Neil Patrick Rafferty
Created by Josh Lanyon

"It was always a dame, wasn't it?"

That's the opening line in This Rough Magic (2011), a classic bit that wouldn't have been out of place in a Black Mask story 75 years earlier, but of course in Josh Lanyon's books, it's rarely a dame that the hero rides off into the sunset with at the end.

That's because Lanyon has been writing gay mystery and romance short stories, novellas, and novels for well over a decade, with no apologies but plenty of sass and style. If you dig hard-boiled crime and detective fiction written they way they used to do it, with a little light humour folded into the mix, Lanyon just may be the writer for you.

In This Rough Magic, the first book in a proposed new series set in 1930s San Francisco, Lanyon riffs on the Thin Man films and the old crime pulps (and Shakespeare).

Wealthy man about town Brett Sheridan, soon to settle down and wed society heiress Juliet Lennox, thinks he knows the score when he hires been-around private eye NEIL PATRICK RAFFERTY, a "guy who takes chances," to recover a priceless stolen folio of The Tempest.

Brett's convinced his sister is the culprit, but what Brett doesn't count on is the "instant and powerful attraction that flares between him and Rafferty."

There's plenty of repartee, and more than a few wisecracks worthy of Chandler himself. A woman, for example, has "a mouth that would make a French maid blink."

An Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Lanyon is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English amateur sleuth series and the hard-boiled Nathan Doyle & Matthew Spain series, about a Los Angeles reporter and a cop set in the 1940s.


  • "... as smartass brilliant as anything Chandler could tap out."
    -- Jessewaves



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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