Review Tour – Murder At Oakschott Hall by Jim Austen

A big welcome to Jim Austen as part of his review tour with Signal Boost Promotions for Murder at Oakschott Hall.


This story is a mash-up of Murder at School by James Hilton, so uses much of that story’s plotline and its characters. I’ve read mash-ups before and enjoyed the way they bring in elements of the original, yet tweak it to bring in another genre, in this case gay romance.

I liked the writing style of this story, with its tongue-in-cheek feel of its 1920s setting. It reads a little like a social commentary especially where Colin is concerned, so I thought that part of it read well. I also liked the reference in the description of Max to that of Rupert Brook, which gave me a lovely visual. However, I did find the amount of sex in the story to be offputting, and it detracted from the mystery detective story, which I enjoyed. I also felt the former didn’t gel with the time period. I found the countless footnotes very distracting, especially as I was reading an ebook so they stood out in the text as they were hyperlinked to a URL. I thought the description of Max’s experiences in the trenches was well done, yet that too jarred with me as most soldiers with PTSD—or shellshock as it was called at the time—didn’t talk about their experiences so readily.

I loved the twist in the tale, which I hadn’t anticipated, and although I guessed who the murderer was, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of that part of the plot.

I’d recommend Murder at Oakschott Hall to readers who enjoy mash-up mystery detective historical stories with a twist, and who don’t mind reading a lot of sexual scenes. 3 out of 5 stars.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Length: 50,000 words approx.


They have eyes for each other. But someone is eyeing them for murder. An erotic gay romance mystery.

In the Junior students’ dormitory at Oakschott Hall, a heavy gaslight falls from the ceiling, crushing the head of a student sleeping beneath it. Was it simply a tragic accident? To avoid publicity, the Headmaster asks Colin Revell, a young Oxford University graduate and former Oakschott student, to quietly investigate.

While interviewing the faculty and staff, Colin meets Max Lambourne, a handsome don who was wounded and gassed in WWI. When Colin tries to help Max overcome his trauma and depression, the two men fall in love and begin an erotic affair.

But when another student dies—diving at night into an empty swimming pool—murder is suspected. Students and faculty all come under suspicion, and rumors proliferate when Scotland Yard intervenes. Meanwhile, during all this confusion and wild theories, the murderer sees Colin and Max as threats. Unbeknownst to the two lovers, their lives are now in danger.

Author Bio

Born in 1984, Jim Austen grew up in Murphy, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a degree in communications and journalism. He works as a news producer for a station in Rhode Island.

Jim lives south of Boston with his wife and two children. A bisexual husband, he ‘came out’ to his wife 10 years ago after the birth of their second child. “My marriage and my gay life,” he says, “have each given me moments of great joy. However, it is a myth to believe a bisexual husband has the best of both worlds.”

Murder at Oakschott Hall is his first M/M romance novel. Jim is currently working on a novel about a bisexual married man called The Unfinished Husband.

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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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