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  • A Dangerous Thing by Josh Lanyon.

I knew Adrien English was a gay bookseller and part-time amateur sleuth with a knack for stumbling upon bodies. I knew that Lisabea was crazy about this series. It sure was enough to make a girl curious.

A Dangerous Thing

And Adrien English is a very easy hero to love. He makes mistakes. He is human in his fears and reactions. He is also a good man, a species too rare, loyal and with an old-fashioned sense of honor when the people he cares for are concerned. Plus, he has a bookstore and a classical CD collection to die for.

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That Adrien is a mystery buff and gay aspiring writer makes you wonder how much the author put of himself in this character. But that is probably none of my business. Adrien is also clever and stubborn, ideal qualities for the amateur sleuth. And Mr Lanyon makes a nice job of building them up. The plots are varied, detailed and well-set, with no obvious holes that would jerk you out of the story.

Obviously, Miss Marple I am not, but I still give kudos to Josh for making it so the solution was never an obvious one. Through him we discover new facts and are introduced to a varied cast of characters with a myriad of possible motives and secrets that may or may not have to do with the crime s. Mr Lanyon makes a good job of developing them, villains, bystanders and regulars alike, with a wit and economy of description that is nevertheless effective.

But the main reason that kept me reading was to know what would happen between Adrien and his love interest, cop Jake Riordan. Jake, Jake, Jake. But it was just as obvious that in the long term, their relationship was a disaster waiting to happen.

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Jake is big, blond, handsome with a killer body, a total alpha male. Or, as he puts it, someone who has sexual desires for people of the same sex. He despises himself so much for his homosexual urges that in denial, he will hurt Adrien, badly, cruelly. Yet I cannot find it in me to hate him. I feel he is more to be pitied, because despite his actions, it is obvious he cares for Adrien.

But I am an optimistic person so I want to believe it can. I saw the most loathsome characters redeemed in books in the past, so I wish very hard it happens to Jake as well. We are currently looking for folks interested in reviewing books with us. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Email Address. The Story of Home: A bolt from the blue. Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. You should receive instructions for resetting your password.

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Fatal Shadows / A Dangerous Thing (Adrien English Mysteries, #1-2)

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Works (10)

Most Read in Culture. Short stories.

Deus Absconditus, a short story by Mary Costello. Transatlantic Railroad, a short story by Mary M Burke. These stories are told in the first person and English is a great narrator. Like many titular characters, his personal relationships have been unsuccessful. The first novella is Fatal Shadows which introduces Adrien to the reading audience. An employee and old acquaintance of his is murdered and Adrien looks to be the prime suspect. To prevent going to prison, Adrien is forced to do some investigating of his own and in doing so, puts his own life in danger.

The Finches are writing partners, which seems like a surefire way to destroy a healthy marriage, but what do I know? My social life was pronounced DOA many moons ago. They met at one of the Bouchercon mystery conferences. Love among the midlist. I murmured noncommittally and picked up the gold-edged pink tea cup.

The handle was too small to actually get my fingers through. I always felt like I was playing house at these brunches. All that was missing was a giant imaginary friend. I could have used a friend here. I tried to think of someone who might send me flowers. The mysteries themselves, both in Fatal Shadows and A Dangerous Thing , the second novella, are interesting but not innovative.

What makes this book, or collection of stories sparkle, is Adrien himself.

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This works well because it not only shows the reader a more fulsome view of things, but it also shows the reader that the Adrien is truly sharp enough to be a good detective. The added benefit is the emotionally moving relationship that develops between Adrien and detective Riordan. He still sleeps with women and wants to live what he deems a normal life. His attraction to Adrien is one of great reluctance. Riordan was not remotely my type.

Even without the whips and canes and butt plugs. Not presuming to judge, just not something I wanted for myself.

enter And yet there was something about his strength, his arrogance, his sheer size that got under my skin.