Hi there! Today I’m sharing a Throwback Thursday review for a contemporary M/M mystery from Josh Lanyon. MURDER TAKES THE HIGH ROAD is a standalone murder mystery with romantic elements featuring a librarian on a tour of Scotland who finds himself discovering more than adventure.
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?
Carter Matheson is a librarian on a mission to enjoy his first trip abroad–visiting sites in Scotland incorporated into the mystery-thrillers of his favorite author Vanessa Rayburn–even if he has to spend it with his ex, Trevor, and his ex’s new boyfriend. Carter considers this the trip of his lifetime, and the way the intrigue unfolds it might just be his last.
Carter is one of few uncoupled people on the tour, and due to the Trevor fiasco he’s sharing his room with an unknown man, John Knight, who is pithy and mysterious in his own right. Carter is nearly killed by a shove into traffic, and later his room is trashed, presumably by someone with a vendetta. Thing is, the mischief maker must be someone on the tour, because who else would be perfectly positioned to strike? It’s a busload of middle-aged mystery buffs, so everyone had a theory, and they aren’t all that quiet about sharing them. Plus, Trevor’s really laying it on trying to work a jealousy angle–or maybe win Carter back. Carter’s confused, and not just about his relationships. He’s got an eye on John, whose behavior isn’t bordering odd–it’s downright fishy at times. But, Carter’s also a bit attracted to the man, and he’s not sure if John’s staging all the trouble, or the target of it.
I loved the way Carter thinks, and analyzes the situations. He’s not super intrepid, but he does strive for logic, which is a departure from some of his tour mates. He’s quick to see through Trevor’s shenanigans and note the idiosyncrasies of the people he meets in his travel party. He and John become allies of a sort, and they do connect in that bump and grind way without a whole lot of preamble. This is more of a mystery than a romance, and there’s just enough of a flavor for these guys to add a further complication. I liked how there was more than one set of nefarious activities happening and that put Carter and John at cross purposes, at least for a little while. The descriptions of the Scottish countryside, travels and manor homes are just intriguing enough to tempt a would-be traveler. The end is super fast paced, with Carter figuring out the big murder mystery and John being in the right place at the right time to make the ending happy. For strangers on a European tour, the resolution provides a glimmer that these guys have more than a vacation fling. Fun, engaging, fast-paced and with lots of blind ends and hair pin curves, I really liked this one.
About the Author:
Josh Lanyon is the author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance.
Her work has been translated into eleven languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the first M/M title to be published in print. In 2016 Fatal Shadows placed #5 in Japan’s annual Boy Love novel list (the first and only title by a foreign author to place). The Adrien English Series was awarded All Time Favorite Male Male Couple in the 2nd Annual contest held by the 20,000+ Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist (twice for Gay Mystery), an Edgar nominee and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!