Review: Snowball in Hell from Josh Lanyon

Published in e-book format on April 4, 2011 from Carina Press. Josh Lanyon’s newest murder mystery novel sizzles. It’s the 1940s and the world is grey with the lingering of war when Lt. Matthew Spain discovers the body of a wealthy, powerful man’s son in the tar pits. A new reporter, Nathan Doyle, had his reasons for wanting the man dead, and knows he will soon be a suspect so he sets out to solve the case and keep his own secrets safe. He can’t deny the instant attraction he had to Spain, and is shocked to see that maybe, just maybe, the Lieutenant is attracted to him too. They will have to work together to solve the case  before the killer can strike again.

Lanyon’s writing is always a pleasure. His prose is vivid and alive; he manages to create entirely realistic, and endearing characters that you will be rooting for the entire way. The blossoming relationship between Spain and Doyle is tense, especially with the hostile environment of the 1940s towards homosexuality. The mystery is well-crafted and even though I figured out who had done it before the end I wasn’t disappointed.

Lanyon perfectly recreates the feel of the 1940s, film noir style, and draws you in from the first page. The murder mystery begins from page one, but so does the sizziling, and forbidden attraction between Doyle and Spain. Doyle in particular was a beautifully tragic character. His struggles with his sexuality are raw and heartbreaking and Lanyon handles them with ease and grace.

That said, the book is short, at just under 45,000 words and the declarations of feelings between the characters felt rushed at the end, especially given both mens previous conflict and struggles with his sexuality. However, I am excited to learn that this book is the beginning of a series and the next book out will be released in 2012.

If you enjoy film noir, murder mysteries with two hunky male leads finding love then Josh Lanyon’s Snowball in Hell is a dream come true. In fact, I would say if you enjoy murder mysteries and/or m/m romance focused on the characters and not just the sex then I would highly recommend any of Josh Lanyon’s work.

You can buy Snowball in Hell here.

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