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Cards on the Table

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,219 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Fifty years ago a glamorous Hollywood party ended in murder -- the only clue a bloody Tarot card. Timothy North is trying to find out what happened that long ago summer's night, but when a Tarot card turns up pinned to his front door, the only person Tim can turn to for help is his ex-lover, Detective Jack Brady.

Originally published in the "Partners in Crime" anthology.
Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Just Joshin (first published October 13th 2007)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  1,219 ratings  ·  157 reviews

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Written March 16, 2015

3.2 Stars - A solid Lanyon crime with an old glamorous Hollywood touch

I needed something short in between to listening to yesterday. This 3 hours Josh Lanyon crime narrated by Sean Crisden felt like an excellent choice.


Book-blurb and characters:

~ ‘Fifty years ago, a glamorous Hollywood party ended in murder - the only clue a bloody Tarot card. Timothy North is trying to find out what happened that long ago summer's
Rosa, really
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with more emotional fortitude

I love the mystery. I love the classic Hollywood movie stars, the astrologist and the gangsters. I liked Sean Crisden's narration. But the romance, man, the romance.

It depresses the ever living fuck out of me.

Jack the Cop (who I like despite wanting to yell at him that "what? Like you're so perfect? Like you have it all together?") has some really good reasons for not (at first) wanting to continue dating Tim the Writer (who, yes, could make a few changes), but his reasons just hit way too clo
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it

Ah, Lanyon love! It feels so right and wonderful to be back in the arms of a Josh Lanyon mystery layered with humor, tenderness, and love. The man can fill a story with just the right amount of twists & turns, jabs, wit, heat and tension to send my heart a’skipping, grinning, and sighing! Cards On The Table has everything I love in an old school, cold case mystery. The dead body, quirky suspect list, library research, mob connections, dangers and dimples! Oh, don’t forget the handsome police det
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s no secret that I love Josh Lanyon’s work. But her older books do a hell of a job reminding me why I fell in love with her in the first place.

Cards on The Table follows the story of Timothy North, former journalist and author who is working on a book covering the tragically short life and unsolved brutal death of old Hollywood princess Eva Aldrich (unrelated but (view spoiler)). Aldrich died at 24 having bei
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Josh Lanyon can write the same plot with similar characters (different names) for the rest of his/her career and I'll continue to buy, read, and love each and every story. And it's because of the way the words flow together, like these:

"...I felt surrender well up and flow through him -- the white flag spilling in my mouth."

Or "...we both moaned together in relief that sounded like harmony."

There's the funny stuff, like: "Tony the Cock's son, Frankie the Weenie", which made me snort my coffee
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it

very nicely set out -both the 'love' story and the mystery part are crafted to cleanly fit this short story. Enjoyed this in one gulp.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it

If I could sit down to coffee with Josh Lanyon, this is what would happen: first some "OMG, I love you so much"ing, possibly some tears (I'm a cryer!), some more squeeeing, and then I'd yell "Why do you hate me? You get me so into your stories and then they just...END! I need more! MUST. HAVE. MORE."...and then he'd walk out calling the police.

I loved "Cards on the Table". It reminded me a bit of "Fair Game" in that the main characters and their romance arc were kinda similar. This is a very ver
A stylish tale of a reporter investigating a 50-year-old Hollywood mystery. I liked the dynamic between Jack and Tim and the slow unveiling of the answer to the murder mystery. 4 stars.

Upon rereading this: I hate to say that it took me a chapter or so until I thought "Hey, this sounds vaguely familiar. Have I read this before?" And, yup I have, and yup I liked it the second time. Liked the slowly evolving relationship between Jack and Tim - its fits and starts, and its resolution. Another 4 star
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I get lost in Lanyon's stories. The real world just goes away and its almost a shock when I resurface after finishing the story. The characters and their world feel so real, and I feel strangely let down that they aren't.
Nazanin ex-Profile
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Josh Lanyon writes the best couples, I just wish she would develop their HEA more. Snif.
Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions
I've read this twice so far, I have the anthology version but assume not much has changed.

Reading third time 12-17-12 still just the antho. But obviously I love it if I'm rereading for a third time.

After third read still awesome.

Jake/Timothy reminded me of Jack/Adrien.

Detective Jake Brady and Timothy North, a former journalist with health problems, who writes his debut novel about an unsolved murder case of fifty years ago. It looks like after so many years, there are still people alive who don't have any interest that the truth comes to light.

I enjoyed this short novel a lot. I found mystery as well as a romance part very entertaining.

Read as a part of Male/Male Mystery and Suspense Box Set: 6 Novellas.
Classic Josh Lanyon. You have a writer with health issues taking on a cold case from old Hollywood. You have a cop neighbor. You have that uncertain tension between them. Never seen that before! Throw in a few colorful characters to murk up the waters and a tidy ending and case closed. One thing I personally like about these little books is how Lanyon nails certain aspects of LA. The old apartments with the pool in the middle and the laundry room out back. These buildings all had names like Quo ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think this is my favorite from what I have read of Lanyon so far. Ugh. Tim and Jack were amazing. I love how Lanyon makes you wait for the really good stuff until the end. Talk about literary foreplay!

I really liked the mystery in this one; the time of the unsolved murder, the Tarot cards and astrology and the whole Film Noir feel to the story, an almost Hitchcock telling as Tim researched his story and the murder... it was outstanding.

Tim and Jack though; my heart fell for them instantly. T
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
"In my experiece, when a guy tells you he doesn't want a serious relationsip, he really means he doesn't want a serious relationship with you."

Another great mystery from Josh Lanyon---
oooh, that was one of the best Josh Lanyon books I've enjoyed in a long time - classic and just perfect!
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: disability
3.75 stars

Interesting mystery with a second chance romance. I liked the romance but not wowed by it.
Ula'ndi Hart
Overall book rating: 4 (Only because it’s to short-stars)
Audio Book: N/A
Book Cover: 3.5

I’m (secretly/not-so-secretly) sad about this one.

I’m sad because this was one of those that I felt. One of those who had so much potential of turning into a great little series. One of those where the type of characters really just worked for me.

A thing I’ve come to like about Josh Lanyon, is the way she likes using characters that aren’t “flawless”.

And of course it helps to pull at the heart strings when
4.3 Stars

Yet another insecure writer (with a serious health issue) & a reticent detective working together in some way to help solve a crime; I guess, when comes to this trope and Josh Lanyon: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! And as much as I really liked this story, I can't even be irritated by that repetition.

The romance between Tim and Jack felt very real, the issues between them quite understandable. Plus, it took me forever to figure out this whodunit, which is always a pleasure when it com
Amy Spector
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great as both a mystery and a romance.
Tully Vincent
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Always enjoy stories about broken boys... Tim was a lovely one. The mystery itself was more of a three star but the parts between Jack and Tim made me bump it up.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Huge price drop to $0.99 at Amazon US for Kindle! 6/13/13!

Aaaaand another winner. Another Lanyon winner, that is.

And I know, I know, it is the formula. However, to me, somehow, it doesn't feel like a formula, more like ever so slightly differently nuanced elaborations on recurring themes that just hit home for me.
And some of these elaborations fall flat (cough, Kit, cough), and some just HIT the mark for me. And when they do, they hit hard.

The themes are, in no particular order,
* the never-ending struggle balancing emotional self-sufficiency with mea
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. I realised the other day that for me, m/m stories which focus more or less solely on the sex aspect are, quite frankly, boring. The real stories, those with depth and characters who come alive on the page and where the 'sex' is the added bonus - not the be-all-and-end-all of a book - are far more interesting and re-readable.

This is one of those books. Not that long, but packed with the most fabulous writing, a nice twisty little crime mystery, and several really loveable characters.
There's something about Josh Lanyon's protagonists that I have such a soft spot for....they're vulnerable yet have an inner strength and resourcefulness that makes you root for them from the get-go. A bad accident has left Timothy North physically damaged (view spoiler) and rather low in the self-esteem department. He's hurt and still angry that the hottie cop from next door, Jack, dropped him like a hot potato after one night together. It's this delicious tens ...more
Classic Lanyon formula. Writer going through some stuff, broody cop, a bit of heartache and a murder mystery. As usual the author makes it seem new and unique. I really enjoyed this one. Loved the couple and the mystery.
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: quick-easy-reads
While this had all the things I usually love in a Josh Lanyon story, I failed to really connect with it.

I enjoyed the murder mystery, and I enjoyed Tim and Jack, but I didn’t love this as much as his other books.

I guess I just didn’t feel the magic between Tim and his cop lol.
Trisha Harrington
Really great short story by Josh Lanyon. It was nice to see the MC's come together the way they did. The ending was just really sweet, and it made me giggle just a little bit.
A short but good novella. Tim, an author is researching a book about the 50 year old murder of a Hollywood starlet. However, somebody doesnt want him to finish his book.
The mystery was good and was foremost in the story rather than the fledgling romance between Tim and Jack, the policeman neighbour.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a book in typical Lanyon fashion through and through. The mystery aspect was, as usual, great - complex, with different lines of enquiry weaving into one believable truth. Those are the ones I love the most, because they are hard to predict, but still make sense in the end.
The romance was great (view spoiler), I loved Tim and Jack - as a matter of fact, I'll see right this instant if there isn't a Christm
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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

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“I deliberately ignored the sight of lean brown body cutting through the aqua water, glistening powerful arms dipping slow and steady in perfect rhythm with the strong kick of his long tanned legs.

I was going to have to work on my ignoring technique.

- Tim trying to ignore Jack in the swimming pool.”
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