Saturday, July 12, 2014

This Rough Magic by Josh Lanyon


Shot in the Dark - Book 1

I enjoy Josh Lanyon. His writing isn't fancy, it doesn't have an agenda or a cause to espouse, it's just good old-fashioned story-telling.

This Rough Magic is a mystery set in the 1930's and is the first in the "Shot in the Dark" series. It stars a 'hard-boiled' private eye and a wealthy (to the outside world) playboy. There's a stolen work of Shakespeare, quirky relatives, the sweet secretary, polo ponies... all that good stuff.

Neil Rafferty, the private eye is not as hard-boiled as say, Sam Spade, but he's been around, is somewhat cynical and at times world-weary, but the man has a heart of gold. Brett Sheridan, the wealthy playboy, doesn't really come across as a playboy. He's sensitive, almost to a fault at times, somewhat self-centred and quite honestly, I wanted to smack him a couple of times, but then he'd come up with a snappy remark or some wry observation and get back into my good graces.

The mystery worked for the most part. I would have liked more time and attention given to what transpired at the Brett's mother's house and maybe a little more explanation of the 'why' at the very end, but it seems to me that today's 'romance' writers are afraid to have even a little bit of extra padding in their stories - and it's not really extra padding, I just can't think of the proper description, but I find that so many of them are so sparse! That's mostly why This Rough Magic didn't make 4 stars. Too sparse.

But very enjoyable!

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