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Preview — Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon
Snowball in Hell (Doyle and Spain #1)
Reporter Nathan Doyle had his reasons to want Phil Arlen dead, but when he sees the man's body pulled from the La Brea tar pit, he knows he'll be the prime suspect. He also knows that his life won't stand up to intense police scrutiny, so he sets out to crack the case himself.
Lieutenant Matthew Spain's official inquiries soon lead him to believe that Nath...more
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At the risk of sounding like a broken record...Josh Lanyon is BRILLIANT!
This book had everything that I love in a mystery. Glamorous people doing suspicious things, blackmail, missing people, tragic heroes, dark dark characters, foolish boys and silly women who make all kinds of trouble, and webs that kept on spinning and spinning until every damn person looked liked the killer.
It's LA in the 40s, a rich man's son turns up dead in a tar pit...Lt. Matt ...more
The mystery was only slightly transparent. I got the who pretty early on, but the hows and the whys kept me interested, so bravo, Mr. Lanyon.
The romance made me ache. It made me cry. It made me bite off three of my fingernails, dammit I was trying to grow those out. It was breatht ...more
He styles this novella using all the qualities of noir, and honestly, I have never read anything more visually noir in my life! Talk about an atmosphere! All the elements of classic 1940’s film noir are here: Spain plays the ‘plainclothes policeman’, Doyle plays the ‘victim of circumstance’, a murder is th ...more
Josh Lanyon has done it again! Just a week before Christmas and all through LA, all the creatures were stirring, scurrying, murdering, and causing all sorts of trouble and hubbub for our heroes Doyle and Spain. Mr. Lanyon completely charmed me with a mystery wrapped up in 1943 Los Angeles, kidnappings, alligator farms, fear, love, and an overwhelming bittersweet-make-my-heart-ache emotion. Oh, don’t forget the dead body. :D
A body in the La Brea tar pits sets the town a buzz with gossip, rumors, ...more
But like most Lanyon books, the stars of the story are its two MCs and in particular Nathan Doyle. Doyle is a reporter who has just returned home from the front lines of war in North Africa and is readjusting to civilian life. He is suicid ...more
I liked this book and actually enjoyed a perfectly created atmosphere of a white-black-movie. A Must read for all Josh Lanyon fans, but I would not recommend this book as an introduction into his works. If you have not read anything of Josh Lanyon, read his Adrien English Mystery series or his stand-alone Come Unto These Yellow Sands before this one.
Snowball in Hell is a well written mystery with an emphasis on MYSTERY, at least for the first half of the book. And to tell the truth, I didn't mis ...more
Snowball in Hell takes place during WWII, which was a time when being homosexual could lead to prosecution. We have our two characters: Mathew (35 yo; widowed; a cop) and Nathan (32-ish?; journalist). Both characters have their own emotional baggage to carry (both are war veterans in their own way), but are brought together during an investigation.
There is a lot to say, but much have already been mentioned in previous reviews. What I can say is that S ...more
Most of his stories are not the "I'll forsake sleep to finish this"- kind of page turners for me. There is a mellowness to the books that keeps me from that. Also: I still wouldn't want to classify mystery as a genre I particularly like. But still: I love his books. The whodunit is interesting but what Lanyon excels at are his characters. They're deep, layered, engaging. And the angst... Love it! Major drama with a subdued qual ...more
It looks good - all crispy and juicy and golden - but when it comes down to it, I always find the meat a little too dry and tasteless. (I'm a pork rib kinda girl, ftr. Or better yet, give me dessert.)
The story itself is not bad at all. You've got your tortured souls who find each other in the midst of their respective hopeless loneliness, you've got your glamorous/shady noir feel (with the war an implausibly distant thought), an ...more
To start off this review, an important point should be made. This is not a traditional romance, in the sense of Happily Ever Afters. It is much more of a mystery novel, with Nathan and Matt’s romance playing a beautiful subtext to the whodunit behind Phil Arlen’s murder.
Josh Lanyon is probably my favorite m/m writer of all time. His mysteries are thoughtful, entertaining, and incredibly well-written, and his ability to ...more
In this book Nathan is one of the suspects of the murder ...more
I was also really into the mystery. I was pretty sure I had it figured out early on, but the revelation was still ...more
I really liked this book, a lot. Mind you, thus far I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Josh Lanyon’s work and have given my credit card a work out in the last wee while!
Nathan is kinda lonely and all in his head a ...more
What an amazing and beautiful story. Nathan and Matt are such beautifully written characters.
This story is a very pulp noir feeling mystery set during war-time in the 1940's. Nathan is a reporter and Matt is a cop investigating a murder.
I don't think I've met many characters like Nathan. He's dark and broken and beaufiful and he has no idea about any of it. Matt is kind of lost too. H ...more
For me, the best part were the characters. Nathan and Matt are very well-plotted characters but not everything is told about them, making it possible for the author to write a sequel that would delve deeper into their personalities.
I'm also happy that these two c ...more
However the romance, though far too scant, was compelling and heartbreaking. I'm not used to such angst in Lanyon's usual Enid Blyton style porn. Nathan broke my heart when he started to cry.
Different realities of life at that time (during WW2) are dealt with. Homosexuality is abhorred both by the person's involved and by the public. Being gay meant being in the land of fleeting encounters.
The ending was in a slightly more hopeful vein, so I will have to see if the story continues with a sequel.
That is th ...more
Bottom Line: Anyone who likes Lanyon will like this a lot, and if you haven't read any Lanyon yet, then you need to correct that oversight IMMEDIATELY.
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With Rachel gone it was like balancing on the edge of a cliff—and all the little wildflowers, the netting of grass and roots that kept the cliff from sliding into the sea below, were gone. It was just Matt standing there looking down, waiting to fall.
Even Rachel’s memory, the sweet recollection of all they had built, all they had shared, was no longer strong enough to fight gravity. From the moment he had looked across the wet grass and seen Nathan Doyle standing in the shadow of a stone saber-toothed tiger, something had changed inside him. Something battened down had torn free, like a sail taking its first deep breath of sea air.
It terrified him.
And at the same time it exhilarated him.
Which terrified him all the more.”