Quickie Review: Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon

Format: ebook
Pub Date: (newly revised edition, April 2011)
Publisher: Carina
Length: 44,490 words
FTC: review copy via NetGalley

I'm incredibly late posting this review, but I blame the winter blues. Why? Because it's still acting like winter here. And thanks to someone on Twitter, I have a name for it: June-uary. Seriously. We've had maybe 1 day in the last month that hit 70 degrees. Anyhoo...my review:

I love Josh Lanyon's writing. Something about the mystery noir sensibility just makes me happy. And setting this one during  WWII? Total win. Finding a genre for this novella is a bit difficult. I'd say it was a m/m historical romantic suspense. And I think that's where my problem lies...I'd have preferred this story as a mystery.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the explicit scenes, but except for one...they seemed unnecessary to the plot. As if the author had added them to artificially turn up the heat level to match the preferences of the current crop of m/m readers.

The setting and characters are well done as always, though, and the mystery was believable. This is a very atmospheric piece of writing. It expertly captures the feel of the old film noir movies without overdoing it. And it made me care about the two lead characters enough to hope there are other stories in the works.

And props to Josh Lanyon: I didn't guess whodunnit. At all. I had part of the mystery figured out, but not who the murderer was. That's a rare thing for me.

My Grade: B

The Blurb:

Los Angeles, 1943
Reporter Nathan Doyle had his reasons to want Phil Arlen dead, but when he sees the man's body pulled from the La Brea tar pit, he knows he'll be the prime suspect. He also knows that his life won't stand up to intense police scrutiny, so he sets out to crack the case himself.
Lieutenant Matthew Spain's official inquiries soon lead him to believe that Nathan knows more than he's saying. But that's not the only reason Matt takes notice of the handsome journalist. Matt's been drawn to men before, but he must hide his true feelings—or risk his entire career.
As Nathan digs deeper, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay one step ahead of Matt Spain—and to deny his intense attraction to him. Nathan's secrets may not include murder, but has his hunt put him right in the path of the real killer?

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