elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

I'll Be Dead for Christmas by Josh Lanyon & Sarah Black

Snowball in Hell by Josh Lanyon

This is a very good mystery. If you are good enough you will pick up al the clues scattered all arounf the book and have a change to unveil the murderer even before the last page. If not, you have read a very good story with two wonderful, but very real characters, and a sweet love story.

It's the Christmas of 1943 and Nathan is a reporter who is just returned home from the European conflict where he has served as journalist along the British Army. He seems to not have been accustomed again to the civil life, and even if he is beloved by collegue and family he is a pretty solitary man. Tiny and fair, he doesn't seem strong enough, but he hides a stubborn character. He is also a very cultured man, he reads Plato and Thomas Aquinas.

Mathew is an LAPD lieutenant; he has served as Marine at the beginning of the WWII at Guadalcanal, but after being wounded he has returned home only to see his beloved wife dying of cancer some months after. Now he is a man who has voted his life to work. He is a simple and good man, someone you can rely on. He is clever, maybe not taught, he reads westerns. (according to Matt, and maybe Josh Lanyon, you could tell a lot about a man by what he chose to read).

When Nathan and Matt meet, they now from the first moment that they have found a soul mate. Nathan has searched for all his life to denying his homosexuality, maybe even trying to kill himself in the conflict, but not daring to committ suicide: he is catholic and even if he judges himself an abomination, he can't do something against God. Matt instead has long admited that he likes men, but he has had a good marriage, and after the death of his wife, he has not searched another mate, female or male. But Nathan, maybe after seeing so many men dying without a real reason, needs the human contact, even if the strange and detached contact he can found in a one standing encounter in the shadow of the night.

But there is a murder and Nathan seems to be the last person to have seen alive the victim and he has also some secrets to hidden. Secrets that only Matt has discovered, thanks to the very attraction he has felt for this man. And so, while both Nathan then Matt, every one in his own way, try to unveil the real name of the murderer, a fragile relationship blossoms between them, a relationship that, in 1943, could destroy everything they have.

As I said, the mystery is pretty good, it has reminded me one of those black and white movies, Humphrey Bogart style (even if I don't envision Nathan nor Matt with the face of Bogey...) or lately L.A. Confidential (and maybe Matt with the face of Russel Crowe and Nathan with that of Guy Pearce...), but what I was searching reading the book, and that I have found wonderfully written, is the love story between Nathan and Matt.


Amazon Kindle: Snowball in Hell (Doyle & Spain)
Publisher: Carina Press (April 4, 2011)

Death of a Blues Angel by Sarah Black

Sometime you find a pearl. A book which shines of light and for which your heart thunders and roadrunners throught the lenght of the book hoping that in the end...

Deacon, Deke, is a mix Native and African American photoreporter in Washington DC in 1966. Usually he writes about the world changind around him, of the vulcano boiling in the deep of the earth and ready to break free and he is pretty upset when his editor ask him to write about a young white man who dares to play the blues with three old legends in the Black Quarters. But when he meets the eyes with Rafael, Rafe, he is lost. Rafe is like an angel, like the Rafaellian angels his name brings to memory, and he stands out among the eighty and more years old men he has followed from Mississippi. Or the three men have followed him? Cause Rafe calls them family and tries in every way to protect them, even more when a young girl is found dead in the room upstair the club they were playing. And Deke has to do his work and at the same time try to protect this young man he felt in love at first sight.

The life will not be simple for Deke and Rafe, white and black in 1966 is not a likely pair, and if they are both men... troubles are around the corner.

Rafe is young and idealist, with star-eyes and the strenght of the youth, with a clear path in front of him that tells him what is right and what is wrong. And when he is wrong, he makes very big mistakes, mistakes that only Deke could forgive. Also Deke sees in black and white (no pun intended), but he knows there are also shades of gray, and you have to make comprimise. But he is for the first time in love and he is not a man used to it, and he is not perfect, even if he could play the role of the knight in shining armour. He is serious and maybe he could be a good balance to Rafe, if he manages to convince the boy to behave...

The love story is wonderful, romantic and heartbreaking, so warm and cozy. There is sex, yes, I like it, but it's written with a light hand which leaves you satisfy cause it doesn't overwhelm the pureness of the story.


Amazon Kindle: Death of a Blues Angel
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Amazon: I'll Be Dead For Christmas Partners in Crime#2
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: MLR Press; 1 edition (December 4, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934531022
ISBN-13: 978-1934531020

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading+list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: josh lanyon, author: sarah black, genre: historical, length: novel, review, theme: cops, theme: multicultural, theme: seasonal romance, theme: show business, theme: virgins

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