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Publisher's Summary

It's moving day at Chez Holmes. Somehow, against Kit's better instincts, he and J.X. are setting up house together. But while J.X. is off at a writing conference, Kit unpacks a crate that should contain either old books or new china.

It doesn't. Within the mounds of Styrofoam popcorn is a dead body. A very dead body. There goes the neighborhood.

©2014 Josh Lanyon (P)2014 Josh Lanyon

What listeners say about The Boy with the Painful Tattoo

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just when I want to strangle Kit...

for his seemingly endless whining and angst, he comes though with the solution to the puzzle. Truly, Kit can be so exasperating sometimes and I just want J.X. to apply shoe leather to his backside. Still, it does seem he is a trouble magnet, so I suppose he has a right to b*tch sometimes.

Painful Tattoo is the best of the Holmes & Moriarity series yet. Lanyon's variety of red herrings and plot twists is enough to keep even the most avid mystery solvers scrambling.

And, for those of us who can't get enough of Adrien & Jake, it was a nice surprise to have them meet, and provide, for Kit, a "real life" lesson on how to be a happy couple.

I decided to treat myself on my 70th birthday and The Boy With the Painful Tattoo was a terrific gift!

Good going!

9 people found this helpful

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LOL! Gotta Love Kit's Character!!!

Any additional comments?

What a fabulous edition to Holmes & Moriarity! Kit takes the cake in this; from bad decision to his almost delusional innocence, I just could not stop laughing. The performance was fantastic and I, of course, enjoyed the overall semi-mystery of the story! I love J.X., and feel sorry for the poor guy to be so in love with Kit. LOL.

Great audio story!

7 people found this helpful

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Another winner

This was a fantastic listen. Kevin R. Free really knocks this out of the park. He does a perfect Kit and J.X. Now as for the story itself, all I can say is at one point I wanted to strangle Kit. He and J.X. make the big move to live together and Kit is not handling it well. Their relationship really gets tested in this one, especially when Kit does some TSTL stuff. But as always, the writing is great, funny and emotional. There is even a cameo from Adrian and Jake, so great!! I loved it! Definitely worth a credit.

6 people found this helpful

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At Last Another Novel Length Mystery by Lanyon

Although Mr. Lanyon has written that he tires of writing novel length mysteries, I can only hope that the fire will reignite. I've read 80% of Mr. Lanyon's work and prefer his Adrien English and Holmes and Moriarity novels best. It's the traditionalist in me. Short stories are fine literary mediums, but I prefer to work the little gray cells in my own head at the same time his detectives work their's. "The Boy with the Painful Tattoo" is written in the first person through the eyes of mystery writer Christopher Holmes. Mr. Lanyon steps into his character's voice with confidence even though he has not written a book in the series for four years. There is a paucity of developed characters which makes for a small suspect list, but the identity of the murderer or murderers is not obvious. The San Francisco back drop is a nice milieu that gives a Hitchcockian "Vertigo" noir-flair to the story. Although this is gay fiction set in San Francisco, the Castro never appears. Perhaps Mr. Lanyon was attempting to avoid the cliché. I bought the e-book and the audiobook and found them both to be good reads and good listening. This is the fifth book I purchased that has been narrated by Kevin R. Free and he does his usual fine job. The cameo contained in this book was a very nice treat. I recommend this book and the entire series to your kind attention.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Boy with the Painful Tattoo to be better than the print version?

I liked the book, but I do think I enjoyed the audio edition a bit more. The narration was excellent. He captured Kit's drama and angst without over doing it as well as capturing J.X.'s patience. He brought the rest of the characters to life as well.

What did you like best about this story?

Kit is high maintenance, but J.X. still adores him. For me that's more real and interesting than two mostly perfect main characters and more romantic. Who doesn't want to be loved and accepted with all their flaws and hang ups?

2 people found this helpful

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I love Kit forever and ever.

Seriously. I can't get enough of Kit!! His whit and humour kill me. I love how insecure he feels about some things, and how confident he feels in other things. He feels so real to me! The "top/bottom" scene was one of my absolute favs. Our perception of how the world sees us is very relevant, and as usual, Josh Lanyon, frames this scenario oh so well. ( I <3 you Josh Lanyon!) I appreciate Kit's detective abilities, and his knack for solving a good mystery. While JX has a certain appeal, Kit always comes out on top, which is probably why any additional book in the series will be on my " must get" list. Fantastic listen and read. Bravo.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

I love this series, and this one was the best of the best! For me it got a lot of laughs and there were enough twists to hold my attention, can't wait to see what Lanyon comes up with next.

2 people found this helpful

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Kit is a hard pill to take.

Though I have never been let down by Josh Lanyon's ability to put together a good story, I have to say I really find the Kit character hard to take. 4 hours in and i was really tired of the whining and angst. By the end of the book I was really pushing myself to finish. Beyond that the story is well paced and thought out. I've read most of Mr. Lanyon's work and have never been disappointed. I just don't like Kit as a character.

5 people found this helpful

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Josh & Kevin combo works well!

What can you say about Josh's amazing story-telling skills that haven't already been said? And if course, a great story needs a great narrator. I love Kevin's rendition of Kit!
Can't wait for book 4!

2 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite but still great

Holmes & Moriarity is not my favorite Lanyon series, and this book is not my favorite book in the series. But I'll read anything Lanyon writes, and I'd still give it 4 stars. I think one of the reasons I'm not as excited about H&M as I am about other books in Lanyon's canon is the sort of unpleasantness of Christopher, the main character. Kevin Free does his best to make him witty and likable, and he IS both of those things (much wittier, actually, than Adrien English, though this series isn't as good as that one), but he's also emotionally distant and occasionally downright cruel. And that's fully on display in this book, probably more so than in the other books in the series. J.X., the other character in this series-long relationship arc, is MUCH more palatable. Unfortunately the two characters have a VERY bizarre sexual dynamic that is incredibly squicky, so any time a sex scene starts I'm desperately skipping ahead to find the end of it. This book is the first time we see their weird sex thing in full bloom, so to speak, though there are hints of it in the second book. Essentially Christopher is submissive, but hates being submissive, so sex scenes end up seeming more of a punishment for him than anything he or the reader truly enjoys. He gets more accepting of it in the fourth book but it still comes across as sort of creepy and gross, even there. The mystery is fun, if a bit meandering, and like everything Lanyon writes, the pacing and the prose are spectacular. I like the way Christopher and J.X.'s relationship develops, in this book as well as throughout the series, minus the sex scenes. I wouldn't go so far as to suggest skipping this series over the weird sex, because there are a good number of genuinely laugh-out-loud funny asides, intriguing mysteries, excellent writing, J.X. in general is a wonderful character, and even Christopher grows on you. However, this is the low point of a good series--the sex weirdness comes to a head, the mystery is the least compelling of the four books written so far, and Christopher is, for a large part of the novel, a jerk.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kallie Harris
  • 03-08-15

Excellent!

What did you like most about The Boy with the Painful Tattoo?

Revisiting old friends, the sublime story, the outstanding narration

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Boy with the Painful Tattoo?

The chase in the car park - eek!

What about Kevin R. Free’s performance did you like?

He delivers exceptional performances every time and you know that it will always be of the highest quality. Every tone and emotional inflection is right and he maintains a consistent and pitch perfect manner from beginning to end.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

Any additional comments?

Josh Lanyon is, as always, fantastic as an author. He transcends his genre every time and you forget that you're listening to 'gay' fiction and you can just revel in the superior storytelling and characterisation. I've got a lot of his books in audio and I've never been disappointed - I can absolutely recommend anything he's ever created. The narrator here is absolutely brilliant - he drives everything along perfectly and had me glued throughout. So, so much fun and you won't regret the credit spent!

2 people found this helpful

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  • araminta
  • 01-09-15

Wonderful book and amazing narration

Would you listen to The Boy with the Painful Tattoo again? Why?

Absolutely - this book is the third in a series and I love the characters and storylines The books are funny and romantic and tick all the right boxes . Kevin Free narrates all three and he is wonderful. He absolutely nails the voices and is without doubt my favourite narrator of all time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love Kit - who is bitchy and funny but kind underneath and I adore JX, who is the perfect mix of loving and controlling, so please don't make me choose between them.

What about Kevin R. Free’s performance did you like?

There aren't enough superlatives to describe Kevin's performance. He doesn't just read - he acts the parts and does so brilliantly.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book made me laugh out loud, but it is also a romance so it made me sigh as well.

Any additional comments?

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an excellent gay/comic/ romantic/mystery read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Caro N
  • 03-31-20

excellent

I loved this book. the characters were great, I found the plot very original, the narration was great and the humour dropped in here and there was extremely entertaining. I will be reading (listening to) more of your stories.