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Fatal Shadows (2000)

by Josh Lanyon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Adrien English Mysteries (1)

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4064162,095 (3.97)27
Adrien English runs a small bookstore in Pasadena, which is reputed to have the largest collection of gay and gothic whodunnits around. But mystery invades his own life one morning when his best friend is found stabbed to death and he is seen as the most likely suspect. More murder and mayhem ensue in this nailbiting thriller with plenty of twists and turns.… (more)
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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
A Couple times the main character did something totally bizarre, like 'what could you possibly even be thinking?!', but overall he grew on me. Unfortunately I read The Mystery of Nevermore by Poe (basically fan fiction of this book) before this one, so I can't judge the mystery fairly. I feel like I might have cracked it otherwise, but I just can't ever know for sure because I basically got spoilers from that knockoff version of this book. It's disappointing because I didn't like that book, and I did like this one, and I would have enjoyed this one more if I hadn't read that one first. Oh well. I look forward to continuing with this series. ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Jul 21, 2023 |
This groundbreaking series started in 2000 at the late, very lamented Gay Men's Press, when there was a great deal less M/M fiction around.

In a lot of ways, that fact explains the unquestioning acceptance of the M/M audience of Jake's waffling about Adrien, for whom he clearly has a lot of feelings...even if he doesn't want to come right out and say so for quite a long time. This approach/avoidance dynamic doesn't play the same way it did in 2000. We'd probably call it "queerbaiting" today, and it really makes me personally feel squirmy, but I totally grandfather this book in under the "the past is a foreign country" rubric. I don't think being lenient with an artifact of a bygone era is always a mistake; more especially so when it's something as influntial as this book and series were in that barely-rememberable time.

I confess that, had the prose been less fun to read, I might be harsher. Author Lanyon is justly celebrated for her skill with dialogue. Funny when that's what the story needs:
“Just shut up and listen.”

“Well, since you ask so nicely...”

There was silence. I listened. He didn’t say anything.

“Are we communicating through the Psychic Hotline or what?”
–and–
“Drink your coffee—people in Africa are sleeping.”

...quietly intense in other moods:
I dug out the powder blue cashmere cardigan my mother Lisa gave me the Christmas before last, pulled on my oldest, softest Levi’s. Comfort clothes; the next best thing to a hug from a warm, living body. Lately there had been a shortage of hugs in my life. Lately there had been a shortage of warm, living bodies.
–and–
“Everything a gay man does makes a political statement. Everything matters: where you bank, where you shop, where you eat. When you hold your lover’s hand in public.”

Some verities are eternal, or so it seems....

What the reader gets by turning on this time machine is a hit of funny, a soupçon of sexy, a helping of gay awakening, wrapped in a pretty darn interesting mystery. I would have LOVED to see this as a TV series in the Aughties or the Teens; now, I just don't think it'd play that well. Not that I wouldn't sample it! But my hopes wouldn't be high.

The price of experiencing things after their time. Still, a very worthwhile read indeed. ( )
  richardderus | Jun 7, 2023 |
2.5 stars ( )
  Marlobo | Dec 24, 2022 |
NetGalley was offering this, so here's my review of this 2012 novel:

I enjoyed it. This is a cozy mystery for people who prefer a gay protagonist as their mystery POV character. I enjoyed the puzzle although I guessed the solution immediately. I liked the characters. This author is popular for a reason. This is my first novel by her, but unless I learn she's a horrible person, it won't be the last.

There's a series of incautious acts by our Mr. English that are not egregiously stupid, but annoyed me. Thus, four instead of five stars. ( )
  terriaminute | Dec 4, 2022 |
Adrien, you're a bit self destructive, but I love ya anyway. ( )
  fuzzipueo | Apr 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
added by gsc55 | editIt's About the Book (Jan 30, 2015)
 
added by gsc55 | editBoys in our Books, Jenni (Apr 18, 2014)
 
added by gsc55 | editMichael Joseph (Oct 1, 2013)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Josh Lanyonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Patton, ChrisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my parents, who reassured me early on that the rest of the world was “just jealous.”
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Adrien English runs a small bookstore in Pasadena, which is reputed to have the largest collection of gay and gothic whodunnits around. But mystery invades his own life one morning when his best friend is found stabbed to death and he is seen as the most likely suspect. More murder and mayhem ensue in this nailbiting thriller with plenty of twists and turns.

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