Sunday, August 25

Somebody Killed His Editor by Josh Lanyon

Christopher Holmes is in a slump. The sales for his series about an elderly amateur sleuth and her cat are dwindling and his partner of ten years has run off with his PA. When his agent encourages him to attend a writer's retreat - in the middle of nowhere - he isn't anticipating much beyond boozing and catty conversation, let alone the appearance of a dead body.

It's not long before Christopher is the primary suspect, facing the scrutiny of gossiping writers with expansive imaginations and J.X. Moriarity: best-selling novelist, ex-cop, and Christopher's ex-fling. With all suspicion on him, Christopher is determined to do some sleuthing of his act which may just get him killed.

This is my second encounter with one of Josh Lanyon's novels, the first being 'A Snowball in Hell.' The premise of 'Somebody Killed His Editor' hooked me because I loved the idea of writers holed up in the middle of a crime scene, but the actual execution of the novel far exceeded my expectations.

What really carried the book is its voice. It is narrated in first person by the protagonist, Christopher Holmes, whose outer sarcastic self is only trumped by his inner snark. Not that his perspective isn't often called for, with an abundance of backhanded comments and cattiness at the retreat, plenty of which is targeted at Christopher and his career. His wit lends itself to his likeable and sympathetic nature, and he becomes a well-rounded character who feels like a real person with insecurities, flaws and flusters...and excellent comedic timing.

I liked that the conflict between Christopher and J.X. wasn't contrived. They had a history and J.X.'s cold attitude had a foundation, rather than being an irritating "love interest insults the protagonist even though they met five minutes ago" scenario. There is nothing forced about their interaction and it made for a far more intriguing dynamic.

The main reason I was so quick to purchase this book was that it was narrated on audio by Kevin R. Free, who co-narrates The Kane Chronicles. His narration didn't dissapoint and amplified Christopher's voice and my enjoyment of the novel.

'Somebody Killed His Editor' is a book I would highly recommend to anyone who loves mystery with a sublime sense of wit.
In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Samhain Publishing and is used solely as an aide to the review.

No comments: