Ten years ago, Cosmo Bari vanished, taking with him his legendary masterpiece, Virgin in Pastel. Since that day, no one in the seaside art colony of Steeple Hill has heard from the eccentric painter. Surrounded by an extended family of Cosmo's colorful compatriots, mystery writer Kyle Bari believes he has come to terms with being abandoned by his famous father. Then his ex-lover, Adam MacKinnon, arrives with his new partner, the beautiful but poisonous Brett. Brett has an unerring instinct for other people's weak spots, and soon the quiet colony is seething with hostility and suspicion as Brett begins to hint that he knows what happened to the missing artist.
Okay, I'll admit it...I love anything Josh Landon writes. That being said, Murder in Pastel is his best. Buckle-up, sonny-boy....you're in for one wild ride. And by the very last sentence, you'll be in tears. Adolescent crushes, murderous plots, scheming, a brilliant artist vanishes leaving behind an only child. Or did he? No one is what they seem in this quaint, yet deadly, artist's community. Two words: READ IT! Cordially, Barkley Prescott
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This was a fantastic read/listen. Suspenseful and never a slow part. Kept me guessing.
I loved everything about this book. However, I felt extremely terrible for Brett. He had a terrible life and though he wasn't that great of a person, I still can't help but feel awful. I knew his death was necessary to move the plot along and open opportunity for romance between the two protagonists, but I wish there was more closure for him. It seemed that he was quickly forgotten and casted aside.
Each time I read/hear a Josh Lanyon book I am behind thrilled. He writes so well, he gives us great stories, his books are always wonderful. This book was no exception, fabulous!
I love everything Mr. Lanyon writes. Have read almost all of his wonderful works. His choice of narrators has been excellent. Thank you Josh for many hours of fascinating listening. Would love to see many of your works put on film.
What did you like best about Murder in Pastel? What did you like least?
The best, as always, is just Josh Lanyon's voice. He (or she- you never know with M/M) just has a natural ear for how to narrate and present characters that sound natural and real- a skill many M/M writers lack. As far as the least pleasing aspect of the book, besides the constant use of the word 'lover' (ugh! Just stop, guys! Nobody says that anymore), I would have to say the story itself. It's not bad, per se, it's just it very much feels like a first attempt, a rough draft for a better book. To be fair, I might not have felt that way had I not already read Lanyon's Adrien English series; however, having done so, it was hard to ignore some of the glaring similarities. For instance, both this book and Adrien English feature protagonists that suffer from a heart ailment resulting from a childhood bout with rheumatic fever. Both protagonists are writers with an esoteric knowledge of vintage mystery literature. Both also take digitalis for their heart condition, a medication that features in a poisoning subplot in both story lines. Like I said, I probably wouldn't have cared if I hadn't read Adrien English first, but having done so, seeing this again was distracting and took away from the sense of originality of the story. Also, it just kept reminding me of how much I loved those books while highlighting Murder in Pastel's weakest point, it's chemistry. Lanyon is generally great at creating chemistry between his books' main love interests, but here the relationship between Kyle and Adam falls flat. I just didn't really understand why they would be together or why I should care- it was just boring. In fact, without giving too much away, the way their whole relationship comes together just had me thinking, "Uh, this is a terrible idea, guys." the entire time.
What do you think your next listen will be?
Probably Lanyon's new book that just came out :)
Which character – as performed by Tristan Wright – was your favorite?
I don't know, I never really latched on to any of them.
What made the experience of listening to Murder in Pastel the most enjoyable?
The narrator. And the mystery; wondering whats next
What other book might you compare Murder in Pastel to and why?
Other Josh Lanyon books; may Strangers on the Shore?
What does Tristan Wright bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Tristan was great. You could easily differentiate between characters. No one sounded funny. No weird accents to me.
If you could rename Murder in Pastel, what would you call it?
I don't know.
Any additional comments?
so the book was written long time ago. But you can't help but compare it to 'Adrien English'. the heart condition for one. Also some of the lines and descriptions. It like someone decided to write something similar to Adrien.