Kiss of Death
by Josh Lanyon
Why mystery? This is a question I hear on a regular basis.
Especially because my mysteries all contain a heavy dollop of romance and eroticism. Why not simply write romance?
But unlike both the traditional and postmodern mystery, the modern mystery is less concerned with puzzles and more concerned with character and social/societal change — and that makes it the perfect vehicle to drive my relationship stories.
Is there any greater mystery than love? Putting lust aside for a moment — because that’s a whole different thing — what attracts us to another person? What makes us want to spend our life — share our bathroom counter space — with another human?
There is no more powerful emotion than love. It has the power to shape and transform lives. And yet love can fail — and people who once loved can plot to murder each other.
Why do people murder each other? If we’re talking premeditation, the classic motives for murder are greed, lust, revenge, and fear (all other motives are merely refinements of these — and as popular as the maniac serial killer is, madness is not actually a motive).
That means the stakes are always high in a murder mystery. In our society there’s no greater crime than the unlawful taking of another’s life. Death is the end game. There is no coming back, no reparation or recovery possible for the victim — and our cultural belief is that committing this act, the crime of taking another’s life — alters the murderer too. So with the type of mystery-romance I write, I’m always dealing with the best and the worst of human nature. The story is, by default, going to be intense. Hearts are at stake. Lives are at stake. The future is at stake.
But there are other reasons I love the mystery genre. I love it for its logical structure and its infinite variety. I love it for its rules and its twists and turns. I love its Golden Age traditions and the fact that it is still evolving, still changing. I love that it is a broad enough genre to contain both Dorothy L Sayers and Jasper Fforde. But what I especially love is that in the mystery novel, a violent and often chaotic world always makes sense. The “mystery” is always solved — even when it is not solved, the lack of solution is in itself a calculated resolution. And while the villain is not always captured and punished, most of the time — certainly in my stories — there is always justice.
A world where even violence makes sense — and finding love that will last a lifetime. You can’t ask for more than that.
About Fair Play
Fifty years ago, Roland Mills belonged to a violent activist group. Now, someone is willing to kill to prevent him from publishing his memoirs.
When ex-FBI agent Elliot Mills is called out to examine the charred ruins of his childhood home, he quickly identifies the fire for what it is–arson. A knee injury may have forced Elliot out of the Bureau, but it’s not going to stop him from bringing the man who wants his father dead to justice.
Agent Tucker Lance is still working to find the serial killer who’s obsessed with Elliot and can’t bear the thought of his lover putting himself in additional danger. Straightlaced Tucker has never agreed with radical Roland on much–“opposing political viewpoints” is an understatement–but they’re united on this: Elliot needs to leave the case alone. Now.
Tucker would do nearly anything for the man he loves, but he won’t be used to gain Elliot access to the FBI’s resources. When the past comes back to play and everything both men had known to be true is questioned, their fragile relationship is left hanging in the balance.
About Josh Lanyon
A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including the Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery. Josh is also the author of the definitive M/M writing guide Man, Oh Man: Writing M/M Fiction for Kinks and Ca$h.
Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist — and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Josh has graciously offered up winner’s choice from his audio backlist to FIVE WINNERS!! The giveaway starts now and ends November 29, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.
Don’t forget to check out Trish’s review of Fair Play to see what she thought of it!