Title: Puzzle for Two
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: JustJoshin Publishing
Release Date: May 27, 2023
Genre(s): M/M PI Mystery
Page Count: 316
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Puzzle for Two gives us an improbable case ("Possibly the whole pretend-t0-be-my boyfriend to decoy my maybe suicidal wife thing?") with Zach, a young PI resolved to keep his father's PI agency afloat while fending off creditors as well as his competitor ex-Marine Flint Carey who is determined to buy him out. Never mind that Zach might be a bit too inexperienced, the case stinks to high heaven, and his client is ... unsettling, the $12,000 fee alleviates a lot of Zach's qualms, for now.
In reading this PI murder mystery, I'm again struck by how beautifully Lanyon creates character. It's in the turn of a phrase, a succinct description, a pause. One really gets a sense of each of the characters here - untried but determined Zach, the unnerving client Alton Beacher, Zach's delightfully quirky sister Brooke with her mad researching skills, Zach's obsessive ex Ben. And Flint Carey is at first defined by Zach's (misguided) perception of him and the way that perception changes bit by bit is a delightfully slow burn.
I really liked the interplay of all these distinct characters and how the murder / mystery works so well as a classic detective story. And here's hoping that Lanyon decides to continue this series! 4 stars.
I received an ARC from the author, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.