling, and these fetishes are perfectly woven into the plot. Feet are described in vibrant detail, from toes to arches, the kind of detail I have never read before or thought about. Although I don’t find feet sexy, I totally bought that these characters do, and it was very fun to read. There are also a lot of scenes in this book where Cathryn is watching pornography, and the descriptions of the videos are so fun, and so engaging, with ultra hammy dialogue and playing across multiple kinds of situations and scenarios. This allows the book to feature con noncon and bondage without actually menacing Cathryn overly much, and I really loved that direction. There is also an inherently D/s aspect to the tickling fetish and the power exchange that these situations come with which I connected really well to.

I really loved this book, and am very sad that I can’t finish reading the full story. If the author ever makes their books available again, I will be first in line to purchase them!

Have you read Mystery’s Afoot? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

Unfortunately, Mystery’s Afoot is no longer available for purchase.

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