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Fatal Shadows [Paperback]

Josh Lanyon
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Paperback, May 2007 --  
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Book Description

May 2007
Adrien English Mystery Series #1 Someone's out to get Los Angeles bookseller Adrien English. His best friend has been viciously murdered, now he's getting weird phone calls and sinister gifts from a mysterious "admirer." The cops think he's trying to divert suspicion from himself-with the exception of sexy and homophobic homicide detective Jake Riordan. Is Riordan really such a great detective--or does he have a few secrets of his own? Is his offer to help Adrien on the level or is he out to nail his favorite suspect -- to the wall?

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Product Details

Product Description

From the Publisher

Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder one sunny morning. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening.

Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien's shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself.

Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer's list. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Adrien English is attractive, successful and gay. But life changes for Adrien when his boyhood friend is murdered and Adrien becomes the cops' prime suspect. Soon Adrien realizes jail may be the least of his problems. First someone ransacks his shop, then the phone calls begin: "Adrien, I'm going to kill you..."

I hope you enjoy FATAL SHADOWS, and I welcome your comments at JoshLanyon@aol.com. I'm currently working on DANGEROUS TO KNOW, the next book in the series. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising Start to a New Mystery Series! Jan. 29 2004
Adrien English was not at his best when the LAPD detectives called in the morning. He was disheveled, coffee-less and didn't feel any better when Detective Riordan informed him that Robert Hersey, his on-again-off-again friend and employee, had been murdered. He also got the distinct impression that he was a prime suspect in the murder. After all, he had dinner with Robert the night before he was murdered and was the last to seem him alive (besides the killer) and he was gay so he must have done it, right? Unfortunately, Adrien was not able to persuade the persistent police that he was not the killer, but they didn't arrest him...yet.
Adrien's life only got more complicated from that point as he found himself digging into the murder investigation, trying to clear his name, but always showing up at the wrong time or in the wrong place. He also started receiving threatening phone calls and knew that someone was out to get him. However, when he took his fears to the police and even presented them with a pattern of murders very like Robert's, Detective Riordan refused to give the ravings of a gay prima donna credence. Left on his own, Adrien keeps trying to solve the mystery while fending off creepy news reporter Bruce Green and trying to fight his feelings for the all too attractive Detective Riordan...
Fatal Shadows was a fast, fun mystery. I really liked Adrien as a character and enjoyed his sarcastic, wry sense of humor and subtle wit. Detective Riordan was also an interesting character and it is hard to tell what, if anything will happen between the two. The mystery was not rocket science and not very hard to figure out, even though it was a little farfetched and probably would never happen, but, hey, we're talking fiction here, right?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Promising - and Fun Read Oct. 20 2003
This is the first of a promising new series. The protagonist is a bit of a smart alec bookish book store owner with a heart problem. He came into a bit of money from his grandmother that allowed him to buy the book store and apartment above and which left him financially comfortable if not rich. The inheritance has also, conveniently, left him with the time and money to persue these surprising little mysteries that fall in his lap. The character is a bit of a stereotype, but a very likeable stereotype in this case.
The story develops quickly with an appropriate amount of red herrings thrown in to keep things moving along. A couple of characters pop up with very little backstory to explain them but that is a small quibble.
One of two weaknesses in this book is a character whose self loathing and general nastiness make him repulsive despite descriptions of his physical georgeousness and appeal (which the author lingers over generously). The character just doesn't feel right in the story until quite late in the book. It takes quite a while for the reader to accept this character and a good thing they do because he's heavily involved in the second installment of this series. The other problem with the book - for all it's good qualities - is extremely bad editing. Misspellings abound and in one case a paragraph simply stops mid sentence, mid-page. Somebody's wordprocesser's delete key burped and it was never discovered all the way through press. That's hard to believe in this day and age.
The main character reminded me a little of the fussiness of Angela Landsbury's character in the Murder She Wrote series. Although this character is a youngish, good looking gay man and has a heart condition - the way he acts still reminded me of the Murder She Wrote character...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Move Over, Hansen and Nava, Here Comes Lanyon May 22 2002
This is a hugely entertaining first book in a proposed new mystery series set in L.A. The mystery
surrounding the brutal murder of a young gay man is deftly and cleanly handled. What makes the
book really go is the narrator, Adrien English, whose best friend and erstwhile lover (sort of)
Robert has been stabbed to death in a Los Angeles alley. Adrien finds himself implicated in the
crime, but, worse, he's being stalked himself by the person who likely killed his buddy.
Adrien is a wonderful character and narrator, a real person, unlike some protagonists of more
established and touted series. He's funny without being mean and smart as a tack.
This is a smart book, well-paced, sweet, and suspenseful too. What more could one ask for?
Well, the second installment. I can't wait for A DANGEROUS THING!
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5.0 out of 5 stars In my top five percent... Dec 24 2001
Josh Lannyon writes in an even, unpretentious, relaxed style. There is very good character development, ingenuity of plot, believability, dialogue, and pacing.
I read mystery 90 minutes per day, year in and year out, and I can say that "Fatal Shadows" rates easily in my top five percent.
In-context humor is also important to my enjoyment. It demonstrates to me that the author has done careful in-depth thinking about his manuscript; it demonstrates his skill and his love of his work.
Consider these:
"...isn't this too much of a coincidence?" ... I thrust the 'In Sympathy' card at Riordan. He read it. Turned it over. Handed it to Chan. Said gravely, "It's not a Hallmark."
I poured some brandy in my Ovaltine. Not bad. Next round I poured some Ovaltine in my brandy.
"How's the heart?" "Takes a licking, keeps on ticking."
"...I hadn't had a date in six months." "But --?" "No butts." He laughed. After a second it clicked and I laughed too. "Not on the first date anyway," agreed Bruce.
I look forward to the second in this series.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fatal Shadows by Josh Lanyon (Adrien English Mysteries Book #1) - 4.5...
Adrien English is a writer of mystery novels and owner of Cloak and Dagger Books, the bookstore with the largest selection of gay and gothic mystery titles in Los Angeles. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2010 by Indie Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting mystery
I enjoyed this book in spite of the proofing errors throughout. I learned to simply ignore sentences that had words thrown in that didn't belong. Read more
Published on Oct. 10 2010 by Dr Max
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying
The book is a reasonably entertaining quick read, at best.
The typos went from mildly annoying to incredibly frustrating as the novel progressed - at two points it seems that... Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003 by Richard D. Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars Very quick but fun read
Enjoyable read. Its refreshing to have a gay detective (sort of) I will read his other book as well. Just wish it was a bit longer. Read it in a few hours. Fun though.
Published on July 8 2003 by RICHARD D. WILLIAMS
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun an fast
I liked this book quite a bit. It was fast read (1 day), but kept my interest. I usually read the last chapter, either because a book is going on & on and I'm bored... Read more
Published on March 30 2003 by Katielee
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read
Just finished Fatal Shadows - staying up late to find out the ending. I highly recommend this book to fans of gay mysteries. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2003 by RMS Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start of a promising series
This is a well crafted and suspenseful thriller though a trifle short. I finished it in one sitting. I just could not put it down. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2002 by R.Parklane
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but too many mistakes
I was up untill 3:30 in the morning reading this book. That's always a good sign. It is fast faced and interesting. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2002 by S. A. Loibner II
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and satisfying
I really like this book and have been waiting (im)patiently for the next one. Although it is very short, and doesn't have a lot of literary "filler", I never got lost. Read more
Published on March 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read
This was the first book I have read of Mr. Lanyon. I could not put it down! Great characters....suspense...could not figure it out until the end......
Published on Jan. 16 2002 by Lewis C. Pizer
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