Title: So This is Christmas (Adrien English Mysteries #7)
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: JustJoshin Publications
Release Date: December 30, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery / Suspense
Page Count: 127
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
God Help You Merry Gentlemen…
Arriving home early after spending Christmas in jolly old England, sometimes amateur sleuth Adrien English discovers alarming developments at Cloak and Dagger Books–and an old acquaintance seeking help in finding his missing boyfriend.
Fortunately, Adrien just happens to know a really good private eye…
Oh, Jake. Oh, Adrien-with-an-e …. how I’ve missed you! Set six months after The Dark Tide, and immediately following their Christmas-time trip to London (Click here for Josh Lanyon’s blog and search for Christmas Coda 41) Jake and Adrien have returned home to celebrate their first Christmas together quietly and privately. That is until Jake gets a new case, and an old acquaintance from Adrien’s past (Kevin O’Reilly from “A Dangerous Thing”) asks him for help locating his boyfriend … and it turns out both are searching for the same person.
The mystery is well-done with the proper amount of suspects and suspense and it’s nice to get updates on Angus, Natalie, Alonzo, Kate, Guy and others. But what really makes this story so touching is seeing just how far Jake and Adrien have come. Happiness shines through Adrien but Jake at times battles his fears: “Maybe because somewhere in the back of my brain is the fear that there are some things you can’t put right. That I had my chance and I blew it. And that all this” — he nodded at the dining room where we sat — “is just a way station on the road to wherever I’m going to eventually wind up.” AND “It isn’t logic. It’s jealousy and fear. Because I didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it. And maybe deep down I don’t know that I really deserve another chance.”
There’s a sense of melancholy as Jake remembers past Christmases being alienated from his family and Adrien recalls that Christmas Jake told him he was going to marry Kate. But there’s also the overwhelming realization for both men that this is it:
“I love you. I’ll love you till the day I die. And afterward. If there is an afterward.” That seemed to go unexpectedly dark. I said gently, “I know. It’s the same for me.”
I highly recommend “So This is Christmas” and give it 5 stars. BONUS: After you’ve finished the book, make sure to stop by Lanyon’s blog and search for Adrien and Jake’s 2016 Christmas Coda 47 which is a deleted scene from So This is Christmas.