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review 2015-02-23 17:55
Death of a Pirate King by Josh Lanyon - My Thoughts
Death of a Pirate King (Adrien English Mystery, #4) - Josh Lanyon

This fourth volume of Adrien English mysteries keeps up the tradition of the other three.  It's two years after the previous book and there's a good mystery, terrific characters and a couple of interesting and important side plots.  There's Adrien's mom, his step-sisters, his step father and there's Guy and yes... there's Jake.  *sigh*  


I cannot begin to tell you the antipathy I feel towards Jake.  I don't want him with Adrien and I don't believe he's good for Adrien and I detest the way he talks and treats Adrien.  I find myself wanting to shake the hell out of Adrien every time he gets personal with freakin' Jake.  I understand conflict and disagreements and somehow insurmountable hurdles in a relationship, but in my mind, there's no reason for Jake to be so mean and nasty.  


While Adrien runs his bookstore and plays with his writing endeavours and worries about his health, he does his amateur sleuthing at the behest of one of the main characters, much to the - of course - dismay, obnoxious and unpleasant dismay of Jake who is now a police lieutenant.  The murder involves the movie community and the glitterati this time and wasn't quite as important to the narrative as a whole as were Adrien's reactions to the major players in his own life.  Had the balance been tipped a little more the other way, I think I'd have rated this a full 4 stars.  


I would really like to see more of Adrien with his mom, Lisa, and with his youngest step-sister, Emma.  I like the energy that they bring to their scenes, which are always among my favourites.  


So yep, another good read from Josh Lanyon and the series remains among my faves and easily recommendable.  :)

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review 2014-11-18 15:56
Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon - My Thoughts
Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mystery, #1) - Josh Lanyon

I do enjoy a good mystery and this one didn't disappoint.  This wasn't the first Josh Lanyon work that I've enjoyed but I think it is the one that settles me firmly on the Lanyon bandwagon.  


It's not a romance.  It's a mystery with a sort of romantic subplot. 


Adrien (with an 'e') English is the owner of a used bookstore and an about to be published mystery author.  His high school friend is murdered and the adventure begins.  

I liked Adrien a lot.  He's not perfect, he has flaws, but they are flaws I can relate to.  He has moments of uncertainty and confusion.  He can be a bit of a smartass at times.  And he has bitchy moments.  And he basically has my dream job - second hand bookstore and writer.  *LOL*  


The other characters were nicely formed and those that needed fleshing out were fleshed out.  There are a couple of weird ones and I'm looking forward to learning more about them further into the series.  I do lament the killing-off of one of them and up until the scene where it happened, I had no idea it was coming.  


The mystery was pretty good - it kept me wondering until the last couple of chapters.  It really could have gone either way in my mind.  And it did keep me turning the pages to find out what was going on - and isn't that the hallmark of a good mystery?  


I really enjoy Josh Lanyon's voice too.  I like how he writes, the way he puts stuff together, the balance between action, dialogue and exposition and just the overall rhythm of his books.  He's good.  :)


So I'm a fan.  Adrien English has stolen my heart a little bit and I'm looking forward to reading about his next adventure and seeing where that ending - which by the way, was perfect in it's open-endedness - takes us!  

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review 2014-05-25 05:57
wrap-up of the Adrien English series
The Dark Tide (The Adrien English Mysteries) (Volume 5) - Josh Lanyon

3 ½ stars. Overall a nice culmination to this series, but not a total sparklefest for me.


*light spoilers follow*

Adrien [with an ‘e’] is normally such a relateable character, however, but I didn't quite get him in this book. I can understand wanting to take time to physically heal before he confronted major emotional issues. And I can understand him having trust issues with Jake. But I don’t really why he was he going on dates with Mel? Thank goodness the Mel was exposed for being the weenie that he is. At least we had the voice of reason in Jake referring to Guy as Gandalf. Speaking of exes, Adrien’s mild obsession with Paul Kane and refusal to even think about Kate was uncharacteristically childish.


Jake was largely redeemed for many of his past transgressions, and almost came across as the knight in shining amour (with a puppy no less). I know it was pretty much a plot device, but it didn’t seem to make sense that the best thing for Jake was to get out of town. Is the best move for a newly out-of-the-closet man to become a sheriff in a small town in Vermont? Really? I don’t like how Kate was a faceless character in the book. I know, it wasn't about her, but surely Jake cared for her and that must have weighed on his psyche


Ok, even though I am complaining, it’s the push me/pull you not-quite-clicking dynamic between Adrien and Jake that makes the so compelling.


Whodunit.  It was ok. As it turns out, the murder involves

a gay cop

(spoiler show)

. That sort of reflective story in a story seems to be a favorite device of the author.

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review 2014-05-19 06:40
Adrien English binge weekend
A Dangerous Thing - Josh Lanyon
The Hell You Say: The Adrien English Mysteries (Volume 3) - Josh Lanyon
Death of a Pirate King: The Adrien English Mysteries - Josh Lanyon

Well, actually I started on Thursday.  I had read the first Adrien English book back in 2012 and was underwhelmed.   I had read it soon after Special Forces, The Administration and Captive Prince, which are tough acts to follow.  Because this series gets consistently high marks, I decided to revisit it this year.   I reread Fatal Shadows back in March, and it was ok.  Like Mind Fuck, it was the setup book for the pairing of Jake and Adrien and I see it as paying the dues for what comes next.   After a slow start, I am now a fan.  Some thoughts:


Unconventional romance.   Nothing comes easy for Adrien and Jake, and that keeps it interesting.   There are many Jake haters out there, and understandably so.  He is unavailable and hung up about his sexuality.    Everyone protests that Adrien deserves better, deserves someone who will be there 100% for him.  But the minute that happens, with someone else

the handsome eclectic dressing professor who calls Adrien 'lover

(spoiler show)

, GAH, you know it's not right!


Good supporting characters.  With a series,the secondary characters need to provide some continuity and support the story without taking over.  Even Adrien's mother Lisa who is a relatively OTT character serves the story well and helps us understand Adrien. There don't seem to be any extraneous secondary characters.   A pet peeve of mine is when secondary characters get too much page time in an author's attempt to create a spinoff book or series. 


Self referential humor.   Adrien is an amateur sleuth and writes books about an amateur sleuth.   And then the couple in the Partners in Crime group was writing a book where the MC appeared to be based on Adrien.  It makes me wonder if Lanyon has ever fancied himself as an amateur sleuth.   There are also lines in the book where the author seems to be speaking directly to the readers:  "He had a great voice, smooth and sexy.  I wonder if he had ever considered recording audiobooks".


Funny and Readable.  Adrien is witty and wry and gave me many LOL moments. Once I became engaged with the characters, I found the writing good and easy going.


Local setting, for me.  No doubt Lanyon is or was a LA resident (and LA =/= Orange County).   An added benefit for me, I know many of the restaurants and locations mentioned in the book.  His UCLA description was spot on.  This gave an added layer of visualization and I could see the scenes playing out cinema style.


Ok mysteries.  To me, the mysteries are vehicles used to introduce characters and create conflict.  I generally don't try to hard to figure who done it, I just let them take me where they go.  Of the three, I was most engaged with Death of a Pirate King.


Unclear time setting.  The first book seemed to take place in a pre-internet, pre-cell phone era.  There was mention of the Los Angeles Times Calendar section, answering machines and using *69.  It also seems to be an ok time to have an actual bookshop.   I know we only move forward in time about 2-3 years, but suddenly they have cell phones and internet, but no smart phones yet.  Somewhere along the way, Adrien mentions a website for his bookshop, but it doesn't seem to be doing any eCommerce and surely he would need to do that to stay alive.  


I plan to read the last book as soon as it pops up on lendle.



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review 2014-03-18 00:00
Fatal Shadows (The Adrien English Mysteries)
Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mystery, #1) - Josh Lanyon
I know I know, I'm a bit too late with my excitement and my new discovery of a F*CKING ADORABLE COUPLE!!

But better too late then never, right?

So...A late reading has it's advantages also.

I knew already before the reading:

imageThat it is one of the best MM series we have.
imageThat it is one of the best MM couples we have.

I just need to add:

imageJosh Lanyon is one of the best MM-writers EVER.
imageI LOVE his writing. LOVE IT!

Do I need to say more?????????????????????????

I ask myself: WHY FGS have I waited so long to start with the series?!
And the answer is very simple.
It is like a dessert.
We eat it at the end of a a three/five/seven-course-menu.
It is my dessert now.
So. Well done, Lena!

And now....
during all of you...
poor poor friends....
have to search for a right book....
get exasperated with disappointed instalments of other series...
hoping to find something valuable...
somewhat at least a little bit comparing to Adrien(with an -e-) English Mystery...
I can just seat back and be pleased with the next(how much? enough to make you jealous!) sequels...
that are supposed(according your reviews) to be better and better and better!!!!

I'm in love. Already.

Am I easy?

For Josh Lanyon YES. (My third of this author! He is great. GREAT)

For Adrien English YES. (He is very promising. And...I have a weak spot for writers. Always have and always will have! So- a perfect MC for my taste! YEAH!!!)

For Jake Riordan YES.(Mmmmmm....Tough, smart and sexy cop...Dominant? Delicious!)

It is a VERY BEGINNING. And a VERY GOOD start for a super series!
Now I'm hooked, addicted, drugged!


A late reading has it's advantages also.;))
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