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I think Josh Lanyon amused a bit himself in describing the character of Christopher Holmes, a fortyish and grumpy mystery writer. Christopher was a prodigy writer, being published and bestselling at 20 years old and something. After that exploit, he continued to thriving with his series on a sleuthing old spinster and her cat, till the moment the market changes and he finds himself old fashioned like his heroine. The market wants new things, the readers want paranormal and erotica, they want romance and sex (not necessarily in this order) and Christopher is not able to write romance, above all since he is just been dumped by his long last boyfriend and committed partner for a younger man.

And here comes out the real Christopher, a man that the author would like to present like a bookish and grumpy intellectual, and instead comes out like a man bigger than him. Christopher likes the things to be simple and easy and he doesn't like to take risk, both in life than in his writing career. He is methodical and a creature of habit, and he likes to be the center of attention. He likes to see his books at the top of the bestselling lists, not for the money, but for the attention. I think Christopher has a bit of self-esteem trouble, and he pours his personal insecurities on his career. He takes very seriously the competition, and he has the tendency to be a bit of a snob regarding the other works, even if he knows all of them (meaning that he has read all of them).

His agent recommends him a change of style, she forces him to go to a writers retreat where he will have the chance to meet his editor and rethinks his career. But as soon as he arrives, a corpse is discovered and the place is isolated by the bad weather. More among the other writers there is also J.X., a 5 years younger fellow mystery writer and former cop, he seduced and dumped 10 years before, when J.X. was only an aspiring writer. Christopher had dumped him for the same man than now dumped Christopher, and so obviously, seeing him again makes Christopher wonders if he didn't do the wrong choice.

Again I had the idea that Christopher is more disappointed that J.X. doesn't notice him than of the fact that he is the main suspect for the murder. He is so self-conscious that he arrives to consider a problem a merely 5 years difference in age, and he starts to check his wrinkles on every mirror he has the chance to reflect on. Instead of trying to find the real culprit, he spends his time trying to bring J.X. on the nearer bed available, and while he is busy to seduce again the poor J.X., the killer has all the time to strike again. Now, don't get me wrong, when it's time to investigate, that is when someone near Christopher is involved, Christopher unveils all his potential as private investigator, but again, only since he is personally involved and not for the love of mystery...

And J.X.? Well he is the perfect boyfriend of an amateur sleuth: former cop, and so with knowledge enough to be of some help, but younger and in love, and so pliant enough to not being the dominant figure in their relationship. Apparently J.X. is the stronger in the relationship, but, even if he is always complaining of something (he is cold, he is wet, he is tired), Christopher is the real mainstay of the two, J.X. is a, very nice, supporting character. Anyway even if selfish and selfcentered, Christopher is finally an amateur sleuth that I like more for how he is than for what he does, I have always had a soft spot for the egocentric characters (maybe since they are less perfect and more real?)

http://samhainpublishing.com/print/somebody-killed-his-editor-print

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