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Murder in Pastel

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4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  506 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
"The path that leads from the back of my cottage to Adam's lies through a meadow thick with poppies and lupine. Beyond Adam's cottage this same path disappears into the woods where Cosmo Bari, my father, disappeared one soft summerâ's eve ten years ago..."

Ten years ago Cosmo Bari vanished, and with him, his legendary masterpiece, The Virgin in Pastel. Since that day no on
...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Writers Club Press
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Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter
3.5 stars. Review posted September 17, 2015.

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Murder in Pastel is a good and quick read in vintage Lanyon style. It's actually not a brand-new story because Lanyon mentioned in the Author's Note that he wrote it around the time Fatal Shadows was born. It revealed undeniable similarities to AE but I can honestly say that I didn't mind. I just enjoy Lanyon's voice and writing. Well, I guess he's my comfort zone and my chocolate box all at once because he manages effortlessly to put me back on the ri
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Ingela
Written October 6, 2015

3.8 Stars - Another solid good JL mystery with a dash of tender romance

There was a "new" Josh Lanyon novel to read. Of course I wanted it. New or new — according to the author is this novel written a few years ago. One of his/hers own favorites that first was published by another pen-name and now finally edited and published once again. Thanks Mr/Ms Lanyon! Appreciated.

Newly written or nor —whatever similarities to other JL's books / MC's, as I know other mentions here— I
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Rosa, really

3.5*

Well, the book bugged the shit out of me in parts but I ended up really liking it. I'd say that if you like Lanyon, you'll like this book and if you haven't read any Lanyon, it's a good place to start. (And why the fuck haven't you read any Lanyon?) The feel of the book, the tone, the atmosphere, the humor, the characters, it's the essence of all that is Lanyon.

Anyway, to touch briefly on the plot: Kyle is a writer, his father was a famous artist who disappeared 10 years ago and now Kyle's c
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Natasha
Sep 13, 2015 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

Lanyon is the only author I put all my work aside for, always.

Written around the same time as Fatal Shadows. Lanyon mentions at the end that it wasn't meant to be published, originally, but he decided to publish it anyway. It shares a lot of motifs and themes as Fatal Shadows, but it still read like a separate Lanyon to me.

Greatly enjoyed. Best writer ever.
Vivian
Nov 20, 2015 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-contemp, fr, ng
Is not knowing worse than knowing?

Kyle Bari is minding his business when the past comes back knocking on his door.

Starts innocent and congenial, then suddenly Peyton Place is not a friendly place anymore. It all starts when you have a group of friends, very close knit, almost incestutous, and suddenly one of you brings a new person into the fold. Except they don't fit, blend or compliment. They aren't the sand that makes an oyster; they're a poison that pricks until your friendship starts to fe
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Sofia

The setting for this one reminded me very much of Agatha Christie's mysteries where there is an obnoxious Drama Queen or King who pinches and scratches at every one of the cast and then things go on nicely from there ........

So as far as the setting goes I'm good, I like Christie so I liked this.


I did have slight problems with the character building and the relationships because these felt a bit strange, unfleshed unliked the Lanyon's I'm accustomed to. I was reading in the notes that JL wrote
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Mandapanda
I was quite bewildered most of the time reading this book because the MC is exactly the same as Adrien (heart defect, poor health, amateur sleuth, murder suspect, etc). I wondered if an author can plagiarize his own book? But at the end there is an explanation that this was written at the same time as Fatal Shadows.

The MC Kyle is kind of a weird loner actually. No personality, no friends apart from a few hangers on from his father, and no interests outside a fixation with an older guy who he ha
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Ije the Devourer of Books
Murder and secrets!

I really, really enjoyed this and I don't have much to say beyond that.

I loved the setting of the story in the artists colony and small seaside town.

I enjoyed the mystery that surrounded the disappearance of the painting, and the disappearance of the artist Cosmo Bari.

I loved the different relationships in the story: the obvious support all the artists had for one another, the underlying professional jealousy, the unrequited love between Kyle and Adam, the mystery and hurt
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Sara
Sep 14, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Natasha
As many reviews have already stated, this is classic Lanyon and that my reader friends, is always a good thing.

The authors note at the end made me grin like a fool and yeah, this belongs in the Lanyon catalog and I'm thankful and giddy it was properly shared.

Though this does have a bit of the Adrien Englishy feel etc., I read this as a separate story of a very lonely boy, or boys, simply searching for the place they belong.

Brett, ugh, you were a douche but now, I'm kinda sorry I felt that way
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Evil Cat
Sep 15, 2015 Evil Cat added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die hard Lanyon fans
This is one of those Lanyon stories where the romance absolutely does not work for me. I didn't particularly like either guy and I liked them even less as a couple. Their relationship felt a little creepy.

The mystery plot wasn't satisfying either. It was over-complicated with a series of mcguffins. I kept tripping over them and after awhile it made me think "hmmm, what is the author trying to hide with this little bit? I bet he goes THAT way". Which made everything surprisingly predictable. The
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Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
Stayed up from 2-5am reading this...! Classical Lanyon and I enjoyed every moment of it. Lanyon mentioned he wrote this when he was writing Fatal Shadows. I definitely felt there were many familiar plot elements from this one that showed up in his later stories, more than usual. (view spoiler) I was most remind ...more
Adam
2.5 stars

To say that I have conflicted feelings about this book would be an understatement.

Let me be blunt: I didn't like either Kyle Bari, the MC, or Adam MacKinnon, the love interest. And I especially didn't like Brett, the conniving shit-stirrer.

Both Kyle and Adam are weak. They are weak-willed, and let Brett and others walk all over them. In a way, I suppose the two were meant for each other. Though I didn't really understand that attraction, as a lot of the romance hinges on whatever Kyle a
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Jenni
Classic Lanyon, as they say.

(No really, classic. The best.)

As I shared with a friend while reading:
I love how Lanyon gives EVERYBODY the motive.
It's a game of Clue:
It was the professor in the parlor with the candlestick.


Does it get any better than that?!?
Lori
Sep 14, 2015 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A twisting whodunnit by the master of crime. I was left feeling sad for the MC as he seemed to lose everything - even as he gained what he, perhaps, most wanted? As Lanyon usually writes wonderful stories about couples he has already established, would I be wrong to hope for more from Kyle and Adam?
Steve Leonard
Sep 12, 2015 Steve Leonard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Loved it. Vintage Josh.
MishyJo
Dec 14, 2015 MishyJo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4+ stars, review to come. Maybe.
Lena♥Ribka




Why I really enjoyed Murder in Pastel - beside the writing that has never been disputed - is the scenery and the atmosphere of Steeple Hill, a small seaside artist's colony.

But we have also a complicated mystery here: a disappeared painter, a disappeared canvas(it happened twice!), more than one dead body along the story and enigmatic family's secrets.

It was spectacular how the author managed almost every single person in Steeple Hill to have skeletons in their cupboard. I couldn't guess until
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Therese
I guess the reading experience of this book was itself like the classic crime "slogan" for me; don't scratch the surface too much, since you might not like what is underneath...

It was a quick and entertaining, and it kept me quite busy while reading, but if I start thinking too much about certain things, it would probably be more of a 2 star read (however, the writing was very, very good!)

(view spoiler)
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JR
Sep 20, 2015 JR rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mm mystery lovers
Kyle Bari lives and writes in the small seaside artist colony of Steeple Hill. Kyle believes he has come to grips with his father disappearing 10 years early. Kyle is sure his father walked away leaving everything and everyone behind. He is now a popular mystery writer, living quietly, surrounded by his surrogate family made up of Cosmos's compadres.

Kyle has closed himself to all feelings, till his first love reappears in Steeple Hill. Adam MacKinnon comes back with his new lover, Brett in to
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John Wiltshire
If I'd read this one and not known it was Josh Lanyon, I'd have picked up on its similarities to Adrian English straight away. Both Adrian and Kyle (the MC in this novel) have had rheumatic fever as a child which has left them with damaged hearts. However, I didn't enjoy this as much as I love the better known series. Adrian English's world is much more amusing than this one. This was a story that might have been penned by an author who has become a little jaded, and this flat tone coloured the ...more
farmwifetwo
Sep 24, 2015 farmwifetwo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-romance
I'm currently half way in, we've had our murder... trying hard not to DNF it. Bored and not the least bit connected to the characters.
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru
Synopsis:

Ten years ago Cosmo Bari vanished, and with him, his legendary masterpiece, Virgin in Pastel. Since that day no one in the seaside art colony of Steeple Hill has heard from the eccentric painter.

Surrounded by an extended family of Cosmo’s colorful compatriots, mystery writer Kyle Bari believes he has come to terms with being abandoned by his famous father, until the day Adam MacKinnon arrives with his new lover, the beautiful but poisonous, Brett.

Brett has an unerring instinct for other
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MareTara SLiTsReaD Reviews
Gah

Reading a JL book is like wrapping yourself in your favourite blanket, curled up in your most comfiest lounger.
Its like sitting beside your SO and just feeling their warmth wrap all around you.

This book was good. It was soo soo much like the Adrien English series but it soo soo wasn't.

It was vastly different. But it was still the same JL.

Her written words have this hold on me, I get lost and I drown and then I get utterly depressed when I'm through cause then I'm just left with...... noth
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Mtsnow13
Classic Lanyon! Easily recognized characterization of some of Adrien with an 'e' in this lovely vintage mystery. And as always, the author had m guessing til the end! Bravo! Highly recommended :)
Lila Hunter
Dec 20, 2015 Lila Hunter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rate: 3.75 out of 5

Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Publication day: September 11, 2015 (First published April 1, 2000)
Length: 198 pages
Publisher: JustJoshin Publishing, Inc.
“Ten years ago Cosmo Bari vanished, and with him, his legendary masterpiece, Virgin in Pastel. Since that day, no one in the seaside art colony of Steeple Hill has heard from the eccentric painter.

Surrounded by an extended family of Cosmo’s colorful compatriots, mystery writer Kyle Bari believes he has come to term
...more
Georgie
Josh Lanyon writes entertainingly, and I'm always carried along by his dry-as-a-bone humour, and a sardonic tone - it just works for me. Murder in Pastel (although an early work, originally published under a pseudonym) has the Lanyon hallmark style.

I'm maybe a little less enthusiastic about the murder plot and the relationship. The plot is both predictable (I worked out who and why quite early on), and also surrounded by some unfinished details that are annoying ((view spoiler)
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Antonella
Oct 06, 2015 Antonella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the mystery, the relationship, the setting, the well developed secondary characters, the beautiful and evocative writing, the pacing. Of course there is an echo of other Lanyon's books, not only Fatal Shadows but also Lovers and Other Strangers and Stranger on the Shore, it doesn't disturb me. Little niggle: (view spoiler).

See also the great review by Ije.
Tess
Feb 03, 2016 Tess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-gap
3.25 stars

As I was just saying, Ms. Lanyon is hit or miss for me and, sorry to say, but this one is closer to the miss side. The mystery was okay, but I was able to figure out a number of the secrets fairly early on. The romance, though, just plain didn't work for me. I didn't like the timing of when things started to happen between Kyle and Adam and I couldn't really feel the love between them.
~RMG
Sep 17, 2015 ~RMG rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars - Enjoyed the story and mystery plot point, as I tend to do when it comes to Lanyon's work, but felt a little confused by the romance in this one, which lowered my rating a bit.

The blurb stated Adam was Kyle's ex-lover, but that really wasn't the case. Adam was more of Kyle's teenage crush, though it did turn out that Adam shared that attraction as well (which prompted him to get the hell out of dodge due to their age difference at the time).

Adam just felt off somehow, and the way he
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Lori K
I think if Adrien had written this book, spoiler he didn't, I would have loved it.

ETA- all the many authors...who is Johanna? Didn't she just do the cover? Why did I someone add her as an author? So many questions. Now, do all Lanyon fans ( I refuse to say fanyon-sounds too much like funyon and they are not very tasty) have to read this other persons work? And there are so many Colin Dunnes. ...
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