Book Review: Fatal Shadows


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

I’ll pick up where the quoted Amazon synopsis leaves off. After finding his friend Robert Hersey dead, Adrien is questioned by police detectives Chan and Riordan. Adrien insists he has nothing to do with killing Robert despite the argument they had just hours before his death. The cops don’t seem to buy it but soon Adrien himself is being stalked by who he knows to be the killer.

Adrien is a mystery writer and book-keeper. Now he must become an amateur sleuth to figure out who has been murdering his old high school friends before Adrien is next on the list. I truly enjoyed this book and I was really hesitant to read it. Josh Lanyon was an author recommended to me in the same post as Abigail Roux (who I have raved about in previous entries) but after reading Roux I just didn’t think (and still don’t) that anything could compare.

Lanyon’s Adrien English series came off from the beginning as less a romance book and more a mystery. But I finally did pick the book up last night and enjoyed the heck out of it. Some reviewers have criticized Adrien’s inner monologue which did at times become monotonous but I enjoyed being in his head throughout most of the book.

The book is written in first person pov which I do enjoy reading so long as it is written well enough. Lanyon did a great job pulling me into the mindset of a middle-ish aged gay bookshop owner with a bad heart. I think the mystery was a touch weak but strong enough to keep my attention. The best parts of the book were when Detective Riordan and Adrien were speaking with each other, alone.

It’s obvious during the book that Adrien has a thing for Riordan and we slowly find out that Riordan just might return Adrien’s feelings. It was a very slow burn and I enjoyed that. The big turning point romance-wise in the book is Riordan calling Adrien ‘baby’ after the killer is finally dead. The slip up wasn’t mentioned at all in the remaining chapters but I saw it. Oh yes I did. And I’m genuinely looking forward to the next installment but hoping the slow burn becomes a slow sizzle. I need more sparks during book #2.

Final Review: 4 stars.


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