Early Review | Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon

Murder Takes High RoadMurder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon
M/M Cozy Mystery

Carina Press | April 23, 2018

About the Book: From award-winning male/male author Josh Lanyon: a librarian finds himself in a plot right out of one of his favorite mystery novels

Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author.

Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.

Drawn into the intrigue, Carter searches for answers, trying to fend off his growing attraction toward John. As unexplained tragedies continue, the whole tour must face the fact that there may be a murderer in their midst—but who?

amazon2 bn2

Good golly, I love Josh Lanyon books!  I love how fluid and elegant her writing style is.  Plus, I feel like while she consistently writes mysteries, they’re never similar.  I’m sure I’ve said this before, but some feel like episodes of Criminal Minds, while others feel as comfortable and warm as Murder She Wrote.  Murder Takes the High Road felt like a British murder mystery show, which was so fun!

Another thing I love about her stories is that none of the characters feel replayed.  Carter, in this book, is very different from characters in other books.  He felt a little stuffy, but in a sweet friendly way.  I loved how he interacted with the others attending the themed bus tour.  Everyone was unique, with their own voices and quirky interactions.  Reading how this group mingled was definitely one of the best parts of the book.

Surprisingly I also liked the dynamic between Carter and his ex-partner Trevor.  It was contentious enough to be entertaining, especially with Trevor’s new lover in the picture.  I thought it added some personal drama to a story that could have been very impersonal.  Because, that is the one downside of setting a book inside a one week vacation.  We don’t learn much about Carter’s everyday life.  We don’t get to know what makes him tick regularly.  We’ve got only this one week to learn about the hero, solve a mystery, and watch him fall in love.  It’s ambitious.

Which brings me to the mystery… Normally Josh Lanyon takes me for a ride.  I don’t always figure out whodunit right away, but reading Murder Takes the High Road I had it all figured out pretty damn quick.  Far quicker than the spunky/stuffy lead, Carter.  To be fair, I didn’t have all the why’s and the motives, but I definitely knew who was the bad guy was, among all the smaller mysteries too.  I don’t even think I was that good, I think the story was pretty transparent.

I also wasn’t completely invested in Carter and John as a romantic couple.  I don’t think this was an issue with the story, so much as how I find as I get older I stop believing two people can fall in love over a span of 3 days.  I find romance far more believable if the characters already know each other, or if there’s a larger time frame for them to get to know one other.  It made everything that happened between John and Carter pretty bland for me.  I guess I just prefer Josh Lanyon’s serial books more.

Still, this was a fun read, full of atmosphere and entertainment.  Now I can’t wait to start The Magician Murders!

Rating: 3_5 feather

Thank you to Carina Press, for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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