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    REVIEW: In Other Words…Murder by Josh Lanyon

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    Holmes & Moriarity: In Other Words…Murder -Josh Lanyon

    Death reveals all secrets.

    Mystery author Christopher Holmes, now comfortably married to sometimes rival, sometimes nemesis J.X. Moriarity, is starting a new career as a true crime writer when threatening anonymous notes start arriving.

    Even worse, Christopher’s ex also arrives–asking for help locating the man he left Christopher for!

    It’s life–and death–as usual at Chez Holmes. In other words… Murder.

    Well, this answered The Question:

    “I love you, Kit. I just do.”
    I muttered, “Well, you don’t have to sound like it’s against your will.” 

    Compared to the other books in the series, In Other Words…Murder has the most slice-of-life feel to it, the mysteries more or less secondary, even tertiary, to Kit getting a huge deal from publishers, him and JX discussing honeymoon trips, and Jerry being on the loose again. A day in the life of Christopher Holmes certainly doesn’t lack for excitement as he goes from enduring Gage’s presence, sorting through unfinished manuscripts to fending off attacks by a psycho clown, getting JX a happy ever after cake, meeting the ex, feeling guilty about not connecting with old peers as much as he was suppose to, becoming a murder suspect and antagonizing the detectives by being his usual charming self.

    Gad I hate Jerry! The creep just gets into my nerves. Dear System, do you job and please put Jerry away for good.

    Felt sorry for JX. One of these days he might actually get a heart attack from all the life-threatening situations Kit gets into. But JX is rock solid (and healthy). Love him!

    Kit, at long last, realizing Julian Xavier Moriarity is it.

    My gaze wandered to J.X., who was listening to all this with an
    exasperated expression. As I studied his face, realization struck me.
    I’d stand by you. Whatever happens, I’ll be there for you.
    It was kind of shocking. Because it was true.

    Love the fact that he wasn’t in the least bit tempted by the ex’s advances. Good riddance to that loser!

    Kit put the past firmly behind. He has been inching his way forward with a nudge or two since the beginning but this time he wasn’t wavering. Also, he did something nice and romantic! Without being prodded! And he started writing again!

    This is the best Kit yet!


    review of Holmes and Moriarity books here
    review of Josh Lanyon books here

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: I’ll Be Your Man
    Artist: The Black Keys
    Album: The Big Come Up

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    REVIEW: The Boy With The Painful Tattoo by Josh Lanyon


    Holmes & Moriarity: The Boy With The Painful Tattoo – Josh Lanyon

    It’s moving day at Chez Holmes. Somehow, against Kit’s better instincts, he and J.X. are setting up house together. But while J.X. is off at a writing conference, Kit unpacks a crate that should contain either old books or new china. It doesn’t. Within the mounds of green Styrofoam popcorn is a dead body. A very dead body.

    There goes the neighborhood.

    Poor Kit! Forced to interact with JX’s ex-wife and her kid. I’d have my hackles up if I were in his shoes.

    Kit, who for some mysterious reason is adored by the wonderful JX Moriarity and we’ll just have to take Josh Lanyon‘s word for it, putters around the new house, discovers a dead body inside his crate and does exactly the opposite of what JX, an ex-cop, tells him to do. Typical.

    Also while his boyfriend is still away at some writer’s conference, Kit meets his biggest fan and gains a stalker who shows up at his doorstep bearing gifts and forces him to endure unwanted visits. Was again given dire warning by said boyfriend not to let the creep in. It, of course, went unheeded. Ugh, I totally don’t want to deal with Jerry.

    We all know that Kit could be unlikable but he has redeeming values which at his worst sometimes barely redeems him at all. I don’t expect him to completely pull his head out of his ass but I have faith he’ll get better, eventually. I keep hoping really, for JX’s sake.

    In all fairness to Kit, he’s really trying.

    Also complaining about him is like me grousing about my demon imp cat, Spook, who gives everyone the evil eye and avoids people like they’re diseased. She still gets a hug anyway.

    Lanyon takes a risk by having an MC with a difficult personality which makes for an interesting experience. I agree with one reviewer who said that an unlikable character doesn’t mean bad writing and Kit as a narrator was certainly very entertaining. The Holmes & Moriarity series took some of that cozy mystery elements as found in the Miss Butterwith books and made it gay and snarky. The mystery, this time, was much better executed and more enjoyable than the last although the tattoo in the title had no significance whatsoever.

    That Adrien English cameo!

    Also, Rachel is the best secondary character in the entire series! I love her bloodthirsty drive to put Christopher Holmes back on top of the bestsellers list. Her attempts to reinvent Kit were the funniest scenes in the series.

    Relationshipwise, the couple took major steps forward and since I’m assured they’ll get there (because it says so on the blurb of the fourth book) I enjoyed their journey more and how they grow as a couple without worrying that JL might decide to throw a curveball and send them their separate ways. But who knows, she just might.

    The Boy With The Painful Tattoo is Lanyon‘s take on those grim Scandinavian mysteries minus the snow. Despite his aches and pains, Kit put his “brilliant criminal mind” to use and with JX’s help, solved the mystery, put his house in order, fend off a stalker and survive a day at the zoo. Still not writing those books, tho.


    review of Holmes and Moriarity books here
    review of Josh Lanyon books here

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Meet Me Halfway
    Artist: The Futureheads

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    REVIEW: All She Wrote by Josh Lanyon

    Holmes & Moriarity: All She Wrote – Josh Lanyon

    Giving screwball mystery a whole deadly new meaning.

    A murderous fall down icy stairs is nearly the death of Anna Hitchcock, the much-beloved American Agatha Christie and Christopher Holmes’s former mentor. Anna’s plea for him to host her annual winter writing retreat touches all Kit’s sore spots: traveling, teaching writing classes, and separation from his new lover, J.X. Moriarity.

    For J.X., Kit’s cancellation of yet another romantic weekend is the death knell of a relationship that has been limping along for months. But that s just as well, right? Kit isn’t ready for anything serious and besides, Kit owes Anna far too much to refuse.

    Faster than you can say Miss Marple wears boxer shorts, Kit is snooping around Anna’s elegant, snowbound mansion in the Berkshires for clues as to who’s trying to kill her. A tough task with six amateur sleuths underfoot, six budding writers with a tangled web of dark undercurrents running among them.

    Slowly, Kit gets the uneasy feeling that the secret may lie between the pages of someone’s fictional past. Unfortunately, a clever killer is one step ahead. And it may be too late for J.X. to ride to the rescue.

    Warning: Contains one irascible, forty-year-old mystery writer who desperately needs to get laid, one exasperated thirty-something ex-cop only too happy to oblige, an isolated country manor that needs the thermostat cranked up, various assorted aspiring and perspiring authors, and a merciless killer who may have read one too many mystery novels.

    All She Wrote is the second book of the Holmes & Moriarity series. I’m guessing the title is a riff on Murder She Wrote, a whodunit tv series from days of yore a.k.a days when cable didn’t exist and satellite television was cutting edge.

    By the end of book 1, Somebody Killed His Editor, I was warming up to Kit and JX. At the beginning of this installment, Kit took a step backwards with his whining, commitment phobia and comments that were less witty, more bitchy than usual. He described himself as a curmudgeon and I do understand that he was burned before. His husband cheated on him with no less than his PA who was younger hence his tendency to blow his super minor 5-year age difference with JX out of proportion and “carry on like a 70-year old”. Meanwhile, JX completely won me over with his understanding of Kit’s issues and his trademark blunt but constructive commentary.

    J.X. said calmly, “You know what, Kit? I’m a big boy. I can look after myself. I know that right now the idea of a relationship paralyzes you. But I think you do care for me, or you wouldn’t have had the hospital contact me when you were hurt, and I’m willing to hang in here for a while longer. You’re worth it.” 

    My heart was hammering as though I was having a panic attack. “What if I hadn’t called you?” 

    “I don’t know. I can’t do this on my own, obviously. I wanted you to try and
    meet me halfway. Or as close to halfway as you could handle. That’s what this feels like.” He shrugged.

    Yay, JX!

    There were major character and relationship developments here. Kit didn’t let me down after all. He bucked up and met JX halfway. He even discovered a side to himself he didn’t know exist. Attaboy, Kit!

    There is also a running joke in the series where everybody can’t seem to take the Miss Butterwith books seriously, throwing shade now and then. Except JX who believes Kit is talented but is hiding behind his cozy mystery books. I also want Kit to get out of his comfort zone. I hope Josh Lanyon resolves this thread.

    There was a going nowhere feel on the mystery part but at the same time, I was riveted to the audiobook because Lanyon knows her business and Kevin R. Free is a great narrator. Kit and JX had no concrete evidence, mostly conjectures by the former. They were running around in circles and hitting brick walls. There were a bunch of supposedly eccentric characters, none of whom were interesting or likable. The deaths were not particularly gory, just emotionally painful. The motive was so goddamn vindictive and, IMO, petty, you will hate the already unlikable villain even more. As usual, I couldn’t guess who the killer was but on hindsight, one of the character’s less than forthcoming attitude should have tipped me off. Damn! I was also bracing myself for a hanging thread because that how she rolls but Lanyon kindly gave her readers closure on a key plot point so the book ended with me feeling contented.

    So while the mystery was not as fun as the last, I liked where Kit and JX are heading. Here’s hoping they get there.


    Comments on Somebody Killed His Editor here.

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Oxford Comma
    Artist: Vampire Weekend
    Album: Vampire Weekend

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9502791-all-she-wrote)

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    Holmes and Moriarity: Somebody Killed His Editor – Josh Lanyon

    For sixteen years reclusive mystery writer Christopher (Kit) Holmes enjoyed a very successful career, thanks to the popularity of elderly spinster sleuth, Miss Butterwith, and her ingenious cat, Mr. Pinkerton. But sales are down in everything but chick lit, and Christopher’s new editor doesn’t like geriatric gumshoes. It’s a pink, pink world for Mr. Holmes.

    At the urging of his agent, Christopher reluctantly agrees to attend a mystery writers’ conference at a remote Northern California winery. But no sooner does he arrive than he discovers the pajama-clad body of a woman in the woods. If nearly two decades of mystery-writing are anything to go by, the woman doesn’t appear to have died a natural death.

    With a storm in full force and a washed-out bridge making it impossible for law enforcement to come to the rescue, it’s practically like all those classic murder mysteries in isolated country manors that Christopher has been penning for sixteen years! If only Miss Butterwith was on hand. Or even Mr. Pinkerton…

    So I got sucked in another Josh Lanyon book. The thing with her is that her characters, in this case both MCs, takes getting used to or bluntly put, hard to like but happily, in the end, they always pull through.

    Christopher “Kit” Holmes is an incorrigible drama queen who can’t shut up and just had to make those inappropriate jokes but when he seriously puts his mind to work, he’s actually smarter than his verbal diarrhea made him seem. I don’t like the way Kit  keeps complaining about his “old age”. Seriously dude, you are only 39, that’s not old.  Kit had a “5-minute thing” with another mystery writer, JX, ten years ago and they meet again at the writers’ conference. JX Moriarity comes across as asshole-ish but he always made sure Kit is safe and that’s a big plus. JX is an ex-cop, so he took charge of the situation but that also puts him in a good place to hide evidence. He is 5 years younger than Kit, and is now more successful than him. He is the only one who calls Christopher “Kit” which I find really cute.

    As par for course, the mystery takes center stage. I love the trapped in a big house mystery trope and the shout out to (and possible shade on) The Cat Who series because it’s one of my favorite mystery series. I think smarter readers would have figured out the killer but me, I placed my bets on the wrong horses. I was even halfway convince that JX was the killer if it wasn’t for the fact that he was the love interest. Hell, I’m no Sherlock, sad to say.

    The romance was not fluffy. The old flames still burned and it was fun watching them deal with the past and present chemistry. But it’s also full of miscommunications because one talks too much and the other hardly explains himself. But somehow, it worked! When they talk properly that is.

    Holmes & Moriarity is another murder mystery series I’m committing myself to. Lanyon has a way with mysteries that just grabs you and keeps you riveted. This duo is typical of the author but also different enough to keep things interesting. I really liked the mystery writers solving actual mysteries premise and I want to see where Kit and JX take their relationship. Also if Kit comes up with fresh ideas for his new book or if he’s stuck with the regency/mystery/paranormal/erotica thing Rachel, his agent, is pushing for. Let’s face it Kit, it’s time to put a new spin on things but safe to say, I don’t think Rachel’s going to make you attend any writers’ conference anytime soon.


    Reviews of Josh Lanyon’s books here.


    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Jenny was a Friend of Mine
    Artist: The Killers
    Album: Hot Fuss

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31363985-somebody-killed-his-editor)