More Josh Lanyon Lovin!

This is my second installment of all Josh Lanyon reads.  The reason for this is simple, I love her style and when I find a good one I suddenly decide to binge read one after the other.

If you are a mystery reader and enjoy the M/M genre, Josh Lanyon is a must read.  Dead serious.  Must read.

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Mermaid MurdersThe Mermaid Murders
The Art of Murder book #1
Genre: M/M Contemporary Mystery
Publication Date: August 1st, 2010

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Special Agent Jason West is seconded from the FBI Art Crime Team to temporarily partner with disgraced, legendary “manhunter” Sam Kennedy when it appears that Kennedy’s most famous case, the capture and conviction of a serial killer known as The Huntsman, may actually have been a disastrous failure.

For The Huntsman is still out there…and the killing has begun again.

The Mermaid Murders was exactly what I look for in a Josh Lanyon mystery.  The JL books I like are the ones that are true mysteries.  I don’t mind if they read like old fashioned cozy mysteries like Holmes & Moriarity, or if they read more like FBI thrillers like All’s Fair.  I just know that I want a good length of page, a solid mystery, and two super awesome main characters.  I also need wit and humor, obviously.  And Romance.

I got all of that in Mermaid Murders.  In fact, this book probably had the strongest series start compared to the others.  West and Kennedy had great chemistry that manifested itself first in antagonism.  West is there to keep his eye on Kennedy, and therefore Kennedy won’t trust him right off the bat or accept his help.  You can’t blame the guy, even though West seems nice.

The mystery was interesting, and it was one of the first JL books that I didn’t figure out the whodunit before the end.  That’s not an insult, I tend to have a knack for picking out the bad guy early on.  I even liked the open ending, knowing that there’s going to be a sequel.  (One that I’m eagerly awaiting, btw.)

The only reason that I doubt The Art of Murder series will surpass Homes & Moriarity as my favorite JL series is simply because of the characters.  I didn’t mind West and Kennedy, they were sweet, but I effing ADORE Kit and JX.  (Tucker & Elliot come in second.)  Perhaps that will change with the next book, The Monet Murders (releasing in 2017)…

Rating: 5 Stars = A

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Ghost Yellow SocksThe Ghost Wore Yellow Socks
Currently Standalone
Genre: M/M Contemporary Mystery
Publication Date: November 10th, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

There’s a dead body in Perry Foster’s bathtub. A dead body in a very ugly sportscoat and matching socks. The dead man is a stranger to Perry, but that’s not much of a comfort; how did a strange dead man get in a locked flat at the isolated Alton Estate in the wilds of the “Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont? Perry flees downstairs to get help and runs into “tall, dark and hostile” former navy SEAL Nick Reno.

Reno doesn’t have a lot of time for drama queens, but, convinced that Perry’s jitters are based on something more than caffeine overdose, he heads upstairs to investigate. By then the body has disappeared. If there’s one thing Nick has learned the hard way, it’s to mind his own business. But Perry Foster doesn’t believe in ghosts and isn’t willing to let sleeping dead men lie. And Nick just can’t convince himself to walk when it’s becoming increasingly obvious someone wants the sexy young artist out of the way — permanently.

I’m going to be honest, romantic books less than 200 pages aren’t really on my radar.  Usually I need a lot more page time than that, so I generally discredit romance books so short.  However, Josh Lanyon just told her fans that she would be working on a sequel for The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks, and that she was doing the sequel because this book won a poll for which book she should turn into a series, or something like that.

It won a poll.  That means that a pretty large group of fans voted that this book was the one that should be continued, and that means that it should be pretty darn good and I should read it.  So I did.

What can I say about this one… Well, to start, Jefferson Blythe is probably my least favorite Lanyon book but this one would be second to last.  It’s not that it wasn’t good, because it was.  It had an interesting plot.  The setting was spooky, and the suspect list was full of oddballs that helped set the crooked mood.  Nick and Perry were interesting characters, and I don’t have a problem with The Alpha and the Twink trope.  (Too Stupid To Live is one of my favorites…)

I think the biggest setback I had was that Perry was waaay too innocent.  There were far too many moments where Reno reflected on Perry’s youth, and calling him ‘kid’ and talking about how he looked like a child.  It was so heavy that when things finally turned intimate between Perry and Reno I was actually turned off.  It just felt wrong.

Still, I love Josh Lanyon enough that when this sequel is written I’ll be auto-buying and reading immediately.

Rating: 3 Stars = C

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WinterWinter
The Haunted Heart book #1
Genre: M/M Contemporary Mystery
Publication Date: May 5th, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Still grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the ramshackle old house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle’s mysterious museum.

But not all the items are that easy to catalog. Or get rid of…

Winter.

Since Alan died, Flynn isn’t eating, isn’t sleeping, and isn’t spending a lot of time looking in mirrors. But maybe he should pay a little more attention. Because something in that 18th Century mirror is looking at him.

˃˃˃ The Haunted Heart series. Four seasons. Four ghosts. Two hearts.

What Winter taught me is that I don’t actually want Josh Lanyon to step into the paranormal.

That’s not to say I didn’t like this book, because I did.  It also doesn’t mean that she can’t write paranormal, because it was actually decently creepy.  I think what I mean when I say I don’t want her to write paranormal is that she’s got such a niche already.  Her mysteries are so good that she’s the only mystery author I read.  I don’t think she should attempt to dive in with the other paranormal authors.  I’m not sure her paranormal was so good that she could compete with other amazing M/M Paranormal authors like Jordan Castillo Price.  I also don’t think I want two of my favorite authors competing like that.

It also could be that although there were scenes that were decently creepy, overall the plot of Winter felt weak.  That’s rarely something I say about one of JL’s books.  Usually the plot is as interesting as the romance.  In this case I cared far more about Flynn and Kirk than I did about the ghost.  Reading what Flynn was going through after Alan, how he felt, paired with Kirk’s PTSD, that was what made this book as good as it was.

Again, just like The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks the genre complaint isn’t going to prevent me from jumping all over the sequel, whenever it’s released.

Rating: 3.5 Stars = B-

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