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Fatal Shadows

(The Adrien English Mysteries #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  10,051 ratings  ·  877 reviews
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.

Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his ans
Paperback, 232 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by MLR Press (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  10,051 ratings  ·  877 reviews

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Start your review of Fatal Shadows (The Adrien English Mysteries, #1)
5++++++ April 2019 Buddy re-read

Just as good as the first 2 times.


Loved it .. Adrien is an amazing character. As for Jake.. well he still frustrates me..

The writing is solid...

The backyard was vaguely familiar like so many yards out of my Southern California
childhood. There was a cactus garden in the center of the patio, which featured a built-in
barbecue. In the jungle of weeds stood a rusted swing set, gilded in moonlight. I could make
out the roof of
I'm surprised by how much I liked this. It was slow and it dragged a little and the mystery was a bit sloppy and the villain was meh and Adrien's inner monologue could be irritating—if you let it.

But still, I can't describe how much I loved the writing. I now understand why some people claim they would read the telephone directory if a certain author wrote it. Well, when it comes to m/m crime/mystery/romantic suspense, I'll read whatever Lanyon writes.

And, by the way, Detective Riordan! Oh, Dete

p214.4-out-of-5-stars.png (800×146)

After re-reading this one yet again... I figured it was time to finally write a review for it as well. I also changed my rating. I normally don't do this, but I have re-read and enjoyed this series so many times already that a higher rating is definitely deserved ;)

That said, this first book is my least favorite of this series. This is usually the case for me, when I start a series, because the first book is always more of an "introduction" into the series. The second reason that
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

A mystery with almost no romance whatsoever and very little sex content? For me? Oy, this book was so not my thing... in theory. But I surprisingly enjoyed it and the promise of what's to come is making me itch for more. I think the fact that this was an excellent audiobook really helped its case. In fact, it is well worth continuing with the series just to hear Chris Patton speak.

All in all, a promising start to a series I will hopefully come to love.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
O.M.G. The very first Lanyon mystery?
I stayed away from that series for a very long time, even though I've been a huge Lanyon fan for several years, simply because I'm usually too lazy to start a series that consists of so many novels.

Finally giving myself a shove and reading this very early Lanyon, where people still held phone receivers in their hands that were considered modern if they had a caller ID display, I noticed once again what I love about Josh Lanyon's work: A hot but complicated
2015 After an embarrassing number of rereads, I've decided to up my rating from 3 to 5 stars for the first book, because I can't view this book separately from the rest of this fantastic series anymore anyway. So, there.

Isn't it nice to root for a male lead who is such an adorable cookie? The 32-year-old Adrien runs a little bookshop in LA. Getting his hands on rare detectives makes his heart beat faster (ah, the effect books can have on us book nerds!). Speaking of Adrien's heart; it does

I know I know, I'm a bit too late with my excitement and my new discovery of a F*CKING ADORABLE COUPLE!!

But better too late then never, right?

So...A late reading has it's advantages also.

I knew already before the reading:

That it is one of the best MM series we have.
That it is one of the best MM couples we have.

I just need to add:

Josh Lanyon is one of the best MM-writers EVER.
I LOVE his writing. LOVE IT!

Do I need to say more?????????????????????????

I ask myself: WHY FGS have I waited so lon
I'm writing this review after finishing the entire series. I have to say I went back and rated every single book 5 stars. What can I say, this series has officially joined my all time favorites, Adrien and Riordan making it into my most favorite couples. Forever!

These books might not have such complicated mysteries and for some people, they might drag a little, but after finishing the entire series, I don't have the heart to give anything less than 5 stars and I can't exactly rate each book sep
Anna (Bananas)
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Five stars for being effortless and entertaining, slyly funny and utterly charming. This is true comfort reading.

Adrien is our amusing gay antihero, a simple guy who owns a bookstore that specializes in mystery novels. He's also a murder suspect. Policemen Chan and Riordan arrive on page one to question Adrien about the murder of his childhood friend and employee.

The mystery isn't terribly complicated yet it's still engaging. I was never certain of the identity of the killer and once it was re
~Mindy Lynn~
I think this is my third time around with this book. I think I enjoyed it more and appreciated the story telling more. I really do love Adrien. He's one of those character's that you just feel like you could totally be friends with. Well, I could be at least.

Riordan really frustrates me with how he see's a homosexual relationship. Or how there can't be one. In his eye's it's OK to fuck a man but a relationship with one is out the question. He is gay and homophobic all rolled up in one. Frustrat
Wow, this was ... unexpected! 4 solid stars.

A great start to this series. I didn't expect to get so invested into the story. I've read it in one sitting and even if I guessed the killer's identity, the author surprised me a lot.

I jumped right into the next book. But I am only sorry we didn't get more of Adrien and Jake in this one.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, re-reads
Re-read 5/2020: It was pretty much the same as the first time I read it, only this time I'm continuing with the series. 😉

Original review:
The audiobook was excellent. It's what made this story really enjoyable.

As for the story itself, I found it just ok. I rarely get blown away by mysteries. They usually end up being a bit shallow and predictable, and this one was no exception.

Adrien was a likable, fun character, even though I didn't approve of some of his actions. As for Jake, I can't s
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***5 Stars for the audiobook***

Chris Patton did an amazing job with his narration and reminded me of how much I love Adrien-with-an-e and what an a**hole Jake was most of the time.

Brian Johnson
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosa, really
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: FUCKING EVERYONE - what's wrong with you? (JK <3)
Update 4/30/14 - Editing all my reviews of this series in preparation for writing my review of The Dark Tide (YES, I KNOW I TAKE MYSELF WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU - and NO I don't know why I can't write a review without acting like I'm Gustav FUCKING Flaubert). I can't seem to write it 'cause I just don't want this series to be oveeer! *sob*

March 28, 2014

I love the noirishness (hope that's a word) of this novel.

I love that Adrien owns
*4.5 stars*

Review for the whole series “Adrien English Mysteries” : it’s definitely an MM romance sliced in 6 books (Josh Lanyon’s stamp, 😂) with Fatal Shadows, A Dangerous Thing, The Hell You Say, Death of a Pirate King, The Dark Tide, and So This is Christmas.

No way the MCs, Adrien, bookseller, writer and amateur sleuth, and Jake, closeted L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective, can be fully apprehended in only the first setting…well, maybe Adrien because he’s the kind of character you got attached to in
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Adrien English series is a must read if you love your m/m. In fact Josh Lanyon should be in your library somewhere. Ok it's more of a slow burner than some but that's what makes it so enjoyable. I love the way these two guys dance around each other all the way through the series. Great underlying murder mystery and I say winner and keeper. Magic!
3rd reread, second time in audio.

Adrien, Adrien, Adrien.

You might not scare yourself to death, but you just might do me in.

This was a reread (or listen) for me, I know Adrien is too curious for his own good but I didn’t remember him being so STUPID!

Anyway, I loved this. I just love Adrien to pieces and he’s one of my favorite narrators. His POV is just a pleasure to read and I don’t know if I’d get tired of it.

During this reread of the series I’m going to try my darndest n
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ingie by: Vio (the series)
Written May 26, 2014

4.3 Stars - not much of a romance but wildly fun to 'hear'... and breathlessly thrilling

Book #1

I just finished my listening to the first part in the series about Adrien English by Josh Lanyon. Kind of highly "hyped" M/M books as many readers here 'talk' about. This is also books my wise (missed) friend Vio recommended me long ago.

Five and a half audiobooks hours later:

Jeez, Yahoo, Yeah!! - I'm just like a nerdy out of time, "Thriller" dancing girl (se below). ~ What a
Moony Eliver
Update Nov 14, 2019: Read #2
Really, the only thing that's surprising about me rereading this series 6 months later is that it took me so long. I've decided not to make any adjustments to my ratings, because I feel like I rated accurately based on my initial experience. But the second time is completely different, and I hung on every word of this reread.

I'm dragging AE-virgin Hollis with me this time, and I'm excited to experience this couple with her!

3.5 stars for this volume, 5 stars
4.25 big beautiful stars!

Naturally, a home-run produced by my favorite author, Josh Lanyon.
I've been meaning to read this book (series) for a while, and well, it started off with a bang.
I'm a total sucker for the classic WHODUNIT's and Lanyon also produces great results.

I laughed a lot, said "WHAT THE SHIT?" a lot, and squealed like a pig at some of the awkward conversations/situations, and I loved every second of it. (view spoiler)
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, rounded up for the sample of Book 2 at the end. Which I found very promising.
At this point, I don't like Riordan. But I admit his character is interesting.
I can't say I very much like Adrien either. I don't dislike him, but I can't form a firm opinion of him yet.
That said, I was entertained. Creep factor is definitely a thing here, which isn't usually my thing, but as long as there are no spiders, I'm good. :) The last few chapters were surprisingly more suspenseful than I expected an
Jul 22, 2012 rated it liked it this books was...surprisingly boring.

Semi-interesting lead character
Forgettable secondary characters
Blah, blah, blah storyline
And I skimmed almost the entire book until I got to the final 20% when the mystery arc finally reached it's pinnacle and I was forced to pay attention.

With that being said, I'm still hopeful that since this is the first of a series, the author was just setting everything up for the sequels. I'm giving book 2 a try, but if it doesn't pick up the entertainm
Jenni Lea
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenni Lea by: Natasha
Shelves: 2013-sh-november

What a great start to a series! I loved Adrien! I didn’t love Riordan! A bunch of people died. A bunch of other people lived. There was a mystery. And a Hollywood-esque HFN ending. And there was too sex in this book. I was sucked in and now I have to read the rest of the series. Like, right now. I feel sorry for all my other books that I have to read because they are just going to sit there until I’ve finished with the entire series. And possibly Josh Lanyon’s other series. And his stand-alones.

Re-read in October 2018 with Chris Patton. So great. Perfect audio.

Perfect reading pleasure. Great humor. I love Adrien :)
Literatures Movies
May 07, 2018 marked it as maybe-i-ll-come-back-to-this

Despite this series being one of the M/M book gods, I shall be skipping this one thanks to my darling Shile for letting me know that there will be no romance whatsoever in this book.

So. Being a romance freak that I am, I refuse to put myself through hundreds of pages of no romance.

And I was so excited to start this one too.

*le sigh*

Pre-reading :

There are only a handful of M/M books that has been recommended to me time and time again. These kinds of
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Deeze by: v
I thoroughly enjoined this first introduction to Adrien English. As usual my deduction skills left me out of the loop till nearly the end, but I did manage to figure out who done it a fraction before I was told lol.

I loved that this book was based on story not instant love/sex. The murder mystery theme is not my first choice, but I’m now eager to read more of Adrien and his mysteries.

I’m also extremely eager to read more of Jake. There was no real love interest in this book, although the seeds
The mystery more engaging than I expected, as I'm not normally a fan of suspense novels. The romantic development surprised me as well by not at all following the pattern I assumed it would. Both things were pleasant surprises, and I liked this book for those very reasons. And I admit Adrien English as a character had a certain rough charm that grew on me as well.

If the rest of the books in the series are this good, I'll read them all.
Jan 30, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-own-work
My first mystery novel. Re-edited and revamped.

So pleased I finally picked this up (thanks for the push Anna) I finished it in one sitting, and was very tempted to start the next straight away.

I’ll be honest and say I’m not reading this series for the murder mysteries thing, I’m reading (and reviewing) it for the (hopefully) romantic relationship development between Adrien English and Jake Riordaan.

I find that these murder mysteries leave me confused and frowny faced (not good for the wrinkles ya know) distracted and bored. I’m about as la
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The Challenge Fac...: Jennifer C, Melissa, Ezi - Fatal Shadows 33 26 Sep 10, 2013 08:12PM  
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Josh Lanyon is the author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance.

Her work has been translated into eleven languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the f

Other books in the series

The Adrien English Mysteries (5 books)
  • A Dangerous Thing (The Adrien English Mysteries, #2)
  • The Hell You Say (The Adrien English Mysteries, #3)
  • Death of a Pirate King (The Adrien English Mysteries, #4)
  • The Dark Tide (The Adrien English Mysteries, #5)

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