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Suffering from writer's block and frustrated with his tentative relationship with hot but closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Jake Riordan, gay bookseller and mystery writer Adrien English travels to northern California where he finds a body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive, the body has disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur s Suffering from writer's block and frustrated with his tentative relationship with hot but closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Jake Riordan, gay bookseller and mystery writer Adrien English travels to northern California where he finds a body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive, the body has disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur sleuth. But when the game turns deadly, Adrien turns to Jake. Jake may be confused about some things, but keeping his lover alive is not one of them--no matter what the cost. Who are the mysterious strangers excavating on his land? And will he sort out his problems with LAPD Detective Jake Riordan, heavily into S/M sex but not so hot on relationships? Find out in this engrossing, slyly witty thriller.


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Suffering from writer's block and frustrated with his tentative relationship with hot but closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Jake Riordan, gay bookseller and mystery writer Adrien English travels to northern California where he finds a body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive, the body has disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur s Suffering from writer's block and frustrated with his tentative relationship with hot but closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Jake Riordan, gay bookseller and mystery writer Adrien English travels to northern California where he finds a body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive, the body has disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur sleuth. But when the game turns deadly, Adrien turns to Jake. Jake may be confused about some things, but keeping his lover alive is not one of them--no matter what the cost. Who are the mysterious strangers excavating on his land? And will he sort out his problems with LAPD Detective Jake Riordan, heavily into S/M sex but not so hot on relationships? Find out in this engrossing, slyly witty thriller.

30 review for A Dangerous Thing

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Re-read again... So after my last re-read, I decided to finally review these awesome books and adjust my rating ;) Let me start by saying this these books can not be read as stand-alones. It's a series and you have to start with book 1. Even I started with book 1 and everyone knows I love to so shit ass-backwards :P So those of you who have read book 1 already know who Adrien and Jake are, so I am not gonna go into that again. Those of you who haven't read book 1, I would seriously recommend that y Re-read again... So after my last re-read, I decided to finally review these awesome books and adjust my rating ;) Let me start by saying this these books can not be read as stand-alones. It's a series and you have to start with book 1. Even I started with book 1 and everyone knows I love to so shit ass-backwards :P So those of you who have read book 1 already know who Adrien and Jake are, so I am not gonna go into that again. Those of you who haven't read book 1, I would seriously recommend that you do ;) Adrien is suffering from a writer's block, which leads him to retreat to his ranch in California, which he inherited from his grandmother. He needs some time away to clear his head...time away from his life and from Jake. He doesn't even tell Jake is going. Jake is really confusing Adrien and Adrien doesn't know where he stands with the frustrating detective. He didn't expect to stumble on a dead body upon arrival though. It was quite a surprise for him and for me... Of course, this being Adrien, things are never easy and the dead body goes missing, so the sheriff won't believe him. Adrien, being the amateur sleuth that he decides to do some snooping around for himself which leads to him being knocked unconscious and send to the hospital. Waking up in the hospital, he finds Jake there. The sheriff contacted him when they found his card in Adrien's wallet. Jake decides to stay for a while and prevent Adrien from getting into any more trouble on his own. Bit by bit they get closer and yes there is some steam in this one... But to say it was very romantic... that's a big NO. Jake...he is quite the mess. He is so deep in the closet, that one of his closest friends is "Aslan". He is determined that he isn't gay...he doesn't want to be gay. What also became pretty clear in this book, is that Jake is not only spending sexy time with Adrien.... This wasn't the first time Jake pissed me off, and since I have already read every single book in this series, I can also say it wasn't the last. To be honest....at this point Adrien knows what he is getting into. He knows that his dreams don't match Jake's. He still can't help himself from falling though... no matter how hard he tries to protect his already fragile heart... "I could fee his heart banging away...It was the most beautiful sound in the world, and I closed my eyes as I listened and thought, I love you...There wasn't any future in it...The things I wanted from life -- and Jake -- weren't things he could give. But somehow at that moment it just didn't matter." The mystery in this one was very nicely done as well... I really enjoyed it. Now I already know what's in store for the next book, since I have read them all....but for those of you who are getting ready for book 3...buckle up :P

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    This was like I imagine a Hardy Boys book was like. They were a gay couple, right? With one of them firmly in the closet and the other out? I'm guessing that's why they always found reason to "hunt for clues" in abandoned places. Uh huh. Oh, you don't know how it happened? Sure. There is a creepy old house out in the middle of nowhere, dead bodies showing up, a possible drug business, an ancient curse, and even an old abandoned mine. Abandoned mines are useful for many nefarious activities. Of cours This was like I imagine a Hardy Boys book was like. They were a gay couple, right? With one of them firmly in the closet and the other out? I'm guessing that's why they always found reason to "hunt for clues" in abandoned places. Uh huh. Oh, you don't know how it happened? Sure. There is a creepy old house out in the middle of nowhere, dead bodies showing up, a possible drug business, an ancient curse, and even an old abandoned mine. Abandoned mines are useful for many nefarious activities. Of course the local police are once again suspicious of Adrien. He's like the old lady on Murder She Wrote. How very convenient they always happen to be where the dead bodies keep showing up. Better cops than these have tried to get him. You'll never take him down! So, Jake Riordan, cop and complete dickhead who is in no way good enough for Adrien, has to come to his rescue. And, herein lies the romance that I hate. This guy, Jake, is gay but hates it. He says horrible things and I hate that Adrien has a crush on him. Unfortunately, it seems like this guy will be around for a while and eventually 'saved' by Adrien's love or whatever. Blech!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. There is potential between Adrien and Jake, although Jake can't read see it yet. Adrien English needs to make some changes since he is not in the best of moods. One of the reasons is his detective "friend" Jake Riordan. Jake is tough, smart, very handsome but also deeply closeted. Another reason for his sourly mood is his writer's block. Therefore Adrien decides to go out of town for a little vacation. Our wannabe criminologist is heading off for hi A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. There is potential between Adrien and Jake, although Jake can't read see it yet. Adrien English needs to make some changes since he is not in the best of moods. One of the reasons is his detective "friend" Jake Riordan. Jake is tough, smart, very handsome but also deeply closeted. Another reason for his sourly mood is his writer's block. Therefore Adrien decides to go out of town for a little vacation. Our wannabe criminologist is heading off for his property outside of Sonora near a little town called Basking. But when Adrien arrives at Pine Shadow Ranch he discovers a dead body in the dusty road. He does a 180 and calls the cops. However, when the law enforcement officials arrive the body has been vanished into thin air. "Sir, I don't have the author-I-zation to waste anymore time on this bugaboo. There's nothing here." So sayeth The Law. Funny thing is, Adrien's handyman who had to look after his property is gone too. Shortly after Adrien makes the acquaintance of an archaeological team that has been allegedly granted permission to dig on his property. Dear ole Adrien is stunned but at the same time he is very determined to find out what's going on on his premises. Our hero is starting to look for hints what could have happened and ends up in hospital sustaining a severe concussion. Since the cops found Jake's business card in Adrien's wallet, they contact him and Jake comes running ASAP. "Why did you hang up like that on Saturday?" (…) "I got the impression you didn't…take me seriously." A couple of beats counted out by the heart monitor. Jake wore an odd expression. "I take you seriously." Were we talking bodies in the road or in the bed? Well, it can be very reassuring to have a homicide detective as backup... A Dangerous Thing is a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish! Come to think of it I kinda regret it that I did not read this series out of order. As a matter of fact, this book is much better than Fatal Shadows and I believe I could have skipped it and wouldn't have felt lost at all. One of Lanyon's strengths is his riveting narrative as well as his witty dialogue. He does a mighty fine job at subtle wordplay and I love his sense of humor. As always, the author will draw you into the story from the get-go. The plot is complex and intriguing and the murder mystery is well thought out. Also, Lanyon threw in a nice dose of "creepiness"…caves, NA rituals, eery chanting, anyone? Granted, the AE series is not packed with sex scenes, however what was there in A Dangerous Thing was well-placed and well-written. His mouth touched mine and it went through my mind that it was his first man-to-man kiss. I seemed to experience that kiss through Jake's virgin senses: the queerness of a man's hard jaw, a man's bare lips, the texture of a man's smooth shaven cheek, so different from a woman's soft skin. The taste of a man's mouth. It was a tentative kiss, a first kiss. Surprisingly soft, surprisingly sweet. The second kiss was not tentative, and I did not experience it through Jake's senses because my own were swimming. Deep and slow, searching…His hand cradled the back of my head, drawing me closer, tasting me. I tasted him back. We breathed in gentle unison, filling each other's lungs with our quiet exhalations. Coming up for air, I said, "Man!" He brushed his knuckles against my cheek. "How long have you been up?" "Now there's a leading question." His mouth twitched, but he corrected, "Awake." Although I really like Adrien my main focus will always be on Jake. One of my GR friends told me: A different atmosphere in each book, Adrien's verve and Jake's hotness : bliss! Agreed but Adrien's verve can be a little bit exasperating now and then when he is getting his cocky self into some delicate situations. With that said, it would be quite favorable to listen closely what Jake has to tell him--he is the pro after all. "Please don't use the word intuition to me or I will slug you. Aren't you the guy who told me one of the golden rules of mystery fiction is that detectives may not solve the crime by use of intuition and/or acts of God?" Jeez, who knew he was listening that closely? "That's in books, Jake," I protested. "Aren't you the guy who told me a cop's gut instinct is one of his best tools?" "You're not a cop, baby. You're a bookseller. You don't have a gut instinct. You have a knack for nearly getting yourself killed." I batted my lashes. "I didn't know you cared." His eyes held mine briefly. "The hell you didn't." In the light of Jake still having to embrace, accept, and actually enjoy his being gay, I'm very curious to see how Adrien and Jake's future "relationship" will pan out. They have a long way to go yet and everything between these two men is tentative and noncommittal at this point in time. Still, I'm looking forward to reading the other three books in this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shile

    3rd buddy reread 4.5 stars ******************************** All the Stars for the Audiobook.. This was even better the 2nd time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Moony Eliver

    Update Nov 15, 2019: Read #2 It's such a crazy voodoo these guys have, and it's working its magic on me just as strongly this time as it did the first. While I'm reading their story, I am driven to distraction in my real life, just wanting to get back to them. Having said that, this is my least favorite mystery in the series, and I had no more patience with it this time. But it's a small price to pay in order to experience the evolution of one of my favorite fictional couples of all-time. ————————— Update Nov 15, 2019: Read #2 It's such a crazy voodoo these guys have, and it's working its magic on me just as strongly this time as it did the first. While I'm reading their story, I am driven to distraction in my real life, just wanting to get back to them. Having said that, this is my least favorite mystery in the series, and I had no more patience with it this time. But it's a small price to pay in order to experience the evolution of one of my favorite fictional couples of all-time. —————————— 4 stars for this volume, 5 stars for the series as a whole. I couldn't have cared less about the mystery in this one, but Adrien and Jake's relationship is so much everything. I can't even talk with you about it until I deal with it extensively in therapy. Book 3, here I come. Non-spoiler review of The Adrien English Mysteries series: A Tale of Two Genres. And also a cautionary tale about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, from a reading perspective. Have I already exhausted my cliché limit for this review? It’s going to get worse, because original thought isn’t my niche after I’ve just found a couple for my favorite couples of all time list. They say Josh Lanyon is a mystery writer, but you aren’t going to be able to prove that by me. This woman is a relationship writer, and not just that — she’s among the BEST of those. I’m not much of a mystery reader. But I’ve read my share, and when they work, they really work. The mysteries in the first 3 of these books were just in my fucking way. I was not engaged in them, and if I hadn’t been immediately captivated by the relationship between Adrien and Jake, I might have been tempted to set the whole series aside. Baby, meet bathwater. However. Captivated is an understatement. Lanyon’s ability to create interpersonal tension — in every way except the predictable — is writing master class. I could c/p dozens of lines here to prove my point, but spoilers aren’t my style. Trust me or don’t. Or trust the bazillions of other people who’ve read this series in the last almost-20 years. ;) Flawed, nuanced characters that you’ll need your 3D glasses for. JL made me experience the entire damn spectrum of emotion, and often using only a handful of words to do so. I really don’t know what else to say, because if this isn’t already speaking your language, I can’t help. If we're friends, expect to be hearing things about this series for a long time. Both 1) while I try in vain to overcome the hangover that I'll have for at least a week, and 2) when I dive in for the scores of rereads that will happen in my lifetime. Lastly, shout-out to my AMAZING buddy read partners. This was an incredible experience, full of spirited discussion, and fortunately it's showing no signs of stopping. Elena, Linda, Rosa, Shile, Teal, and Xia

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    2015 Comfort re-read #3. I'm not embarrassed. Oh, and it's funny how 'normal' those (view spoiler)[sex (hide spoiler)] scenes are, and yet they make me hold my breath and make my heart swell where many fuss & frills filled scenes in other books leave me cold. :') 2013I'm head over heels. Okay, that should actually be Team Jake & Team Adrien.:)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]> 2015 Comfort re-read #3. I'm not embarrassed. Oh, and it's funny how 'normal' those (view spoiler)[sex (hide spoiler)] scenes are, and yet they make me hold my breath and make my heart swell where many fuss & frills filled scenes in other books leave me cold. :') 2013I'm head over heels. Okay, that should actually be Team Jake & Team Adrien.:)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Snjez

    I have to say that I enjoyed this much more than book 1. I loved that Adrien and Jake spent so much time together. That part of the story was wonderful. The mystery plot was good but, to be honest, that's not where my focus was. The audiobook is fantastic. I have to say that I enjoyed this much more than book 1. I loved that Adrien and Jake spent so much time together. That part of the story was wonderful. The mystery plot was good but, to be honest, that's not where my focus was. The audiobook is fantastic.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dia

    4,5 stars I loved this one much more than the first book. Finally we get Adrien and Jake Riordan together AND some pretty HOT scenes!!! Loved the writing, the suspense and the mystery!! I was totally invested into the story. Couldn't put it down. I need to mention again that I am not really a fan of mystery/crime stories, but here I loved the world building and also the romance. Looking forward to reading more!!! 4,5 stars I loved this one much more than the first book. Finally we get Adrien and Jake Riordan together AND some pretty HOT scenes!!! Loved the writing, the suspense and the mystery!! I was totally invested into the story. Couldn't put it down. I need to mention again that I am not really a fan of mystery/crime stories, but here I loved the world building and also the romance. Looking forward to reading more!!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    ~Mindy Lynn~

    A COUPLE OR MORE SPOILERS UP AHEAD SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK... Man....... It is really hard to try and like Jake let alone love him. He just likes to push all of my ~Fuck No~ buttons. I was happy when Adrien decided to give him and Jake some space. But unfortunately our loveable Adrien just can't keep himself outta trouble so of course Jake comes to the rescue. Although I didn't love the mystery, (it got a bit boring in spots) it was definitely interesting. I loved the progress Jake and Adrien m A COUPLE OR MORE SPOILERS UP AHEAD SO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK... Man....... It is really hard to try and like Jake let alone love him. He just likes to push all of my ~Fuck No~ buttons. I was happy when Adrien decided to give him and Jake some space. But unfortunately our loveable Adrien just can't keep himself outta trouble so of course Jake comes to the rescue. Although I didn't love the mystery, (it got a bit boring in spots) it was definitely interesting. I loved the progress Jake and Adrien made in their "relationship". But I am still not loving that Jake gets some loving on the side. I REALLY don't like that, and I know it just gets worse in the next book since I have of course read the series a couple or more times. On to the next.... xx

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brian Johnson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'm reading the Adrien English Mysteries as part of a Group Read organized by MM Romance and Gay Fiction. They rock! A Dangerous Thing Well, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And in this novel, “best” and “worst” fall decisively to either side of the book’s mixed-genre divide. The slow-burn love story? A+ The mystery? Ugh. The best parts of this second instalment in the Adrien English m/m-detective series are those that treat the slowly developing romance between sarcastic amat I'm reading the Adrien English Mysteries as part of a Group Read organized by MM Romance and Gay Fiction. They rock! A Dangerous Thing Well, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And in this novel, “best” and “worst” fall decisively to either side of the book’s mixed-genre divide. The slow-burn love story? A+ The mystery? Ugh. The best parts of this second instalment in the Adrien English m/m-detective series are those that treat the slowly developing romance between sarcastic amateur detective Adrien and his deeply closeted police detective savior/buddy/boyfriend Jake. As in the first book, but even moreso, Adrien’s verbal darts give the narrative its savour of archness, and it is truly glorious. I challenge you not to laugh out loud--actually--many times when reading. The rhythm of Adrien’s humor is flawless: no sooner has a punchline landed then a second one comes at you from the other side and suddenly milk is coming out your nose. Adrien’s maddeningly repressed what-is-he-exactly Jake is just as funny, and delivers what is probably the most wicked, perfectly-timed burn I have ever heard (those who have read it will know exactly which line I mean). Lanyon clearly revels in writing these men, and it shows. When they are sparring with each other, as they often are, her prose is a masterpiece of comic economy, providing the absolute minimum of dialogue and narration--just enough for the reader to connect the circuit and feel the joke light them up from within. As far as Adrien and Jake’s slow-burn relationship goes, there are several developments. This book jumps forward in time since the last one, where, you will recall, Adrien’s extraordinarily bad judgment led him into a potentially fatal embrace from which Jake extracted him in the final chapter. Despite the attraction between Adrien and Jake in Book 1, there was little in the way of actual romance. As Book 2 begins, a couple of months have passed, and though there is still no romance (and no sex either), Jake is spending a lot of time hanging out watching TV with Adrien and angsting about how weirded out he feels about kissing his new friend, despite the fact that he has bro sex with other men in the BDSM scene. Kissing, Jake believes, is what men and women do when they date, and Jake’s internalized homophobia is sufficiently entrenched that he can’t make the leap to imagining himself party to a bona fide gay romance. At this point, and despite his (tragically undramatized) leather bar escapades, Jake sees his destiny as marriage to a woman. Adrien’s acerbic internal commentary as Jake quizzes him about the “Gay Lifestyle” is everything you could hope. Eventually, however, Adrien gets fed up with Jake’s drama, packs a bag, and heads for the hills--which in this book are the hills around his one-time flapper and hell-raising, murder mystery-reading grandmother’s Pine Shadow Ranch. Many mysterious goings-on ensue once Adrien arrives (about which, more below), and as the danger level (and body count) rises, Jake makes a late-in-the-game reappearance to help Adrien crack the case of the mysteriously disappearing dead man. The reunion between the men also of course advances their relationship and reveals more about their personalities and hangups. Beefy top-man Jake’s inner world is exposed here as a rat’s nest of body-issues and homophobic self-disgust. He is all tangled and blocked emotional passageways, and rails against “the kind of queer thinking” by “fags” who believe that “everybody who’s anybody was really homosexual,” clearly resenting the fact that he cannot “choose” the nature of his own desire. By mid-novel, he’s willing to fuck Adrien, but warns him “I’ve got nothing to offer you.” “Those were not the opening remarks of a proposal,” Adrien deadpans. But as the two men finally get physical, and despite the fact that Jake “only spoke of fucking, never caring,” Jake turns out to be “an unselfish lover...a much more generous lover than [Adrien] had imagined.” Lanyon writes the sex and conversation between the lovers perfectly here--it is real and funny and awkward in all the right ways, “all elbows and knees,” as Adrien so comically puts it. There is also a wonderful, seemingly superfluous but symbolism-laden incident with an owl at night that, as some eagle-eyed members of the reading group suggested, hints at Jake’s anxiety about facing up to the confusing desires that Adrien has opened up in him. By story’s end, crusty, snarky Adrien has some revelations of his own, realizing that he loves Jake, whose life he has a hand in saving in the final action-packed chapter. And yet. Like the first instalment in the series, this book’s somewhat clunky mystery elements give it the unmistakable feel of apprentice-work (it was first published in 2002). Lanyon is deft when it comes to character, voice, and dialogue. Adrien and Jake have the living quality of the best kinds of literary characters. The slowly developing romance between them (it takes two books to get them in the sack, how refreshing!) gives their relationship an added sense of authenticity. Although it is always fun to watch characters who hook up quickly and only later fall in love, or who fall in instalove, the Adrien English series’ slow-moving love story and delays (some of which are brought about by the books’ mixed-genre composition) makes reading it akin to watching a love story unfold gradually in a tv serial rather than a movie, and I really like the “real time” illusion of emotional change that the extended timeframe of the television or novelistic serial makes possible. Unfortunately, Adrien and Jake’s romance takes a back seat to the extremely convoluted mystery plot in this instalment. Lanyon throws everything but the kitchen sink at this one to generate an insoluble puzzle whose solution is once again rooted in the past: a dead body that disappears, a clandestine grow-op, Werewolves, a lost mine, an archaeological dig, an Indigenous “secret society,” a lost fortune in gold, a mysterious 19th-century Chinese bride, a snake in the mailbox… And that’s not the half of it. As fun as it all sounds, it is actually quite hard to follow and rarely succeeds in developing any investigative momentum. There are lots of trips to the local library and history museum for exposition, but by the end I had lost interest in the details of this shaggiest of mysteries: too many red herrings, and too many pieces that, while interesting in their own terms, simply didn’t connect. Lanyon seems to be aware of this, as becomes evident in the novel’s gentle, layered metafictional self-mockery. As in Fatal Shadows, there is a highly self-conscious incorporation of the author’s sources into the narrative. For example, when he arrives at the ranch he has inherited from his “Granna,” Adrien discovers that her bookshelf is stuffed with vintage hard-boiled mystery novels (“and a couple of gothic romances”), including many by Adrien’s (and Lanyon’s) favorite mystery author Leslie Ford. Adrien’s identification with Leslie Ford’s detective Grace Latham is a running gag in the first two books. A mystery novelist with somewhat high-end literary pretensions (Adrien’s own mystery novels are based on Shakespeare plays--first Macbeth and now Titus Andronicus), Adrien finds himself brought down to earth when faced with solving an actual mystery, a point that Lanyon makes by highlighting his identification with fictional detective Grace Latham, “the quintessential amateur sleuth of her post-WWII era...wealthy, well-bred, and usually way off the mark in her detecting.” “Don’t ask why I feel kinship with her,” says Adrien, bashfully. Adrien’s modesty about his sleuthing skills is also, I submit, Lanyon’s subtle way of signalling her own modesty about her still developing facility with mystery plotting (which is far more assured in her current work). As Adrien says, with a wink to the reader, upon discovering a handy collection of suspects at an archaeological dig practically in his backyard, “I felt like I’d stumbled into an episode of Scooby-Doo.” Indeed! Adrien truly is Lanyon’s alter ego here: just as Adrien is learning how to be a real detective, Lanyon is graciously acknowledging her own literary apprenticeship to the figures on Granna’s vintage bookshelf: “Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler. All the good old stuff: Hammett, Tey, Stout, Marsh…” There is moreover an extension of the metafictional account of her own genre-bending from Book 1. We are told via Adrien’s reflections that “The first ‘normal’ gay detective didn’t come out, literally speaking, till 1970 with Joseph Hansen’s Fadeout. Hansen may not have hit the New York Times bestseller list with his Brandstetter series, but he set the standard for the rest of us.” Hansen is thus a gay progenitor to Adrien’s (fictional) gay detective fiction, and a kind of uncle to Lanyon’s own (actual) m/m detective writing. Here, post-WWII mystery writer Leslie Ford turns out to have a new role to play as well: “I made the discovery,” Adrien observes, “that Zenith Ford [sic. it is actually Jones] Brown, a.k.a. Leslie Ford, had developed a second, masculine pseudonym. Under the nom de plume, ‘David Frome’ she wrote a dozen mysteries featuring a frail male sleuth named Mr. Pinkerton who, with the help of a stalwart Scotland Yard inspector, solved a variety of homicides” and later: “I filled [Jake] in on the thrilling discovery that my favorite mystery writer had a male pseudonym. ‘I’ve got this theory that inspector Bull and Mr. Pinkerton are closeted gays.’” Hence the symbolically central place that Leslie Ford occupies in Lanyon’s groundbreaking series: as Hansen is to Adrien-the-author, Brown a.k.a. Ford a.k.a. “David Frome” is to “Josh Lanyon.” Brown/Ford/Frome, as the pseudonym cross-gendering author of proto-queer detective fiction is a kind of literary foremother that Lanyon claims for herself. All of this totally floats my boat. I love the Scooby-Doo shoutout and I even dig the way it provides a kind of pop culture model for the novel’s mystery plot. I share Lanyon’s nostalgia for the Scooby-Doo mystery format and also for other young adult detective series like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew (both mentioned in this book), and the superior though less widely-known today Three Investigators, which she references in other novels. However, some aspects of Scooby-Doo have not aged well, most notably its casual racism--all the “native curses,” “witch doctors,” and tom-toms in the night--which is honestly pretty shocking to tune into if you revisit the original series today. There is an unpleasant aftertaste of the same kind of thing in this novel’s evocation of a Native bogey-man, despite the novel’s clearly well-intentioned bait-and-switch. Lanyon is certainly playing with and subverting some of the nineteenth-century Scooby-Doo-worthy tropes the novel trots out in the form of “spooky” nighttime chanting by an ancient Miwok cult and the ravenous Coyote-Man from Miwok creation stories who seems to emerge X-Files-like from the shadows to frighten the bad archaeologists away from an Indigneous sacred site. The concluding gag, in which (spoilers) the shaman’s granddaughter helps the MCs foil the criminal by masquerading as a “demonic” beast from Miwok legend seems calculated to present Indigenous people as unsuperstitious pragmatists. “Not that I believe in ghosts,” says the shaman’s granddaughter Melissa, underlining the point. “Wow. How unstereotypical Native American,” Adrien thinks. Maybe, but there is a lingering sense of anxiety in the novel around the mystery’s deeply stereotypical Scooby-Doo-kitsch shenanigans. Perhaps that is why Lanyon makes the shaman’s granddaughter an old nemesis of Adrien’s. Imagine if the following passage had been written by Sherman Alexie or Thomas King or Louise Erdrich: ”You really don’t remember me, do you?” “Should I?” Her eyebrows rose. “I thought you were Anna English’s grandson?” “I am.” When she didn’t offer her hand I offered mine. “Adrien English.” We shook hands. “Melissa Smith. My father used to work for your grandmother. You locked me in a fruit cellar once.” “I did?” I did sort of remember her now. She had been small, skinny, and irritating as a foxtail in your sock. “Not for long, I hope.” “I guess it was only a few minutes. It felt like hours.” “Sorry.” “I swore to get even with you but you never came back.” “I scare easily.” “Don’t worry, you’re pretty low on my hit list these days.” Even though it was not written by any of those indigenous authors, it remains very hard for me not to hear this exchange about the childhood abuse of white and class privilege as at least in part a veiled, somewhat embarrassed reflection on the racial history of settler-invader colonialism in the U.S. In this context, being locked in a cellar by the “English” for “a few minutes” that “felt like hours” takes on an entirely sinister meaning and Melissa’s turning of the tables by eventually locking Adrien in a cellar and helping to capture the killer seems designed to ward off the kind of discomfort I feel about the plot’s dependency on so many hoary colonial cliches--even if they are ostensibly dispelled as elements of Melissa’s theatrical strategy. I guess the lingering discomfort I feel in spite of these well-intentioned undercuttings of the cliches in question resides in the fact that it is simply unacceptable, even in 2002, to refer to the one Indigenous character in a novel filled with white people as “Pocahontas” or to say that she “did a creditable impression of the glowering face on a totem pole.” These characterizations are of course implicitly buffered by ironic scare quotes, just more of Adrien's equal-opportunity snark--"no offense intended." Adrien's sharp gay tongue is supposed to give him a pass. But it still feels gross. The depiction of Claude as an exotic other in the first volume made me uncomfortable for similar reasons. I hope that this is something that the series sheds as it progresses. After two books, I am smitten with Adrien and Jake as a couple-in-formation, but the larger world in which their romance unfolds (and in which they are not mere innocents) brings the first two books uncomfortably close to the problem that haunts Breakfast At Tiffany’s, a movie with a perfect love story that is marred by Mickey Rooney’s infamously grotesque race-drag caricature of Mr. Yunioshi. I have read some of Lanyon’s more recent mysteries, and enjoyed them, so I am hopeful that the elements of exoticism and unexamined white privilege that linger here as the afterlife of outdated genre conventions dissipate in future volumes as Lanyon gains more confidence in her own voice as a mystery novelist.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    Intrigue and suspense with the hapless and lovable Adrien right in the middle of it--again. Dude is a trouble magnet. Truth is he often stumbles across it innocently, but then manages to court it quite well. Here, an escape from LA to the hinterlands north in abandoned gold mining country leads to all kinds of brouhaha. Nice character backstory woven in and some sweet progress with the reticent detective, Jake. I feel severe yo-yo syndrome about to start. Ain't gonna be that easy to fix what's br Intrigue and suspense with the hapless and lovable Adrien right in the middle of it--again. Dude is a trouble magnet. Truth is he often stumbles across it innocently, but then manages to court it quite well. Here, an escape from LA to the hinterlands north in abandoned gold mining country leads to all kinds of brouhaha. Nice character backstory woven in and some sweet progress with the reticent detective, Jake. I feel severe yo-yo syndrome about to start. Ain't gonna be that easy to fix what's broken in him. Smooth read that makes me remember how seamless good storytelling is. Favorite quote: It sure as hell wasn’t love, because I refused to do something so self-destructive as love a man who hated himself for being homosexual — which, by extension, probably meant he subconsciously hated me too.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    “Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...” A Dangerous Thing indeed. After his almost death in book 1, Adrien decides to take a time out of his complicated 'friendship' with deeply closeted homicide detective Jake Riordan. He packs his stuff and travels to his late grandmother's ranch in northern California which he inherited some 20 years ago and never returned to ever since. The moment he reaches the driveway of his estate, he stumbles over a dead body in the dark of night. When he returns with the local “Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...” A Dangerous Thing indeed. After his almost death in book 1, Adrien decides to take a time out of his complicated 'friendship' with deeply closeted homicide detective Jake Riordan. He packs his stuff and travels to his late grandmother's ranch in northern California which he inherited some 20 years ago and never returned to ever since. The moment he reaches the driveway of his estate, he stumbles over a dead body in the dark of night. When he returns with the local cops to report his find, the body is gone and nobody believes Adrien there actually was a body in the first place. Things start getting weirder when the caretaker of the estate vanishes and Adrien makes a spectacular but disturbing discovery on his land, not to mention running into a couple of uninvited visitors who make his life even more complicated. When things really turn dangerous for poor Adrien, he once again finds himself saved by his brooding cop friend Jake who seems to be determined to protect Adrien even if he isn't willing to admit his feelings for the younger man. While working through their more than complicated friendship, Adrien learns about a strange conspiracy involving a secret Indian society, a hot young college student vying for Adrien's attention and a group of questionable academics with equally questionable motives camping on his land. And surely it's not a werewolf that is causing the eerie howling in the dark of night? What a beautiful story in the tradition of classic mystery writers like AC Doyle. The plot was interesting, eerie and most importantly - it made sense. But the real experience was watching sexy, troubled Adrien interact with the father of all of Lanyon's hot cop characters: Jake Riordan. And boy am I a sucker for these types... Jake is not only the quiet, cynical cop who doesn't believe in love and PDAs, he's also deeply repressed and doesn't accept his own homosexuality. While keeping Adrien at arm's length for most of the novel, the time when Jake does allow Adrien to get close to him is the sexiest Lanyon gets. I absolutely adored Jake and I wonder if his questionable past will ever get resolved or at least mentioned. I had some troubles getting into Jake's character at the beginning, knowing what became evident in book 1 about him. Still, he's the poster boy of my favorite type of romance MC and I have to know where the following books will take Jake and Adrien. I also loved Adrien's pop culture related comments throughout the book. He's a pretty smart guy, although he's probably not the best 'sleuth' there ever was. But thank God he's got Jake for the more rational lines of thought. Absolutely awesome! 5 stars and on my list of favorites ;-)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ingie

    Written May 27, 2014 4.3 Stars - An even tighter band to tie me into these guys lives - My goodness, so amazingly addictive Book #2 I was listening to the audio of the first part Fatal Shadows (4.3 stars) in the Adrien English Mystery just some days ago, and it was a very promising start. Will there be a tiny little bit kissing and romantic parts this time? ~ Indeed, it might. - *happy smile* - Thanks, I loved that... yummy good!! These Adrien English books may be more more of brazen, on the "su Written May 27, 2014 4.3 Stars - An even tighter band to tie me into these guys lives - My goodness, so amazingly addictive Book #2 I was listening to the audio of the first part Fatal Shadows (4.3 stars) in the Adrien English Mystery just some days ago, and it was a very promising start. Will there be a tiny little bit kissing and romantic parts this time? ~ Indeed, it might. - *happy smile* - Thanks, I loved that... yummy good!! These Adrien English books may be more more of brazen, on the "surface" hard-boiled, crime novels, than steamy M/M romances - but "yeah" they are great to read. I warn you; You have to be a bit patience and wait quite a long time for some proof of these MC's attraction. When you at last get it is IT so [email protected] *swoonish* sweet. You just want more and more of them. *********************************************************** Our dear (poor) gay book-shop owner Adrien English has a hard time with his 'mystery-crime' writing. He is also frustrated with his new weird "no-kissing-no-sex" relationship with the very hot, but deeply closeted, LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan. To get away and have a break from Jake (..what will it lead to?) and get some writing peace, travels Adrien to northern California and the farm house he inherited years ago. As soon as Adrien arrive to his grannys old house he finds a dead body in his front drive. By the time the sheriffs arrive has the body (course...) disappeared, and Adrien once again finds himself playing amateur sleuth. *********************************************************** This old gold-diggers area, in the middle of nowhere, with missing mines, odd scientists and locals who talk about mysterious spooky tales is not was Adrien had hoped for during his (writing) vacation. Dear sweet Adrien discovers both fields of forbidden crops (on his own land!!!) and perhaps most importantly of all, dead bodies. ...But as always, who believe in a slightly neurotic (with a weak heart) gay guy with crime writer ambitions? Hardly the local sheriff. The slightly homophobic Jake may be confused about things like being gay (or bi..), male lovemaking and his inner feelings for Adrien, but when he feels he is needed, is keeping his new friend alive not one of them. “Planning on staying?” “Just till you wise up.” “I’m flattered you think that’s a possibility.” “Yeah, well it’s lucky I’ve rolled a lot of vacation.” Soonish he, "big strong grunting Jake", also arrive to Adriens farm house. ~ The suspense, action, and the faster and faster bubbling steam are in the middle of these two mens life yet again. *********************************************************** ‘It was nearly five before Jake walked in. He was sunburnt, wet, and smelled faintly of fish. Sexy as hell. Don’t ask me to explain.’ How about the romance parts this second time? The heat and Adrien's and Jake's unspoken longing increases slowly, slowly. It is so emotionally charged, frustrated needy and it starts to literally seep steamy heat from both of them. ‘...he pulled me against him in a rough embrace that nearly knocked the remaining wind out of me. “I owe you one, baby,” he muttered against my ear.” While Jake snorts tough and dark masculine and Adrien whines both cute gay (girly) and slightly tormented - I just want to push them together in each other's arms. They bicker and buffoons words against each other and are both bitchy ironic and I never thought it would happen. Sigh!!!! ...But gee, really, they are just two big furry male horny cats waiting impatiently, just prowling there, around and around each other. In other words, typical male macho behavior. *********************************************************** I maybe not, if I'm honest with you, cared that much about all the details in this crime case. The suspense parts in A Dangerous Thing was both pretty exciting and more important; not that easily predictable, as it sometimes tend to be in these types of books. The resolution of the guys adventure was really exciting, action-packed and it all ended grandly as thrillers should do. *********************************************************** I'm by now a howling hysterical tedious fan of these books. Not to forget the fantastic audio version narrated by Chris Patton (..the man with "The Voice"). So very enjoying to listening to. I shall try to bite the bullet, reassure me and show me persevering and patient for a few days before I start reading (or perhaps listen to) the third book, (The Hell You Say) of this wonderful —£%&₩ing amazing— series. I LIKE - ...silly question, of course!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Breann

    3rd reread... bumped it up to 4 stars. _____________________________________ The mystery was meh. I didn't find myself caring too much about the outcome of the murders. I did want more of the relationship between Jake and Adrien though. They really had a rocky start and I'm still trying not to want to impale Jake with a butter knife. They had some great moments and even some sexy ones. But still, Jake was such a complete dickwad at times. Can they just be nice to each other for, oh I don't know... 3rd reread... bumped it up to 4 stars. _____________________________________ The mystery was meh. I didn't find myself caring too much about the outcome of the murders. I did want more of the relationship between Jake and Adrien though. They really had a rocky start and I'm still trying not to want to impale Jake with a butter knife. They had some great moments and even some sexy ones. But still, Jake was such a complete dickwad at times. Can they just be nice to each other for, oh I don't know... a whole day at least? *sigh & eyeroll* Adrien's snark still makes him one of my favorite characters and I just adore the guy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

    First reading 05.12.2013 For me this was a welcome dive into Lanyon's world. A page turner with guys whom I'm interested in. The second book continued on the promise of the first and gave me more I suspect the relationship between Adrien and Jake is going to be troubled and not instant. Yes, something to chew on at last. Have to keep myself from instantly going on to the 3rd book, have to savour these. Keep them as treats, not shoved down randomly. Reread 08.10.2014 Rather a hearing not a reading. First reading 05.12.2013 For me this was a welcome dive into Lanyon's world. A page turner with guys whom I'm interested in. The second book continued on the promise of the first and gave me more I suspect the relationship between Adrien and Jake is going to be troubled and not instant. Yes, something to chew on at last. Have to keep myself from instantly going on to the 3rd book, have to savour these. Keep them as treats, not shoved down randomly. Reread 08.10.2014 Rather a hearing not a reading. As I heard the audiobook narrated by Chris Patton. One of the reasons I wanted to hear was to hear Jake call Adrien 'baby' and I did. Enough said. Confirmed what a great read this was. Hearing Adrien's voice is quite something. Loved this second time round as well, eventhough now I know all that awaits Adrien and Jake after this. Did feel a bit of a heart ache about this.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anna (Bananas)

    While the mystery didn't hold my attention much this round, the slightly awkward yet compelling evolution of Adrien and Jake's relationship made this a keeper. Jake Riordan (All I picture is Robert Redford.) Adrien English (Montgomery Clift) The Characters I still adore Adrien's sense of humor. The occasional times I got bored, his drily funny comments and one-liners pulled me back in - and often caught me by surprise. I use the term "holding on" loosely, because for the most part life went While the mystery didn't hold my attention much this round, the slightly awkward yet compelling evolution of Adrien and Jake's relationship made this a keeper. Jake Riordan (All I picture is Robert Redford.) Adrien English (Montgomery Clift) The Characters I still adore Adrien's sense of humor. The occasional times I got bored, his drily funny comments and one-liners pulled me back in - and often caught me by surprise. I use the term "holding on" loosely, because for the most part life went on exactly as before, with the exception of the funny flutter my heart gave when I'd hear Riordan's voice on the other end of the phone - and for all I knew that was incipient heart failure. ... We repaired to the Sheriff's substation where I let Jake do the jawing. My popularity rating had not exactly soared since the snake-o-gram, and we all politely pretended I was not present. ... I'd do my best to make sure he enjoyed himself; I wanted him to see that it (sex) could be good without the improper use of kitchen utensils. Jake is only slightly less mysterious than before, but what a mystery. The reader never quite knows what he's thinking. For example, when he casually suggests having sex with Adrien, I expected him to be nervous or not that into it - hell, anything besides attentive and adorable and incredibly sexy. When he mentions the night Adrien was almost killed by Bruce and how afraid he was, he reveals a bit more of himself. He genuinely cares for Adrien, even if he's not always comfortable showing it. The Mystery This will be brief. The mystery was necessary as, you know, plot but it felt like filler to me. It involved 2 dead men, a team of archaeologists, ancient gold-mining town history, and Native American legends. I got some of the characters/suspects mixed up because I wasn't engaged in them. I didn't get a thrill of fear or anticipation at the ultimate showdown, possibly because Adrien was slightly removed from the action. Anyway, moving on to the best part. The Relationship (some spoilers) At the start of the book, Adrien believes "it was over before it began." "You're just going through the motions. Why bother?" "I never meant to get involved with you, Adrien." "Rest easy; you're not. Essentially, the problem is this: I refused to do something so self-destructive as love a man who hated himself for being homosexual - which, by extension, probably meant he subconsciously hated me too. Adrien calls Jake early on when he goes out of town, and it's apparent Jake has a woman in bed with him. My heart broke a little for Adrien. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me until then that Jake was still seeing other people. Female people. Where exactly did I fit in his life? Apparently he could sleep with everyone but me. Friends? I was the friend he didn't want to be seen with. Then Adrien finds a dead body (that subsequently disappears) at his grandmother's home, prompting Jake to join him out in the sticks. Jake begins to treat him alternately like a cherished lover (giving him a thorough if chaste massage, wrapping him in unexpected hugs) and like a silly wife who needs to be reigned in (dismissing him as a mystery writer in front of the local cops, telling him to keep his mouth shut about his ideas). It takes a while for them to really warm up. As much as they're mutually attracted, it's like they haven't earned the right to each other yet. They don't possess the ease you get with another person when you're both confident you want the same thing. Jake kisses Adrien for the first time, and it's achingly sweet. Still, they don't exactly remove the hurdles from their relationship. They leap around them. "I've got nothing to offer you, Adrien." These were not the opening remarks to a proposal. "I don't recall asking. Hell, you came after me, Jake. Every step of the way." "So," he said casually, "You want to fuck?" Oh so romantic, innit? And yet... I smiled back and he leaned forward and kissed me. The kiss reassured. His mouth was warm and already tasted familiar. "I like kissing you," he said softly. "I didn't think I would. But I do." And the following scene, whew. You just have to read it. Multiple times. It's steamy and affectionate and even funny. A very rewarding sex scene. And slowly Adrien realizes that not only does he want Jake, he trusts him. And more. I had thought I was doing to die that night too. It was strange looking back from the safety of Jake's arms. I said - and I thought I was kidding but somehow it didn't come out like that, "I knew you'd save me." ... Maybe our relationship was undefined but he had proven his friendship a dozen times over the past week. He had come to my rescue without being asked; he had spent his vacation making sure I didn't get myself killed playing detective; hell, he had taken a bullet that could have been meant for me. Gay or straight, I'd never had a better friend. Adrien knows how he feels. Jake, well, I sense he was a ways to go. "I owe you one, baby," he muttered against my ear. I could feel his heart banging away with exertion and excitement against my own. It was the most beautiful sound in the world, and I closed my eyes as I listened and thought, I love you. Old news really. I guess I'd known since I left LA. I guess that was why I'd left LA, because there wasn't any future in it. Not really. The things I wanted from life - and Jake - weren't things he could give. But somehow at that moment it just didn't matter. There's an implicit promise in the last page that while it might be a long time coming, these two are going to work out. Over his shoulder he called, "Are you following me or am I following you?" I opened my mouth - and then let it go. Mildly, I said, "Are you sure you know the way?" He paused. Turned. "Hey," he said. "I found you, didn't I?" Time for book three. :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    In rereading this book, after 5 years, I'm again struck by Lanyon's excellent character development of Adrien and Jake, and the slow development of their relationship, combined with a fairly interesting murder/mystery component. This time through I felt so much empathy for Jake. As he turns 40, his life is going the way he had always wanted - a job that he's pretty darn good at, a supportive family, a girlfriend and plans for kids 'cause he loves kids and has always wanted a family. Sure, he's g In rereading this book, after 5 years, I'm again struck by Lanyon's excellent character development of Adrien and Jake, and the slow development of their relationship, combined with a fairly interesting murder/mystery component. This time through I felt so much empathy for Jake. As he turns 40, his life is going the way he had always wanted - a job that he's pretty darn good at, a supportive family, a girlfriend and plans for kids 'cause he loves kids and has always wanted a family. Sure, he's got these homosexual tendencies that he deals with by f#cking qu##rs at a BDSM club, but on the surface, he's living the dream. Until Jake is absolutely gobsmacked by Adrien English, and his carefully constructed life starts fraying at the seams. God, I love this series .... and rereading it has been a revelation. Another 5 stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    Re-read in October 2018. The audio is so good! Hmmmm ... I like these two guys. I really like them. “He hurt you.” “I don’t remember. Maybe.” “You let it happen.” Again I didn’t have an answer. “You let it happen, but you didn’t enjoy it.” “Well, no.” I asked carefully, “Did you enjoy it? Hearing us, I mean.” “No.” All at once his face looked older: tight, bleak. “You were afraid. And I was afraid. I thought you were going to die.” “I knew you’d save me.” Sex wasn’t everything. There were other things: Re-read in October 2018. The audio is so good! Hmmmm ... I like these two guys. I really like them. “He hurt you.” “I don’t remember. Maybe.” “You let it happen.” Again I didn’t have an answer. “You let it happen, but you didn’t enjoy it.” “Well, no.” I asked carefully, “Did you enjoy it? Hearing us, I mean.” “No.” All at once his face looked older: tight, bleak. “You were afraid. And I was afraid. I thought you were going to die.” “I knew you’d save me.” Sex wasn’t everything. There were other things: someone to see you through sickness and in health, someone to wake up with on Christmas morning, someone to bail you out of jail. Companionship counted. Sex wasn’t everything — but it was a lot. I think it will be very difficult to say goodbye to Jake and Adrien one day.

  19. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    I hadn't planned on doing reviews for these because I read the first three back to back, and have the next group lined up to binge, too, so thought to just do a series overview review considering the shortness of some of these stories but.. having just finished book three, I want to rewind to the time I read A DANGEROUS THING because I miss these happier times. I haven't particularly loved any of the mysteries, this is definitely a series that is character-driven and relationship-evolving, but o I hadn't planned on doing reviews for these because I read the first three back to back, and have the next group lined up to binge, too, so thought to just do a series overview review considering the shortness of some of these stories but.. having just finished book three, I want to rewind to the time I read A DANGEROUS THING because I miss these happier times. I haven't particularly loved any of the mysteries, this is definitely a series that is character-driven and relationship-evolving, but overall I think I enjoyed book two the most. So far.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    This was A-Okay. A good 3.5 Stars. More character development and interaction between our protagonists gives this book that something more that I missed in 1]Fatal Shadows. The murder mystery story line was clever (as usual) and engaging with lots of action and excitement, but as soon as Adrien walks into a library or a museum? I start skimming. It's no secret that I see this series as the Adrien and Jake show, so I tend to focus on that. Happily I learned a few good things about Adrien, enough This was A-Okay. A good 3.5 Stars. More character development and interaction between our protagonists gives this book that something more that I missed in 1]Fatal Shadows. The murder mystery story line was clever (as usual) and engaging with lots of action and excitement, but as soon as Adrien walks into a library or a museum? I start skimming. It's no secret that I see this series as the Adrien and Jake show, so I tend to focus on that. Happily I learned a few good things about Adrien, enough to change my first impression of him. So I made a short-ish list. 1. Brilliant sense of humour, he’s snarky but inoffensive. He can be quite droll, but it comes across as witty and amusing. Consider me charmed Mr English. 2. He’s a hell of a lot tougher than I thought he was, he faces a few challenges in this book, both physical and emotional and deals with it like an Alpha! Not the geeky, vulnerable geezer I thought he was. Consider me impressed Mr English. 3. He’s a Taurus! Just like me, so I *get* him. Consider us BFF’s Mr English. 4. We finally get a picture of Adrien, and guess what? He’s a good looking guy (of course, he is, he's not going to be a minger is he?) Kevin (the cutie) reckon’s he looks just like the priest in that old Hitchcock movie. So I googled . Open the tag, and meet Adrien English --> (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] I totally get why Jake was so taken with Adrien in the first place. Hell! Even I fancy him now. Yep, I’m shallow and shameless. It’s about 2 months later, and Jake and Adrien have been seeing each other, not as lovers or anything resembling lovers though. They have this friendship stroke relationship thing developing, which is more of a non- relationship. Hells! I don’t know what the heck it is they have, but it’s tense and messed up. Adrien is head over heels for the sexy cop, and Jake is well … confused tempted infatuated interested but way too hung-up with his own self-loathing over being gay to embrace a meaningful open relationship with Adrein. He likes woman but prefers men, he wants a wife and kids – he wants normal, "I’ve got nothing to offer you Adrien.” <--this, makes me nervous. I don’t trust Jake! How can Adrien trust him with his heart? I guess he can't help it, just like me. I hope we see more of Kevin, I like his puppy dog affection for Adrien and I love watching Jake adopt the chest puffing 'MINE' stance when Kevin comes around. Ha! Guess I have to read further to see how it all plays out, which is no hardship considering how much I love Lanyon's writing. His subtle play on words is not lost on me :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I'm going to review this quickly because I jumped right to the third and have trouble differentiating between the two books right now. Still just the barest hint of romance but a really well done mystery. I'm hooked!! I'm going to review this quickly because I jumped right to the third and have trouble differentiating between the two books right now. Still just the barest hint of romance but a really well done mystery. I'm hooked!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenni Lea

    OK, its official. I’m hooked on Adrien English. While the storyline in this book wasn’t as interesting as the first one, the sexy times more than made up for it. And I have to give props to Mr. Lanyon. I didn’t figure out whodunit until a couple of pages before they were revealed. I would like to know what’s up with the abrupt endings though. I take it this is the author’s writing style. I can deal with it. On to the next one!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I'm hooked on this series and don't know what took me so long to read it! Adrian goes and gets himself caught up in another great murder mystery. I just love Adrian. He is funny, smart and brave. Now Jake on the other hand is so frustrating and there is so many reasons why I shouldn't like him, but I do. I want to hit him upside the head for being so homophobic, but there is also such a sweet, protect and caring side to him. I really love seeing his transformation as he gets closer to Adrian. Th I'm hooked on this series and don't know what took me so long to read it! Adrian goes and gets himself caught up in another great murder mystery. I just love Adrian. He is funny, smart and brave. Now Jake on the other hand is so frustrating and there is so many reasons why I shouldn't like him, but I do. I want to hit him upside the head for being so homophobic, but there is also such a sweet, protect and caring side to him. I really love seeing his transformation as he gets closer to Adrian. The mystery keeps you at the edge of your seat and the slow build to Adrian and Jake's relationship is fantastic. As soon as I finished this one I downloaded the 3rd book in The Adrien English Mysteries.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lelyana

    *source:http://joyfullyjay.com/2013/12/guest-... I know this is going to be a hard ride, especially with Jake and Adrien. I didn't have a problem with the murder, hell...every where Adrien go, it seems he attracted murder. While Jake is...SMH... All the time, I wanna call the Corleone family and do these things to him... And Adrien is just do whatever Jake please. Grrr... "“I’ve got nothing to offer you, Adrien.” These were not the opening remarks to a proposal. “I don’t recall asking.” For good *source:http://joyfullyjay.com/2013/12/guest-... I know this is going to be a hard ride, especially with Jake and Adrien. I didn't have a problem with the murder, hell...every where Adrien go, it seems he attracted murder. While Jake is...SMH... All the time, I wanna call the Corleone family and do these things to him... And Adrien is just do whatever Jake please. Grrr... "“I’ve got nothing to offer you, Adrien.” These were not the opening remarks to a proposal. “I don’t recall asking.” For good measure, I added, “Hell, you came after me, Jake. Every step of the way.” He refilled his glass, held it up briefly in a salute and knocked it back. “So,” he said casually, “You want to fuck? And I was like... Well, at least, they're not 'in a relationship'. YET. Like what's Jake said in a first book, "Hump buddy?"..Yeah, that. I liked the mystery in book one better, this one is not my favorite. Also, Jake was being an asshole. Not a fan (of Jake). Can you imagine? A homophobic homosexual? Yeah, Jake that is. Adrien, is still a sweetheart, and I liked him, a lot. Move on to book 3? Or take some breathing pause?

  25. 4 out of 5

    LenaRibka

    **** Warning!!! It could contain spoilers!!! **** Actually I am so eager to read the next book that I don't want to waste my time trying to persuade you to fall in love with this series. From the other hand, I don't need to convince anybody: It is the second instalment and probably you're already through the beginning and are in the similar situation - YOU WANT TO READ MORE, right? Just some thoughts to the second book: Josh Lanyon in a rather unusual way proved that she can writes a very good mys **** Warning!!! It could contain spoilers!!! **** Actually I am so eager to read the next book that I don't want to waste my time trying to persuade you to fall in love with this series. From the other hand, I don't need to convince anybody: It is the second instalment and probably you're already through the beginning and are in the similar situation - YOU WANT TO READ MORE, right? Just some thoughts to the second book: Josh Lanyon in a rather unusual way proved that she can writes a very good mystery! Because you have to wait for the first kiss, and then you have to wait for the first sex scene. BUT!!! And it is really unbelievably- I can't say that I didn't want it, but I was so busy with a mystery part - WHO, WHY and WHEN - that I didn't actually miss it. I can't believe I am able to claim something stupid like this!!! And doesn't matter how much I wanted it at the end, I was taken utterly by surprise when it happened! The constellation Adrien+Jake promises to have great potential and bring a lot of fascinating plot! They are still at the very beginning of their relationship. And they take things slowly, very slowly. And Jake has some mental problems with his sexuality, he is still deeply closeted, though all THAT could only mean a lot of FUN for the next books. Sooo....On to the next one!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    ***Audio Review. Chris Patton does a decent job with Adrien and Jake. His British accent wasn't bad either 😊. *** Oh Jake, you wonderful man, you finally got with the programme!! This was a smashing follow-up to 'Fatal Shadows'. We knew that there was a smidgen of interest on Jake's part in Adrien, and we knew damn well that Adrien was into Jake. I'm ashamed to say that the storyline pretty much took a back seat as far as I was concerned to the developing relationship between the two of them. It w ***Audio Review. Chris Patton does a decent job with Adrien and Jake. His British accent wasn't bad either 😊. *** Oh Jake, you wonderful man, you finally got with the programme!! This was a smashing follow-up to 'Fatal Shadows'. We knew that there was a smidgen of interest on Jake's part in Adrien, and we knew damn well that Adrien was into Jake. I'm ashamed to say that the storyline pretty much took a back seat as far as I was concerned to the developing relationship between the two of them. It was fairly obvious in the first book who our baddie was, and Mr Lanyon seemed to take more care in this book to place lots of red herrings (or should I say dead herrings!) in the way of us amateur sleuths!! It was a shame for Kevin that Adrien and Jake's 'thing' was hotting up, otherwise he might have stood a chance with Adrien himself. I didn't care for Melissa, and the sheriff and his deputy came across as a right pair of mindless, bigoted jerks. Yes, we all know it's love, it's just up to Jake to figure it out!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Viv

    Re-listen March 2020: Still loving every "baby" that comes out of Jake's mouth! Re-read November 2016 for the Goodreads challenge. Adrien continues to be one of my favorite characters. He is so sarcastic, but also so caring. In this book, he realizes his feelings for Jake, but knows how fruitless that will be. Jake continues to be a total contradiction, running hot and cold. He always comes when Adrien needs him though. I really enjoyed this book and the mystery is good too. The romance is so good Re-listen March 2020: Still loving every "baby" that comes out of Jake's mouth! Re-read November 2016 for the Goodreads challenge. Adrien continues to be one of my favorite characters. He is so sarcastic, but also so caring. In this book, he realizes his feelings for Jake, but knows how fruitless that will be. Jake continues to be a total contradiction, running hot and cold. He always comes when Adrien needs him though. I really enjoyed this book and the mystery is good too. The romance is so good, but so heartbreaking at the same time. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend them. Chris Patton is so good as Adrien and Jake. And nobody says "baby" like Jake.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Caipi

    November 2018, July 2020 Still love it!!! :) --------------------- October 2016 I'm getting now why so many readers are addicted to this series! :) The mystery was interesting and I absolutely love Adrien's sense of humor! Awesome audio! November 2018, July 2020 Still love it!!! :) --------------------- October 2016 I'm getting now why so many readers are addicted to this series! :) The mystery was interesting and I absolutely love Adrien's sense of humor! Awesome audio!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Annery

    First thing first: Chris Patton is a first rate artist. His narration of this series is nothing short of masterful. This book picks up two months after Fatal Shadows left off and our accidental sleuth Adrien English has fallen into a relationship of sorts with deeply closeted and self hating Detective Jake Riordan. The term complicated was made for this relationship. Jake visits Adrien a couple of times a week at his apartment above the book store, they talk and watch movies. Easy. Except it's al First thing first: Chris Patton is a first rate artist. His narration of this series is nothing short of masterful. This book picks up two months after Fatal Shadows left off and our accidental sleuth Adrien English has fallen into a relationship of sorts with deeply closeted and self hating Detective Jake Riordan. The term complicated was made for this relationship. Jake visits Adrien a couple of times a week at his apartment above the book store, they talk and watch movies. Easy. Except it's all behind closed doors. Except of course Adrien wants more. Sure Jake is a head case and intellectually Adrien should run for the hills rather than being this guy's secret but … the head and the heart rarely think with the same brain. When the story opens Adrien is having a meltdown or is rather at a crossroads where he must decide to do what is right and healthy for him and so takes a sabbatical of sorts at the ranch he inherited from his grandmother Anna, Pine Shadow Ranch. Once there of course there's a dead body and Adrien finds himself drawn into an investigation and also being a suspect. As luck would have it Jake comes looking for him. The mystery is a little twisty and you get the usual but highly entertaining cast of small town characters and suspects, I particularly loved Melissa, but the real genius is getting Jake and Adrien away and together from everything and everyone they know which is the push they need to figure out what the next step will be, particularly for Jake. Poor Jake. In many reviews Jake is maligned as "bad" or "no good" for perfect Adrien blah, blah, etc. But I ask you seriously: how many of us are brave enough to go against everything that our society and family approves of? to walk alone? to risk being ostracized? to be physically assaulted? to lose the love of family, home and hearth? I think it's easy to talk the talk but quite another to walk the walk. To me Jake is a tragic figure. A person who right or wrong felt he had to deny his inner self to exist in society and has/is suffering for it. Coming out is always a courageous act because the results/reactions are never a sure thing. So yes, Jake is at times an a**hole to Adrien but he's also the guy willing to put his life on the line for something he's not yet able to recognize. Also let's not shortchange Adrien as some sort of fainting damsel. Adrien in his own estimation is a bit of a lone wolf, a man who enjoys his own space and company, and is resourceful. He likes his independence so much that it is the source of his constant battle with Lisa, his mother! After many firsts during their sojourn at the ranch Jake and Adrien depart back to L.A. and we are left on an optimistic but fragile note of what their next step may be. No it doesn't end in a HEA and I love that. Because that would cheapen the journey these two are on. Because there are no true short cuts in life for things that are worthwhile. Because magic dick and magic kissing isn't a thing. Because sometimes love isn't enough particularly when you've yet to acknowledge it or more importantly when you don't even like yourself much less love yourself. And I'm kind of talking about both Adrien and Jake, in different degrees and in different aspects. Off in a hurry to Bk 3!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emanuela ~plastic duck~

    Review written after re-reading it. I was hooked with the first book in the series and last year I read the five installments back to back. I enjoyed this book, but with time its memory sort of faded in my mind, because what happens in book 3 is shocking and you just HAVE TO read #4 to keep your sanity. Poor #2 seemed almost light in comparison to the darker story in Fatal Shadows and the shock (I don't have another word) of The Hell You Say. I was a bit surprised and very delighted to find that Review written after re-reading it. I was hooked with the first book in the series and last year I read the five installments back to back. I enjoyed this book, but with time its memory sort of faded in my mind, because what happens in book 3 is shocking and you just HAVE TO read #4 to keep your sanity. Poor #2 seemed almost light in comparison to the darker story in Fatal Shadows and the shock (I don't have another word) of The Hell You Say. I was a bit surprised and very delighted to find that I enjoyed this book much more on the re-read. Jake - in retrospect - seemed kinder and sweeter than I remembered and Adrien seems to be more aware of the problems in his friendship with Jake. Being away from LA and his job is probably what makes Jake take a step toward Adrien and to the intimacy with him. I also liked to see a glimpse of domesticity in their supposed vacation. As always what is not said and left hanging between them is what is probably more significant. The short dialog where Jake says to Adrien how worried he was during the confrontation with the bad guy from the previous book and therefore how much he's cared for Adrien since the beginning. Jake doesn't express himself at length about it, but few words convey a depth of concern. And love, ok, I'm going to say it. Well, you know, probably since the beginning I saw Adrien as the weaker part in the relationship, but I think probably Jake was more into him than Adrien was into Jake. I also think that Jake was less equipped to deal with this situation and that's why he did disasters - because of what is left hanging between them. I realize I am not really talking about this book, because I'm already projecting into the next, so back to it. The very first moment of Jake and Adrien together are passionate, intense, but also reverent. It's the beginning of Jake's worshipping of Adrien. It's moving and it's erotic at the same time, but it's also strangely sweet, because Jake is not a young boy, he interacted with men only in BDSM clubs, he gives in to his attraction to men, but doesn't accept it, and yet he is generous and attentive. I'm writing an ode to Jake Riordan, forgive me. Mmm, I have to wrap this up. This book confirmed to me that Adrien's voice is still my favorite, with his dry (and sometimes bitter) humor. I must confess that I didn't remember Adrien being so athletic and resilient. I think there was more suspense and action than mystery, maybe, but the continuous attacks on Adrien and Jake kept the tension high. I really liked Adrien's tense relationship with the local cops, it brought out the best in him. It's a very enjoyable book and it sets the reader up for an expected development that is shockingly (again...) disattended in the third book. Don't say I didn't warn you...

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