Josh Lanyon

Josh Lanyon is an American male/male fiction author that has written over sixty novels featuring unapologetic male on male romance, great adventure, and twisty mystery. Her excellent fiction has once made her be referred to as the gay mystery Agatha Christie. Her novels have been translated into more than ten languages. Her debut novel was “Fair Game” an FBI thriller was published by the biggest Italian Romance Harlequin Mondadori. Over the course of about seven years, she published her sixty titles in the Adrien English series, the Holmes & Moriarity Series, A Shot In the Dark series, The All’s Fair series, The Art of Murder series among several freestanding novels. Her novellas include The Dangerous Ground series, The Doyle & Spain series, The Haunted Heart series, The I Spy series, The In A Dark Wood series, The Xoxo Files series, The Dark Horse series among other freestanding novellas and short stories. Her novel “Fatal Shadows” was the first foreign-authored title to make the Boy Love novelist in Japan in 2016. The Adrien English series got the All Time Favorite Male Male Couple Goodreads M/M Group Award. Josh Lanyon was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by Goodreads Favorite M/M Author awards. She also made the shortlist for the Best Gay Mystery at the Lambda Literary Awards on four different instances, and is a four-time Eppie Award winner. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband Kevin Burton Smith.

Josh Lanyon has always wanted to be a writer ever since she was a child and started writing poetry when she was sixteen. She sold her first work to Harlequin right after completing her college studies before she tried her hand in music. Music turned out to be harder than she thought it would be and hence she decided to focus only in writing. She turned out to be quite good at mystery writing and sold an entire series to Penguin and Pocket Books, before she changed genre to write MM as Josh Lanyon. Back in 1996 when she started in MM it was not so easy to publish an MM novel, as mainstream was just not interested in those types of stories. Moreover, being a woman many GLBT preferred titles written by gay men, as they believed these captured the essence of MM relationships. She got 27 rejections with her real name before she changed to the male sounding name of Josh Lanyon. She sent her manuscript to Gay Men’s Press and was surprised when it was instantly accepted, which told her it was more about the author than the story. Having built her brand as Josh Lanyon for over two decades, she decided to just keep the name and even make it her legal DBA. Furthermore, she does not believe that gender should matter in how a novel is received as long as the work is high quality. She believes that the key to writing good fiction is craft, imagination, empathy, and research all of which she has in spades.

Josh Lanyon writes male on male romance in the context of adventure or mystery novels. Her stories will typically have sweary and sex words alongside a lot of smoking and drinking, which are generally be considered adult content. These are gay novels about tough writers, handsome special agents, gorgeous navy SEALs, tough and sensitive artist, and elite cops. From time to time, she writes about witches, though for the most part she likes to write grownup stories about relationships. The novels are typically about civilized grownups that fall in love at the worst of times in their lives, making a relationship seem almost impossible. In some instances, they will have to build their relationship while trying to solve a murder or running for their lives from a malicious killer. However, it is not always about the negative as most of her works have a happily ever after ending. For her protagonists, she writes about civilized people but does not include the dreary bits such as arguments about dirty socks on the kitchen table or whose turn it is to wash the dishes. She prefers to make her protagonists funny capable and smart, even if they make a lot of mistakes just like the usual capable and smart people in real life. Some of the protagonists battle chronic addiction or illness, some may own a cat, some are Democrat or Republican depending on what she believes will make a good story. Overall, she loves to write about multifaceted characters that almost anyone can connect with.

“Fatal Shadows”, the first novel of the Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon is the excellent introduction to the adventurous life of Adrien English. Adrien English is an aspiring mystery author and gay man from Los Angeles, who opens his front door to find himself staring at a dead body. The man laying bloodied on his front lawn is his employee and high school friend, who just happens to have been seen engaging in a very loud and public spat with Adrien eight hours earlier. The cops are now on his neck, particularly the homophobic, intimidating, and sexy detective Jake Riordan. Jake is an obnoxious man whose jerky behavior makes one want to punch him in the throat every few chapters. However, that is the least of Adrien’s problems as his shop is broken into and ransacked a few hours later. Jake thinks Adrien is trying to deflect attention and suspicion, but Adrien believes his life may be in real danger from a mysterious killer.

“A Dangerous Thing”, the second novel of the Adrien English series opens to a frustrated Adrien English. English is struggling to get his creative groove back on while trying to come to terms with a relationship with closeted Jake Riordan, the LAPD Homicide Detective from the first novel. He arrives home to find another dead body on his front yard, but by the time he phones in the murder and goes back onto the yard, the body has gone missing. He is back in the familiar position of being the main suspect in a mysterious murder that forces him once again into amateur sleuthing. The game has now turned deadly and Adrien needs all the help he can get from Jake if he is to stay alive. Jake’s love life may be full of confusion, but one thing he is not confused about is that he has to keep Adrien alive regardless of what it takes. The novel is a great detective mystery full of witty dialogue, humor, subtle play that makes for a riveting thriller narrative.

Books in order of publication by series:

Partners in Crime Books

Boy Meets Body(2007) 
I’ll Be Dead For Christmas(2007) 
Footsteps in the Dark(2008) 
The Art of Dying(2009) 
Committed to Memory(2009) 

Crimes & Cocktails Mystery Series Book

Mexican Heat(2008)

Adrien English Books

Death of a Pirate King(2008) 
The Dark Tide(2010) 
The Hell You Say(2011) 
Fatal Shadows(2012) 
A Dangerous Thing(2012) 
Stranger Things Have Happened(2013) 
So This is Christmas(2016) 

Holmes & Moriarity Books

Somebody Killed His Editor(2010) 
All She Wrote(2011) 
The Boy With The Painful Tattoo(2014) 

All’s Fair Books

Fair Game(2010) 
Fair Play(2014) 
Fair Chance(2017) 

XOXO Files Book

Mummy Dearest(2011) 

Doyle & Spain Book

Snowball in Hell(2011)

Dangerous Ground Books

Old Poison(2011) 
Dangerous Ground(2012) 
Blood Heat(2012) 
Dead Run(2013) 
Kick Start(2013) 

I Spy Books

I Spy Something Wicked(2011) 
I Spy Something Bloody(2012) 

Dark Horse Books

The Dark Horse(2012) 
The White Knight(2012) 

Shot in the Dark Book

This Rough Magic(2013) 

Haunted Heart Book


Art Of Murder Books

The Mermaid Murders(2016) 
The Monet Murders(2017) 
The Magician Murders(2018) 
The Monuments Men Murders(2019) 

Bedknobs and Broomsticks Books

Mainly by Moonlight(2019) 
I Buried a Witch(2019) 
Bell, Book and Scandal(2020)

Secrets and Scrabble Books

Murder at Pirate’s Cove(2020)
Secret at Skull House(2020)

Standalone Novels

Man, Oh Man(2008) 
The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks(2008) 
Strange Fortune(2009) 
To All a (Very Sexy) Good Night(2010) 
The Darkling Thrush(2012) 
Come Unto These Yellow Sands(2012) 
A Vintage Affair(2012) 
Blood Red Butterfly(2013) 
Stranger on the Shore(2014) 
Short Stories(2015) 
Wedding Favors(2015) 
Wizard’s Moon(2015) 
Murder in Pastel(2015) 
Jefferson Blythe, Esquire(2015) 
The Curse of the Blue Scarab(2016) 
All I Want for Christmas(2017) 
If Only in My Dreams(2017) 
Murder Takes the High Road(2018) 

Short Stories/Novellas

The Dickens with Love(2009) 
The Dark Farewell(2010) 
A Limited Engagement(2010) 
In a Dark Wood(2011) 
The French Have a Word for It(2011) 
Until We Meet Once More(2011) 
Lovers and Other Strangers(2011) 
Lone Star(2011) 
Cards On the Table(2012) 
A Ghost of a Chance(2012) 
Perfect Day(2012) 
Don’t Look Back(2012) 
Out of the Blue(2012) 
Heart Trouble(2012) 
I Spy Something Christmas(2012) 
In Plain Sight(2013) 
The Parting Glass(2013) 
Everything I Know(2014) 
Baby, it’s Cold(2014) 
Winter Kill(2015) 
A Case of Christmas(2015) 
Night Watch(2016) 
Murder Between the Pages(2017) 
Christmas Waltz: Holiday Codas(2017) 
Plenty of Fish(2017) 
Halloween is Murder(2017) 
The Boy Next Door(2017) 
The Ghost Had an Early Check-Out(2018)
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