Book Review: The Mermaid Murders, by Josh Lanyon


graphic by josh lanyon

The Mermaid Murders, by Josh Lanyon
Series: The Art of Murder, Book One
Release Date: February 29, 2016

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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lanyon-mermaid-murdersSpecial Agent Jason West is seconded from the FBI Art Crime Team to temporarily partner with disgraced, legendary “manhunter” Sam Kennedy when it appears that Kennedy’s most famous case, the capture and conviction of a serial killer known as The Huntsman, may actually have been a disastrous failure.

The Huntsman is still out there…and the killing has begun again.


Mystery/Crime Thriller
Gay M/M
Serial Killer
Alpha Male
Enemies to Lovers


Josh Lanyon has a very distinct voice in the M/M genre, and it’s always a pleasure to delve into a new Lanyon novel. There are some fun stereotypes being played with (and often turned on their head), and characters who are realistic, imperfect… and sometimes just plain jerks.

My favorite things about The Mermaid Murders are:

  • The mystery itself. I feel like I can often guess at the solution to a mystery while reading it, but I did not predict this one! A captivating and well-plotted story.
  • Alpha males getting told off for being too alpha. At first I wasn’t sure that I liked Jason, but seeing him lay into Kennedy over and over because Kennedy was being all Lone Wolf/Gruff Asshole was beautiful!

“I’ve been asked to try and make sure you don’t step in it again, sure, but I’m not here to hold your cape, Batman. I’m your partner on this case whether either of us likes it or not. And, for the record, I don’t like it—any more than you do.”

  • The slow-build attraction. This isn’t a romance, but it has potential to be. Instead it’s two men from different backgrounds who start to find things in common. (Also, they’re both emotionally constipated idiots and I wanted to shove them in a locked room and yell OKAY KISS NOW PLEASE at least half a dozen times.)

What I wasn’t such a big fan of was…

  • Kennedy and his “I can do it all by myself attitude”. He seemed very boring and cold for a big chunk of the novel (Jason calls him a “cyborg” at one point), which made him a difficult character to enjoy. But this is the first in a series, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see more of Kennedy in Book Two, and get to see him open up more!


The parallels between this novel and the TV show Criminal Minds come to mind pretty quickly. If you’re a fan of the show, then you’ll love this novel, which really focuses on the psychology of both the killer and those hunting him down. There are also some similarities character-wise.


Josh is best known for the Adrien English Mysteries series, which follows an LA bookseller who stumbles on a murder in his shop one day. While the series starts off a bit rocky, it definitely improves!

A coming-of-age story tied with an international mystery, Josh’s 2015 novel, Jefferson Blythe, Esquire was a lot of fun to read. (My review.)

You can find more of Josh’s novels, novellas, and upcoming releases online at, or on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Mailing List.

Buy The Mermaid Murders from one of these retailers:

amazon  barnesnoble kobo itunes all-romance-ebooks

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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