Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes and Moriarity #1)

Somebody Killed His Editor
Title: Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes and Moriarity #1)
Author: Josh Laynon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery
Page Count: 272
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The road back to bestsellerdom can be deadly.
Holmes & Moriarity, Book 1

Thanks to an elderly spinster sleuth and her ingenious cat, Christopher Holmes has enjoyed a celebrated career as a bestselling mystery writer. Until now. Sales are down and his new editor is allergic to geriatric gumshoes.

On the advice of his agent, he reinvents his fortyish, frumpy, recently dumped self into the sleek, sexy image of a literary lion, and heads for a Northern California writers conference to try and resurrect his career. A career nearly as dead as the body he stumbles over in the woods.

In a weirdly déjà vu replay of one of his own novels, he finds himself stranded in an isolated lodge full of frightened women—and not a lawman in sight. Except for J.X. Moriarity, former cop and bestselling novelist. The man with whom he shared a one-night stand—okay, maybe three—long ago. The man who wants to arrest him for murder.

A ruthless, stalking killer, or a hot, handsome ex-lover. Which poses the greater danger? It’s elementary, my dear Holmes!

Somebody Killed His Editor #1
All She Wrote #2
The Boy with the Painful Tattoo #3

If you are a avid mystery reader, you will find the plot comfortable and familiar, much like an old friend whose been gone for a while but has come back energized and rejuvenated wearing Calvin Kleins and Doc Martens, or similar. Sorry, not up on my fashion brands…

Holmes is a recluse by nature, even at the young age of 40. He doesn’t want to be at this Writers Conference in wine country, in a raging storm, trying to look like someone he’s not. But he knows if he doesn’t, it might be the nail in his theoretical coffin. However, when calamity strikes three times and it seems someone else is trying to write the final chapter of his career, he starts to put two and two together and it adds up to him and JX Moriarity.

Lanyon writes a solid book; his plots are well executed, his characters engaging and not infrequently a bit eccentric, and the sex fits the scene and characters.

I really enjoy how Holmes and Moriarity behave like real people. There is jealousy, past hurt, anger, self-doubt, harsh words, sarcasm, and tender moments of self-realization as everything comes to the climatic who-done it of the murder mystery.

I have a handful of tiny complaints:
1) At the beginning of the story, Christopher uses his editor’s shower. It later comes to light he removes his earing stud. I have to ask…who removes earing studs? Especially diamond studs? I’ve found its always far safer to leave studs in because removing an setting somewhere means they will get lost and forgotten.

2) I did find JX’s abduction and subsequent release a bit implausible, given the eventual murder confessed that they didn’t want to kill a cop. But, where they stuck JX and given what JX knew, by default JX was a liability. So JX’s abduction didn’t make sense to me in that regard.

3) I struggled with the setting. My brain kept wanting to stick this in New England, not in California wine country. I think that was because I never really got a feel for the setting. It was stormy, perpetually raining; everything was sodden and brown from the summer, dripping with excess moisture. There was a main lodge and cabins; an abandoned ice house, a large garage for the vehicles, and a generator shed. But beyond that, it really could have been anywhere.

4) I think Christopher commented on this – didn’t anyone actually write at this thing?

Ultimately, I loved the humor, wit and sarcasm. I loved Holmes insecurities because it made him more real. I loved how JX balanced those insecurities with his own emotions. A very enjoyable solid read.

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