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After bookstore clerk Angus flees following terrifying death threats, owner Adrien must contend with a mysterious Satanic cult, a hot and handsome university professor, and his on-again/off-again relationship with closeted LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan.

219 pages, Paperback

First published March 6, 2006

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About the author

Josh Lanyon

177 books5,082 followers
Josh Lanyon is the author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance.

Her work has been translated into eleven languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondadori, the largest romance publisher in Italy. Stranger on the Shore (Harper Collins Italia) was the first M/M title to be published in print. In 2016 Fatal Shadows placed #5 in Japan’s annual Boy Love novel list (the first and only title by a foreign author to place). The Adrien English Series was awarded All Time Favorite Male Male Couple in the 2nd Annual contest held by the 20,000+ Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist (twice for Gay Mystery), an Edgar nominee and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

Find other Josh Lanyon titles at www.joshlanyon.com
Follow Josh on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

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5 stars
2,837 (40%)
4 stars
2,740 (39%)
3 stars
1,164 (16%)
2 stars
184 (2%)
1 star
62 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 668 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,801 followers
September 1, 2016

Dear Jake Riordan,

You are a diiiiiiickkkkk with a capital "D"

Adrien= doormat who accepts Jake's $hit and doesn't make a stink about it
Jake= selfish asshole
Me= livid that I give a crap, livid that I'm addicted to this infuriating series!

I'm sorry but this is not a romance series. This is a glimpse inside an abusive, dissatisfying relationship that serves as the evil background for the fascinating mystery writing.

I'm most concerned about .


I'm going to settle myself down enough to write something coherent.

In a minute.


Okay, okay, I'm ready...

First of all, I'll mention that the audiobook for this series is AMAZING. The narrator is spot on, just perfection. He nails every aspect of every character and I think he is instrumental in making me love this series. The mystery is also incredibly well done. I keep guessing and guessing along with Adrien. Josh Lanyon really knows how to write an engaging mystery story and mystery isn't my genre. All in all, book three had me most engaged (see raging above) and the fact that I got so emotionally involved gives this book 4 stars.

But Jake better do some freaking hands and knees groveling in the next book or I'll be the one committing murder.

Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,106 reviews838 followers
March 17, 2023
Reread - March 2023

Whatever Josh was smoking when writing this series needs to be available to the public and she gots to go back to smoking it. 🤩

This gets even better with the multiple rereads. 😍 😍

Re read/ listen - July 2021

Gaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! This book.

And then there is guy and his stupid ponytail. 😒🤨

3rd reread and Jake is still an a**hole.

Adrien will forever be a darling.

Still a 5 star for me

Chris Patton was born to narrate this series. Love!Love! his Voice.


"I realized that he wanted me to get angry, that anger would make it easier, and I didn't want to make it easier. He didn't deserve to have it made easy." Tell him Adrien! Tell him!

Adrien is the best amateur sleuth, with an amazing sense of humor.

Josh Lanyon writing is amazing, i enjoyed the flow as usual and the mystery.

Jake! Jake! damn this guy gets on my last nerve but i still like him because he is Adrien's 'not official boyfriend and now friend?'

He is still on my and Lorraine's shit list.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and the audio-book is amazing

Original Review 2017

Jake you stupid, selfish son of a gun, i dislike you at this moment with a passion for treating baby so bad...

Adrien you lovable, funny man with doormat behavior. I was really angry reading this but i will still give it 5 stars because it's Adrien English.
Profile Image for Snjez.
769 reviews473 followers
February 22, 2023
3.5 stars

I knew what to expect going into this book, but it was still painful to read about and I'm very angry with Jake. I really felt for Adrien here. He is so lovable that I can't imagine anyone treating him badly.

The mystery part was ok, not my favourite theme, but it was well done. The writing was great and I really like how the author ends each book.

Chris Patton is still amazing as a narrator. I love the voices he gave the characters.

Re-read 7/2021: Still my least favourite case, it's not something I like reading about, and Jake can still make me angry. I had to read the coda right after finishing this, to feel better. 😅
Re-read 2/2023: Rating rounded up.
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,871 followers
October 10, 2014
Review completed January 23, 2013

"This symbol is a seal. A personal signature representing a demon. A high-ranking demon."
I certainly didn't want any low-ranked demons loitering about the place. "So…what does that mean? I've been cursed?"

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I assured him all was cool, although I couldn't help wondering: If God works in mysterious ways, why shouldn't the Devil seek temporary employment in a mystery bookstore?

The Hell You Say is the third book in the Adrien English series. Our hero, Adrien English, is a bookstore owner as well as a mystery writer and a part-time amateur sleuth. Adrien's young employee, Angus, is receiving weird and creepy phone calls. The Boy is terrified. Adrien doesn't know a lot about Angus except that he is a student. Angus is finishing up a program at UCLA that seemed to entail plenty of courses in folklore, mythology, and the occult. In fact, Angus is a Adrien encourages him to talk to his lover Jake who is a detective and might be able to help him, however Angus declines Adrien's offer. Adrien gives him some money and tells him to take a little vacation until everything blows over. When Adrien is getting strange phone calls and Gabe Savant, a bestselling author who is heavy into the occult goes missing, as well as dead bodies begin to turn up, he starts his 'own' investigation. Savant has uncovered evidence of a real-life, secret cult, an organization which has preyed upon young and naïve people in Los Angeles for the past two decades. Savant planned to expose that cult and its leaders. Hence, while trying to help Angus and Savant, Adrien has set himself up as a target too.

(…)and hauled me outside, where I had an up close and personal view of what appeared to be a pentagram drawn in blood on my threshold.

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If you want to peruse the dark side then read this story. The Hell You Say is not uber creepy but it has its thrilling moments that will make your spine tingle, that's for sure. There is plenty of talk about the occult and Satanism, candle magic, Wiccan etc. Funny thing is, even though the story has a kinda disturbing feel to it I've had to laugh a lot. Believe me it was so much fun! In addition, the cast of secondary characters is vivid and well-developed. You can’t help but love the interaction between Adrien and his somewhat over-protective as well as overbearing mother, Lisa. As always, Lanyon's writing is excellent, smooth, intelligent, witty and very engaging. The plot/mystery is well thought out and will keep you turning the pages. Add in the fact that Adrien is at his snarky best and you have another Lanyon winner.

"Sure. Tell him Sarah Good called. He knows the number."
Sarah Good. One of the first of the Salem witches to be hanged. Cute.
Well, on the bright side, at least the kids were getting some history at school.

"He's a powerful Duke of Hell who commands twenty-six legions. He appears as a beautiful noblewoman riding a great camel. It is his office to tell of all things past, present, and future."
My demon was a camel-riding transvestite? The Devil Wears Prada, indeed.

Jake Riordan
At 28 % I've had my first WTF moment. Jake and Kate. Kate and Jake. Kate Not sure what to tell you. Hell, I mean at 66 % I was fuming when Jake Yep, Jake, I have a serious crush on you but take and go to hell (pun, anyone?). It was beyond words! Jeez, I guess I've had a heart condition too at that very moment. I swear I was close to throw something at him. Although it’s too bad that he is a fictional character and was hiding out in my Kindle.

Duh? Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Jake, spare me, you…you…that's not well-worded…I can't tell you. Grrrrrr!

It's time to make up your mind, Jake!
The relationship between Jake and Adrien is very precarious and they have a long way to go yet. Jake telling Adrien he wouldn't compromise an investigation to protect himself was a lie if I ever heard one. Oh, I was furious! Jake, Jake, Jake…you are such a gutless jerk!
My friend Lenore told me to cut him some slack. He comes from an Irish Catholic family after all and to top it all off, he is a cop. Poor Jake. *pets* I'm all for honesty and straightforwardness, though. You can't lie for your whole life. You can't deny who and what you are. As a matter of fact, you just can't go on like that. I want Jake to come out to everybody and I want him to live his life and to love the person he was meant to be with in the first place. And Ugh.

Rant over. That's all. Oh, wait…The Hell You Say rocked! I'm off reading book 4, Death of a Pirate King.

“So, this demon’s seal at a grave site would indicate what? Human sacrifice in exchange for treasure and sexual favors? It sounded like a frat boy’s dream come true.
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,560 reviews3,841 followers
September 23, 2023
5_gold_stars_copy1.jpg (1596×267)

Re-read many times :P

Chances are if you are reading this review, you have already read book 1 and 2. If you haven't go back !! You need to start with the first book and believe me....these books are worth the read, don't let this review scare you off :P

That said....this book pissed me off so freaking bad ..

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I hate Jake so very very much !!!

I have known that Jake is deep... way deep in the closet since book 1. I also know that he is a coward and a cheat. I hated him for all of this, but he was honest about how he felt and Adrien knew....he knew all about this.

Adrien wants more though...more with Jake. But when Jake is hurt and Adrien goes to the hospital....he comes face to face with Jake's other world.  Adrien finally comes to realize that he doesn't want to be "the other man". He deserves more than that.

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For the life of me, I couldn't understand how Adrien put up with this for so long but as I have said a million times before...the heart wants what it wants.

What pissed me off the most about Jake though, beside him being an asshole of epic proportions, was the way he not only hurt Adrien emotionally but fucking physically as well !! That's what pushed my anger into pure freaking hate !!

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Maybe some will say what he did wasn't as extreme, but to me it was. He knows about Adrien's condition. In the end, I was happy to see his ass go.

We all know he will be back though... But let's hope that when he does, he will be crawling on his hands and knees...

Now my raging review might make it seem like I didn't like the book, but I did, I seriously did. I love a book that makes me feel and this one sure hit that mark !!
October 6, 2021
Audio - 5 Stars
Story - 3.5 Stars

It usually doesn't bother me when there's sex with other, but for some reason it's really bothering me with this series. Weird...

I also find it annoying how easy it is for someone who is so deep in the closet and uncomfortable with the thought of being in a relationship with another man has no issue with using the endearment "baby" all the damn time. Make so sense to me.

The series is interesting enough for me to want to continue until the end. Chris Patton narrating is also a huge encouragement.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,245 followers
September 21, 2020
My least favorite of the series. If I wanted to know everything about Satan I would have listened to my overly fundamental Christian step-mother. According to her Satan is responsible for everything from cancer to stubbed toes.

Sure. Yeah, the guy in charge of the millions of wretched souls being tortured in hell takes time from his busy schedule to give me a hangnail. Makes total sense.

So, Adrien starts getting threatening phone calls from emo-kid devil worshipers. I do like how he handles them:

“We’re watching you,” whispered the voice on the other end.
“Yeah? Did you see what I did with my keys?
Silence. Then dial tone.
These younger demons. So easily discouraged.

Teenagers, am I right? No sense of humor when it comes to their maniacal, demonic plans such as the evil and scary prank phone calls.

Well, they sure as hell can't get anyone else to touch them. Cut them some slack, lady!

Then, they take it up a notch - vandalism! Oh no! So very evil and scary! Not a pentagram! We've never seen anything like that before, you know, except on every goth kid wearing more eyeliner than a drag queen.

So, Adrien decides to learn everything there is to know about satan shit, which means we get bored as hell learning everything there to know is about satan shit. Truly, in hell all they have to do to torture us is to read us all of their rules and belief systems.

So, the mystery bored me.
As for the romance? Well, I've hated the guy Adrien has been with in past books, but my hatred for him turned into red-hot loathing in this one.

I'm going to carefully move on to the next book. I really really need it to be better than this trainwreck.
Profile Image for Lau ♡.
416 reviews345 followers
June 6, 2023
*slight spoilers for romance development*

Dear Jake,

I don’t know which one of the three hearts you broke hurts the most. But I get it, I get you. I understand not wanting to deal with everything that comes with being gay. That your dream is being someone you are not. That you think it’s best to fake it until you make it instead of facing it. I don’t hate you, but I hate that you are Adrien’s endgame, because he deserved better. You deserved better. Hell, I deserved better.

Hope you are happy following the consequences of your acts.

A fan of your soulmate,


The Adrien English Mysteries
1. Fatal Shadows: 4.5 stars
2. A Dangerous Thing: 4 stars
3. The Hell You Say: 3.75 stars
4. Death of a Pirate King: 4.5 stars
5. The Dark Tide: 5 stars
6. So This Is Christmas: 5 stars
Profile Image for Rosa, really.
584 reviews313 followers
September 15, 2014

Jake Riordan: Total heartbreaker;
Source of considerable grief & distress;
But a more complex person than the douchebag I thought he’d be;
i.e. I might not have to punch him in the larynx after all.

(Uh, please do not mistake the above for my awkward attempt at poetry.)

What I love about this series (this particular book), and why I wholeheartedly recommend it, is that all the grief & distress in it are caused by actual problems. There is no angst for the sake of angst. The issues keeping Jake & Adrien apart are complicated and they can’t be solved just by sitting down and having a heart to heart. I truly appreciate the work Josh Lanyon did on this series. To create such complex characters, whose problems with themselves & each other, their inner & outer turmoil – it's so well done. Adrien & Jake's issues dovetail so perfectly.

As for the mystery – though I hate to say it – it wasn’t my favorite. I’ve tried to read several novels with a satanic cult as a subplot & my reaction is always the same: meh. If the satanic cult worshiped an actual demon that walked among them – that would be creepy. But a bunch of asshats standing around going, “I smite thee” is not my idea of a good time. Though I did love that Adrien seemed less than impressed as well:
A pause followed my greeting. Then, “We’re watching you,” whispered the voice on the other end.
“Yeah? Did you see what I did with my keys?
Silence. Then dial tone.
These younger demons. So easily discouraged.

Anyway, Josh Lanyon, with just a pen or a keyboard, succeeded in ripping into my heart in this novel. I’m really counting on him to repair the damage in the next two books. I can’t wait to see how he does it.
Profile Image for Kat.
940 reviews
July 31, 2015
My life will never be the same
'Cause deeply closeted cop, you came and changed
The way I walk, the way I talk
I cannot explain the things I feel for you
But homophobic Jake, you know it's true

At least that was how it was SUPPOSED to go. The Hell You Say? What The Hell, you mean. Seriously, what the hell Detective Jake Riordan?!

I thought I would just lie down on the sofa this Sunday - since Holland is completely snowed in anyway - with a gigantic mug of hot chocolate and indulge in Adrien and Jake, struggling their way through another entertaining mystery, tentatively and tenderly exploring their feelings for each other.

Guess I was out of luck! And I should probably comment on the story itself instead - the mystery was excellent and engaging and Lanyon gets wittier with every new Adrien English installment - but still, The Hell you Say has left me feeling hopeless, like a depressed emo kid.
Immediately moving on to Death of a Pirate King to recover seems like a good idea.. *keeping my fingers crossed*.
Profile Image for Martin.
754 reviews431 followers
September 30, 2016
That's how I feel after reading Adrien's third adventure.

The story is just the right mix of suspenseful and creepy. A Satanic cult is out to kill people as human sacrifices and Adrien (no surprise there) manages to draw the cult's attention to himself and the people around him.

'Extremely closeted' asshole cop Jake is in charge of the case and does his best to hide any connection Adrien has to the case - and more importantly to him.

Despite the awesome plot and many quirky characters, I was left feeling sad and subdued by the end.
While I wanted to run Jake through a meat grinder during the book, Adrien's overall attitude of life saddened me deeply.

Not only did he allow Jake to play with his feelings after 9 months of having 'something' (apparently not a 'relationship') with him, he accepted every blow Jake dealt him with a Jesus-like attitude of accepting his fate in silence.

Any friends he might have had to share the troubles of his personal life with are either dead (thanks to book one) or turn out to be Satanists and murderers, leaving Adrien alone in his apartment above his bookstore, wishing for someone gentle who welcomes him home each night and is just there for him.

Adrien is the most adorable guy: Handsome, smart, humorous and a talented and curious hobby investigator, even though his writing endeavors seem to be on the back burner in this story. More importantly, he's loyal and faithful, even when he has to assume his 'lover' isn't.

Still he feels that people always drop him and he seems to think that his medical condition is a reason for this. Apparently his previous boyfriends were scared of one day having to care for an invalid.
That totally breaks my heart.
True enough, though, that Adrien is digging an early grave for himself with his special type of hobby, given his problem (or his mother...)

I need to continue with book 4 right away, hoping that I finally get to see Jake suffer and crawl back to him on all fours. I hope Adrien finally stands up for what he wants and doesn't just swallow everything with a subdued "Okay."

This story totally riles me up...

Still 5 stars for a character that really made it into my heart and whom I want to see happy and loved. He sure deserves it.
Profile Image for Natasha.
539 reviews252 followers
November 12, 2015
New name for this book titled: Lanyon wants to set you on a murderous, rampaging path in life.

What is this book? What is this? How do I rate this? I was torn between 1 (because of rage) and 5 (because of emotions) but I gave myself some time to cool my jets and here I am... at a comfortable 4.
I almost threw my iPad, and since my iPad is like a child to me, I'll admit I had some anger issues reading this book.

So, there's lots of spoilers and swearing below this point. Danger, danger.

First off, I'd like to extend a personalized message to Jake Riordan:

Run fast and run hard, motherfucker, because if you were a real person I would hunt down your whole family on ancestry.com and ruin your entire linage.

Great. Now that that's out of the way, I can move on (but will likely revisit this issue later).

The writing. Fantastic, as per usual. Lanyon really drew me into the relationship on this one. I guess it is book 3 so I should be somewhat invested. The story was very interesting but to be honest... I didn't retain as much of the story line as I did the romance. The "romance" and the situation between Adrien (with an "e") and Jake was too intense, and then add Guy and I was pretty much frantic.
But yes, cults... rituals.. demons.. missing people... dead people. All awesome elements to a really sweetass story.

God, Adrien, you idiot. You lovable, fantastic idiot. Stop helping out sketchy people. Trust your damn gut. Listen to your jackass cop boyfriend, and for god's sake, stop running a muck like a turkey in the rain (would this make a good book series? No, obviously not, but I feel the need to express my frustration with him). He's too kind sometimes and I love him for it... wouldn't change a thing. But sometimes I just want to shake him and be like "SNAP OUTTA THIS BRO!"
My jaw dropped when you said you were involved with someone else. Your "boyfriend" isn't. Well, he is, it's just not you. You're the other woman. But you're not a woman, you're a man. You're gay and your boyfriend hates gays and hates you and hates himself. Just date the god damn pipe-smoking prof and have a long, sane life. Please, god, please.

Guy was such a cool character. Such a cool guy. I really liked the addition of him into the story. He seems smart and into the same kinds of things that Adrien is. He's attractive and listens to Adrien but also supports him and seems genuinely caring. And most of all... UNASHAMED. I'm really looking forward to reading more of him in the next book and I hope that nothing happens that makes me dislike him.

I had to take a break from this book after finishing it. I want to know more, learn how Adrien plans to forgive Jake for Kate Fucking Keegan, but I don't think my weak little heart can put up with it right now. I will definitely be picking up this series again soon, but not tonight. I need to be able to sleep without picking a fictional character in a pool of his own blood and tears. I really liked Jake, maybe I will in the future, just not tonight. Or probably not tomorrow. (Sorry to my Jake loving friends! I love you... but not him)

Final thoughts:
If you read my review up until this point, you probably seen this coming.
Parting "words" to Jake Riordan concluding this book:
Profile Image for Lisazj1.
2,072 reviews155 followers
August 31, 2021
**Audio reread/listen August 2021**

🤬 Yep, still feel exactly the same. Damn Jake!

And then there's Guy. 😖 I love Adrien to pieces but he has terrible taste in men. *sigh*

**First read June 2016**

It's been a long time since I read A Dangerous Thing but I still can't say I didn't see it coming. *sigh* I continue to appreciate Josh Lanyon's ability to write complex, multi-layered real characters who don't always *like all of us* do and say the right things. But sometimes that really does suck too. I want to join the "I hate Jake Riordan" club, and I do, kind of, for the way he treated Adrien, for . But I recognize, along with Adrien, that he did know it all before it happened and he let it go that way, all that time. What I like about Adrien, and hope he'll do now, is that he won't let it destroy him, he'll move on.

I continue to love Adrien. Despite the weirdness he continually encounters, he's just a really nice guy trying to live his life the way that he wants, and wishing for someone that wants him to live it with. I hope it gets it too, I really do.

The mystery here wasn't the best I've read, though it was ok. For it be Satanists, I expected it to be much creepier. But Josh Lanyon's beautiful writing and excellent story flow kept me reading without even noticing that I was devouring the book until, damn, it was all over. Until the next one.
Profile Image for Adam.
611 reviews313 followers
November 24, 2016
My thoughts on Jake:

My thoughts on Adrien:

And yet I'm hooked. It's like a train wreck. I just can't look away. Yes, they're highly dysfunctional and should probably run as far away from each other as possible (especially Adrian, because fuck Jake). But I want to see exactly how messed up they can get.

Am I delighting in a fictional character's misery? Probably.

Also, their adventures are entertaining. While I thought that there were a few too many characters and potential suspects in 'The Hell You Say', I still enjoyed the ride. Lanyon is a master at murder mysteries.

Though I wish Adrien would stop running towards the fire. Refer back to my Judge Judy gif.

Plus, Chris Patton's narrations of the audiobooks for this series have been excellent so far. The audiobooks have kept me captivated, maybe even more so than if I were reading these books on a tablet.

This book, really this series, is frustrating. The main character is pitiful and his love interest is wholly unlikable. Adrien's tendency to attract murder is baffling. And yet I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Hell You Say'.

On to the next one!
Profile Image for Susan65.
1,547 reviews50 followers
September 13, 2012
Jake is a self serving, closeted bastard who treats Adrian like shit and then has the nerve to put his hands on him and threaten him? This guy has absolutely no redeeming qualities. None. Who told me to read this series again?

Okay...off to read book four...I am such a sucker for punishment.

Profile Image for Ariana  (mostly offline).
1,391 reviews45 followers
May 17, 2020
Well, no wonder at the emotional outcry this book caused!

I am happily joining the club who wants to see Jake hanged, drawn and quartered alive. What the heck is going on with him? To hurt Adrien again and again to then tell him in the end that he knew what to expect just made me fume.

And Adrien? Whatever Jake’s throwing at him, he simply continues as if nothing happened. Or he says ‘okay’. That hurt even more. I wanted Adrien to call Jake out on his bullshit and get to the bottom of their feelings, but no. Adrien is too nice for that. In German I would call him ‘ein seelenguter Mensch’ a person who is good inside out right to the bottom of his heart.

But it’s not only that - Adrien has never had the confidence that Jake would stay with him because nobody does, right? His insecurity and loneliness are painful to watch. As are Jake’s antics.

Interesting mystery and very ‘educational’, a bit like Satanism 101.

Great book, and I so hope that Jake will suffer in the next book. (Evil laughter might be appropriate here...)
Profile Image for Lenore.
596 reviews374 followers
November 22, 2012
This is the best installment in the series so far. The writing was, as always, excellent, the mystery was solid, the story paced, the characterisation strong. Just the fact that I didn't end up hating Jake's guts even though he behaved like a dbag almost throughout this book speaks volumes about the author's skill. He managed to make me understand Jake's side, his (re)actions, his hang-ups. He made Jake's douchebaggery bearable. And for that alone he deserves my five stars.
Profile Image for Ingie.
1,358 reviews168 followers
September 9, 2015
Written May 28, 2014

4 Stars - Another interesting nicely solved mystery but also some heartbreaking sad moments

Book #3

I'm an impatient reader these days and just couldn't wait to continue to read (listening to) the further adventures for our dear hero, Adrien English. ~ I really liked the second part
A Dangerous Thing (4.3 stars), and at last started Adrien & Jack's love story in tiny small small steps.

Will it be more steamy nice moments and a lovely nice development on their way (hopefully) to eternal happiness and grand love —maybe even a start for a HEA— in this third book?

...No, no, no!! This is the part in this series when I really begin questioning Adrien's whims and emotions for this thick-skinned and so cowardly (deep in the closet) Jake at all. I was mostly angry and disappointed this time.


My favorite struggling crime author Adrien English life is an adventure as 'always'. The Christmas holidays approaching and to Adrien's horror and dismay must his, since almost a year, bookstore clerk Angus flee after some terrifying death threats. Oh no, Adrien is yet again in the midst of "something"....again.

Pretty soon is there a long line with unexplained unsolved mysteries. ~ A missing famous crime author, a female corpse, his missing clerk, new odd bookstore clerks, threatening girls and a flirting goodlooking university professor. ~ Strange things are happening and they are all pointing at an mysterious Satanic cult.
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Adriens personal life is also quite chaotic. It's Christmas season and a lot to do in the bookstore, a mom who's getting married, a bunch of 'new' chattering sisters and of course his on-again/off-again relationship with closeted LAPD Homicide Detective Jake Riordan.


There isn't much to say about Adrien's relationship with Jake, **sigh!!** ...more than it starts to look like a painfully sad disaster.
‘He was right. I knew the score. He’d never pretended it was other than it was—whatever the hell that was.
I’d never kidded myself there was any chance for us. Well, not often anyway.
I guess my mistake had been in believing he was too smart and too honest not to eventually realize… Not his feelings for me—because I didn’t think what he felt for me was that significant—but his own true nature.’

The crime adventure in The Hell You Say was good and exciting as always. There was some new interesting characters. ~ We have to see what this new nice male acquaintance leads to in the next and fourth installment (#4 - Death of a Pirate King).


I warn you; You have to be more than just patience. You will have to wait quite a long time for some proof of these two MC's possible future together. When you at last get a few yummy and smexy moments is it just so wonderful nice.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

In between, you'll enjoy adventurous hunts for cruel murderer (a bit in true Film Noir spirit), odd people, fun acquaintances, sharp sarcastic comments and of course Adrien's hilarious inner dialogue. He is in any case a true hero.


These Adrien English Mystery books may be more of hard-boiled crime novels, than steamy sweet M/M romances - but "yeah" they are so d@mn great to read. ~ And of course listening to (perfect 'crime voice' narrated by Chris Patton)

Highly recommended if you like to solve mysteries mixed with "guys who loves guys".

I LIKE - yap, although I now have a broken heart

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
...highly recommended:

The Adrien English Mystery ~ Josh Lanyon's 5 part series

Fatal Shadows (Adrien English Mystery, #1) by Josh Lanyon A Dangerous Thing (Adrien English Mystery, #2) by Josh Lanyon The Hell You Say (Adrien English Mystery, #3) by Josh Lanyon Death of a Pirate King (Adrien English Mystery, #4) by Josh Lanyon The Dark Tide (Adrien English Mystery, #5) by Josh Lanyon

#1 - Fatal Shadows (4.3 stars)
#2 - A Dangerous Thing (4.3 stars)
#3 - The Hell You Say (4 stars)
#4 - Death of a Pirate King (x stars)
#5 - The Dark Tide (x stars)

...and don't miss the opportunity to listening to the audio books with the splendid narrator Chris Patton.
Profile Image for Deeze.
1,607 reviews267 followers
August 30, 2020
Another great Murder Mystery. Again this is light on romance, but still manages to keep me interested.

The relationship between Jake and Adrien is so compelling. I know I should be appalled at Jakes attitude, and I certainly wanted to smack him towards the end of this book, but I can’t help but root for him still.

The mystery part worked well for me, but then I rarely guess the whodunits lol.

Hopefully Guy will not be around for long in the next book. I just don’t like him, but if he can get Jake moving in the right direction ie: towards Adrien, then I guess he will have had a use lol.

I am so glad I have all the books in this series as I would be extremely frustrated if I couldn’t continue to read straight away.

ETA I am struggling to remember why I rooted for Jake.

ETA Still enjoying the hell out of this series
Profile Image for Brian.
107 reviews64 followers
January 24, 2020
I’m reading the Adrien English Mysteries as part of a Group Read organized by MM Romance and Gay Fiction, so my review grows out of the discussion being held on those forums and is a way for me to sum up my own impression of the novels in the series as we work through them. Sincere thanks to everyone who is participating in the discussion--I am learning so much from our conversations, and they are making the experience of reading these books even better.

I really enjoyed this third entry in the Adrien English series of m/m murder mysteries featuring titular amateur detective, mystery novelist, and bookstore owner Adrien and his deeply closeted police “boyfriend” (tortured fuckbuddy with feelings?) Jake.

The mystery in this one focuses on possibly Satanist killings, drawing especially on the teen drama bump the Satanic cult theme received from witchy movies like The Craft and shows like Charmed in the late 90s/early 2000s. Lanyon loves to research, and like the first two novels, this one is peppered with details about its chosen topic--in this case occult practices and distinctions between theistic Satanism, Wicca, and demon worship. Lanyon does a wonderful job setting the scene and creating a sense of menace out of this kind of material. Adrien’s bookstore seems to be beset with Satan-worshipping teens and the bodies (and suspects) pile up quickly. We get academics who teach courses on witchcraft, an author who plans to do an exposé on local cults, and an Aleister Crowley-like magus, complete with pentagrams, robes, and black candles. It does get corny at various points, but I didn’t mind that here because the mystery plotting is so much stronger than it was in books 1 and 2. You won’t be especially shocked by whodunnit, but I found myself pleasantly swept up by the momentum of the plot, which benefits greatly from making Adrien a more capable and focused sleuth than in earlier outings.

Jake and Adrien’s relationship hits a major rough patch in this instalment...and ends up upside down in the ditch. This instalment is not a romance in the conventional sense at all. As one member of the reading group pointed out, this portion of the series is more soap opera than romance: there is much anxiety, suffering, anger, and even violence between the couple and it doesn’t end with anything resembling romance’s trademark promise of bluer skies ahead. The first half of the book shows Jake warming to a fuller exploration of his sexuality with Adrien, but that doesn’t last. Jake is deeply conflicted and ultimately his fear of exposure drives him to falsify evidence, dump Adrien, and propose to Kate (a barely-there character), the woman he has been dating while sleeping with Adrien; she is now also pregnant with his child. There is a devastating scene in which Adrien goes to visit Jake in the hospital, only to be forced to walk past Jake’s room without stopping in because Jake’s girlfriend and family are all there. There is also later some feel-bad (or at least ambiguous) rough sex between Adrien and Jake and a scene of physical rejection that is difficult to read. If you came for romance, keep walking. Jake and Adrien are a depressing car wreck, and you likely won’t be fooled into imagining that Adrien-admirer and sensitive gay professor Guy Snowden is anything more than a temporary foil for Jake who is (for now at least) locked in asshole/beast-mode.

If you have read my reviews of the first two books, you know that I am a bit obsessed with the metafictional aspects of the series. In the earlier books, Lanyon seemed focused on establishing the generic genealogy for her series and characters. In this book, the metafictional focus seems to shift towards reflection on authorial personae (a process admittedly begun in earnest in book 2). Here, the author/persona relationship is dramatized by two writer characters--one who writes, the other who is the public face of the author--a scenario that evokes Lanyon’s own authorial doubleness as a female author who initially disguised her identity and published as a gay man until her infamous “outing.” I wonder if this authorial doubleness is not also one of the less obvious symbolic referents of Jake’s closetedness. The novel’s depiction of Jake living in fear of being outed might itself be seen as at least partly a form of covert self-reference on Lanyon’s part about her own dual-identity as author. In other ways as well, doubleness emerges as a leitmotif: Adrien English is the model for the Finches’ fictional detective, Avery Oxford. The scene in which Oxford’s insecure co-creator Jean asks Adrien if she and her husband could base their Avery Oxford series on Adrien’s own real-life investigations (to say nothing of her covert ethnography of Adrien’s queer habits and gestures in earlier books) registers a dilemma that Lanyon herself arguably shares. As so often in these novels, though, Lanyon is ironical in these sly authorial self-references, which, when she originally penned them, must have had the quality of a private joke the author shares only with themself. In light of Lanyon’s later revelations about her gender and sexual identity, they become an even more fascinating part of this truly engrossing series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bookwatcher .
746 reviews120 followers
May 24, 2012
Jake can try... Try and try... Something will always betray his "I'm not gay" fake life

I love the book, hate Jake, and pity Adrien... I don't thing I should say more. Why? I must write a quick review. I can't wait to read more! Already starting Death of a Pirate King (Adrien English Mystery, #4) by Josh Lanyon


5 stars
Profile Image for Moony Eliver.
309 reviews165 followers
November 18, 2019
4 stars for this volume, 5 stars for the series as a whole. OMG the mystery in this one drove me batty. Two reasons: it dominated a higher percentage of the page count (not a scientific deduction, just my perception), and I lost any patience I ever might have had for words that weren't directly related to Adrien and Jake and what they were going through. Their problems were my problems, their lives were my life. GET BEHIND ME, SATAN.

Non-spoiler review of The Adrien English Mysteries series:
A Tale of Two Genres. And also a cautionary tale about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, from a reading perspective.

Have I already exhausted my cliché limit for this review? It’s going to get worse, because original thought isn’t my niche after I’ve just found a couple for my favorite couples of all time list.

They say Josh Lanyon is a mystery writer, but you aren’t going to be able to prove that by me. This woman is a relationship writer, and not just that — she’s among the BEST of those.

I’m not much of a mystery reader. But I’ve read my share, and when they work, they really work. The mysteries in the first 3 of these books were just in my fucking way. I was not engaged in them, and if I hadn’t been immediately captivated by the relationship between Adrien and Jake, I might have been tempted to set the whole series aside. Baby, meet bathwater.

However. Captivated is an understatement. Lanyon’s ability to create interpersonal tension — in every way except the predictable — is writing master class. I could c/p dozens of lines here to prove my point, but spoilers aren’t my style. Trust me or don’t. Or trust the bazillions of other people who’ve read this series in the last almost-20 years. ;)

Flawed, nuanced characters that you’ll need your 3D glasses for. JL made me experience the entire damn spectrum of emotion, and often using only a handful of words to do so.

I really don’t know what else to say, because if this isn’t already speaking your language, I can’t help. If we're friends, expect to be hearing things about this series for a long time. Both 1) while I try in vain to overcome the hangover that I'll have for at least a week, and 2) when I dive in for the scores of rereads that will happen in my lifetime.

Lastly, shout-out to my AMAZING buddy read partners. This was an incredible experience, full of spirited discussion, and fortunately it's showing no signs of stopping. Elena, Linda, Rosa, Shile, Teal, and Xia
Profile Image for Vivian.
2,847 reviews398 followers
December 12, 2016
Could it be Satan...

Christmastime in LA with Adrien playing his own Cloak and Dagger. When dead bodies start appearing bearing the markings of ritual sacrifice and everyone starts acting squirrelly, Adrien is thrust into the case.

There's a slew of personal upheaval as every segment of Adrien's life gets put through the ringer simultaneously, from work to family to love. This is pretty angsty and readers get another ride on the Adrien/Jake rollercoaster, which really isn't fun. You can't tell someone that they deserve better; they ain't gonna listen. The heart wants what it wants.

This was well written and engaging. A bit on the hyperbolic side, but when you invite Satan in, it's bound to be hairy. Overall, a most satisfying addition to the series. 3.5 rounded up to 4 because Adrien's adorable and slightly crazy, which I can appreciate.


Oh my! Secret Santa came early this year!

Thank you, SS!
Profile Image for Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~.
1,634 reviews112 followers
May 2, 2019
BR reread 5/1/19: Jake = UGH. Adrien = :(. Guy = DIE!

Original review:

Damn you, Jake Riordan! *shakes fist*

This book hurts so bad. It's the one where that Thing happens, where Jake's a giant poophead (more so than usual) and frelling Guy Snowden, spawn of Satan himself - and I mean that mostly literally - makes his first appearance. UGH! I just can't with Guy. And I can't with Jake.

Adrien's in shock. He needs a blanket. Actually, Jake could probably use one too, but he's not getting one. For reasons.

Anyway, I'm not going to write a big long review because y'all already know why this is a life-ruining, joy-crushing, hope-shattering masterpiece. 5 stars for this bloody story.

Chris Patton's narration continues to be... interesting. Adrien is perfection, and Jake's grown on me. Lisa sometimes has an accent, sometimes doesn't, whereas Guy's accent - which is meant to be fake - is actually pretty decent and consistent. So I know it's not the narrator's inability to do an accent. I have to wonder if he knew from the start that Lisa is British, or just found out when it's specifically stated in this book and didn't catch onto the verbal clues before. Though Josh worked directly with the narrator on these so, yeah, I don't know what happened there. It's strange. Patton's range is pretty limited for the other characters too, but I can forgive a lot of that because Adrien is so perfect and obviously the most important voice here next to Jake's. Still, the accent thing is annoying me now, so 3.5 stars for narration.
Profile Image for Caipi.
1,024 reviews33 followers
May 21, 2021
May 2021

Adrien is not only an excellent amateur sleuth, he also has an awesome sense of humor which I totally love! It makes him one of my favourite book characters.
Jake on the other hand behaves like an total a$$hole. With his angst and insecurities he hurts Adrien deeply. When I first read this book I hated Jake!! This time I already knew how this series ends, knew a lot more about Jakes thoughts, emotions and backround. Of course this didn't change his behaviour but it changed my view of him. Let's say I hate him less. ;)

Overall this is still not my favourite part of this series but nonetheless a book and series I can reread/listen to endless times.

November 2016

Another entertaining mystery!

Adrien was again this clever, witty guy you just have to love.
And Jake was.........., well, I still have hope that he'll find his way.

4,5 stars

Listened to November 2016, November 2018, July 2020, May 2021
Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,793 reviews233 followers
October 30, 2018
Audio Re-Read

So yeah. Well. Hmmm...It seems that sometimes time changes how we feel or perceive a book. Not in this case. I feel the same in 2018 as I did in 2014. Actually no, I may be more angry now. I definitely am.

I know I need to rate this high but part of me really, really doesn't want to because I kind of hate it.

I am so fucking pissed off. I hate Jake. I don't like Guy and as much as I truly love Adrien I just can't with him right now. I just can't. Worse, I know what is going to happen and that just pisses me off even more.

This was the book that made me not want romance and just want mystery. Stupid fucking book.

Worse being read to me. Just hearing Guy's voice makes me sick. All of it makes me sick.


Off I go to the next one. Fucking Jake.
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,010 reviews146 followers
May 24, 2019
Adrien is sweet and funny. Smart and forgiving. I like him so much.

Jake is one of the most godawful men I've ever read about. He's self-centred and self involved and self important. In my eyes, he committed an unforgivable crime in this book. And no, it wasn't the cheating.

I get strangely wrapped up in these stories even though I struggle somewhat with them. In this episode, I wasn't overly fond of the occult murder theme. In all the books I struggle with the references to music and movies I've never heard of. Some of the locations and customs seem odd to me too. *shrug*. It's nothing horrible but it does detract from my enjoyment of the plot.
Profile Image for Jenni Lea.
802 reviews296 followers
November 22, 2013

So... freaking... PISSED!!!!!!!

Off to read the next one. Lets just see how he plans to get back in my good graces. Hah! Like THAT will ever happen! Stupid freaking closeted assholes are stupid! *angry face*
Profile Image for Lilia Ford.
Author 15 books185 followers
March 24, 2014

Utterly riveting and fantastic. I loved the entire series, but this is the book that had the greatest impact on me.

Major Spoilers:

The later two volumes wrap up their story beautifully, but this book stands out for forcing me to understand on a visceral level something I’d never had to face before.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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