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Shadows Left Behind

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Member Reviews

I really feel ambivalent about this book. The writing was strong, the authors talent very obvious. But I had problems with these 5 novellas. 

Of the four, I thought the 2nd, The Dark Farewell, a murder mystery taking place in 1922. A newspaper man wants to write about a labor roit that massacred striking workers in 1921. But there is a serial killer working the area and may be one of the guest at the boarding house.
Flynn meets a young, fey, clairvoyant  who he decides is a phony.  A romance sparks, much to Flynn's surprise as ghost show up to find justice.
Not a bad story, and a good mystery.

The other 4 stories had male characters I just couldn't start to like. They are all M/M fiction, with a heavy dose of gas erotica.  My issues do not like with the gas relationships or the sex. It was the violence some of these men used to woo their conquest.  Turn and twist it all you want, you want, see that is "taken" or coerced is sexual abuse not seduction. 
That is not romance, it is rape. And that was something g I could not condone or move pass. 

Thanks to @netgalley, justjoshing Publications, Inc for this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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First and foremost I will say that I'm a huge fan of Josh Lanyon's work, so I was delighted to be able to review this collection of novellas.

Out of the Blue

I found myself immediately drawn in by the setting. This story focuses on pilots in the first world war, and the casualness of character death is both shocking and numbing. I was on edge the entire story, and completely invested. I found myself noticing echoes of The Charioteer in this short story, and I hope desperately that the characters survived their war.

The Dark Farewell

An excellent murder mystery intwined with romance and the uncanny. Despite these stories being novellas, they feel rich and complete. I could easily read longer books with the characters, but I don’t feel like I’m lacking anything.

This Rough Magic

I went through this slower than the others because I wasn’t as fond of Brett as some of the other characters in previous stories. Even though he could prove that he listened to Juliet, I wasn’t overly fond of her treatment. He started to grow on me halfway through the story as I became more immersed in the mystery. I'm not sure if this was just my imagination, but this felt the lengthiest page-wise.

Slay Ride
Now that was a ride. This story was faster paced than the previous and went quickly. I took to the characters far faster as well. Even though it felt shorter than the others, it still felt complete. I’m enjoying this collection of brief romantic glimpses.

Murder Between the Pages
As Felix and Len pointed out, this was a locked room mystery. It ended satisfactorily, though I do wonder what became of all these characters in general in their respective universes. While Felix and Len were two very different men, in some parts, I felt like Felix and Len’s voices were too similar, so I had to go back to check whose perspective it was. I do like how each story moves a little further into the 1900s.

MAIN TAKEAWAY:
This box set has five satisfying stories, all taking place in the early 1900’s. Each setting is different and rich, and speaks in the voice of the era, as well as to its concerns. Despite being shorter than ordinary novels, they still feel complete. Honestly, I was very pleased with the length in general.

Altogether a satisfying read for any fans of Lanyon, or m/m romance/mystery in general.
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Ten men, Five stories - set in times when same sex relationships were frowned on and were socially taboo. Although Lanyon is a well-known writer of all things M/M, what makes these stories especially poignant is the times they were set in. 

In OUT OF THE BLUE, a grief-stricken British pilot in the RAF who has just lost his lover in battle gets help in hiding a murder from an American ally, who nudges him into a relationship as a quid pro quo. The author provides glimpses of the lives of the many of the pilots of the squadron in the midst of an ongoing investigation into the murder by the French police. The fortunes of the squadron mirror the loss of lives in the combat units involved in WW1. The turnover of pilots, both experienced and rookies, is a telling example of the cost incurred at both national and personal levels in times of war. Although the story is about grim and dire circumstances, hopes of better times permeate throughout.

In THE DARK FAREWELL, a reporter covering the aftermath of the Herren Massacre meets a dubious young medium in his lodgings. When the seances turn into visions of murders committed by a serial killer operating in and around the county, suspects abound. Added to the travails of the couple are the humidity and the prohibition. The author weaves together the stigma associated with M/M relationships at the time, the dearth of hard liquor, the high humidity, mental instability and southern hospitality into a very memorable narrative.

In THIS ROUGH MAGIC, the stakes are high with a missing folio of a Shakespearean play, betrayal, a zealous and vengeful owner of the folio bent on bringing the thief to justice, an apprehensive fiance who suspects his impoverished family members of the theft and a hard boiled Irish private eye tasked with recovering the stolen goods with minimum fallout. The attraction between PI and client is almost instantaneous and is the thread that holds the narrative together. Set in the times of the Great Depression, lingering in the background is the fear faced by the protagonists of exposure to family and society. The story is fast-paced, ripe with misdirection and a wild goose chase. Does the intrepid PI get his man in the end? Is the folio recovered? These are the questions answered by the author in a typical Lanyon-esque closure. 

In SLAY RIDE, the theme of closeted lovers repeats, this time in snowy Montana at Christmas time. With a chicken-stealing spree killer bent on making a clean getaway, a police chief who just will not give up and a newspaperman who always seems to be in the midst of where the action is, the story portrays the angst of the couple who grew up together, one of whom is a war veteran and the other, who is unable to qualify to fight on health grounds. Both are dealing with personal loss due to the war in the Pacific - the Chief has lost his best friend who also was the reporter's elder brother. The white Christmas theme persists, with glimpses of joy and hope in the midst of trying times for various characters in the story. The fate of the spree killer is almost an aside, with the focus firmly on the dynamic between the protective police chief and the intrepid reporter. 

In MURDER BETWEEN THE PAGES, mystery authors Leonard Fuller and Felix Day vie to solve the murder of fellow author Josiah Shelton at a book reading. Both Fuller and Day have it in for each other, firmly convinced that the other stole the idea of the main character of their mystery series from him. The bodies start falling early on, with a multitude of suspects - a  femme fatale, a grieving family and a bookstore full of invitees available to give grist to Fuller and Day's investigative mills. The antagonism between the Fuller and Day resolves into a hitherto unacknowledged mutual attraction as the narrative proceeds and the creators of the fictional detectives Inspector Fez and Constantine Sphinx are put through their paces to solve the mystery of the deaths. The author uses a dual POV, which is a departure from the usual style and takes a bit of getting used to. All in all, a good whodunit that keeps the reader engaged till the end. 

Put together, these stories from the past are a reminder of societal intolerance to being different, and a glimpse into the lives of men who found ways to circumvent the norms and rules of society while staying within the boundaries laid for them by society.

Thanks to NetGalley for making a temporary copy of the book available for review.
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Shadows Left Behind 

A collection of stories by Josh Lanyon 

1st story:
Out of the Blue

3 stars 

*Read as part of Shadows Left Behind, a collection of stories by Josh Lanyon*

This is the first story in this historical collection of stories. I enjoyed reading this for the most part but I also felt like something was missing. 

~What I Liked:
I like Bat and the fellow pilots. It’s always hard reading about war and the loss of lives. The setting was done well and I was drawn in by that immediately. I thought the flying and battles were very well done, probably one of the best parts of the story. 

Bat and Cowboy share some very steamy times together. For a JL book I was surprised at how steamy it was. ~

~What I Didn’t Like:
I didn’t like that Cowboy took advantage of Bat at his most vulnerable time. His lover just died and Cowboy is using blackmail to get in Bat’s pants. At first it felt like assault. I was worried that would overshadow the entire story but after the second encounter things changed between Bat & Cowboy and I began to like the relationship a bit more. 

The ending is abrupt and I would have loved to know what, if any, future these two have. That made me feel letdown. We don’t even know if they survive the war! I feel like it’s an unfinished story. ~

This was a quick read overall and it held my attention. In a novella that isn’t always easy to do. I’ve gotten used to Lanyon’s writing and I do love how she brings the setting to life. I just wish we had more of an ending!!!!
________________________________________

2nd story:
The Dark Farewell 

3.75 stars 

This was an interesting story that held my attention throughout. It has a feeling of a slower moving story but at the same time it moves at a quick pace. 

David Flynn is actually quite a boring character even though the story is told from his POV. He is grieving the loss of friends and family as well as his lover from his time in the war. He is a reporter who travels to Illinois for a story. While there he stays with the wife of an old friend and professor at her boarding house. There are a number of other boarders one of them being a medium, Julian Devereux. 

Julian is the interesting character of the book since he can see and hear spirits and passes on their messages to loved ones. Unfortunately he is under his grandfathers control and even though a connection forms between him & Flynn the grandfather stands in their way. 

I enjoyed how this story unfolded. It was the perfect length even though, in true Lanyon fashion, the ending is very abrupt. This ending, however, is not hard to interpret. If this book was expanded I don’t think it would have worked as well for me. The mystery is on the outer edges of the developing relationship and the reason for why Flynn is in town. It’s not a mystery Flynn is trying to solve, he just happens to be wrapped up in its resolution. This is the novella that Josh Lanyon does best and after reading so much of her work I could appreciate the story. 

________________________________________

3rd story:
This Rough Magic

2.75 stars

This was a pretty lackluster story. The premise is good but the execution was a let down. It felt jumbled and stilted and never went anywhere. I didn’t feel any satisfaction from the mystery or the relationship.

It can be hard to find depth in a shorter story and that seems to be what happened for me here. I didn’t see a connection between Brett & Rafferty and I certainly didn’t believe that they could fall in love. 

Everything seemed to have to be read between the lines and I just wanted it spelled out plainly. A couple revelations happened but we are told that the characters had already guessed these outcomes but we aren’t ever shown anything but the characters going on a wild goose chase that went nowhere.

I feel like more could come if these characters if given more time and a real mystery. I believe there is a second story so I think I will check that out in the future. 


________________________________________

4th story
Slay Ride

3 stars

I am reading this and really enjoying it and I feel the book coming to its climax and......nothing. I was so confused that one little newspaper clipping told what went down at the most important part of the entire story!!!! The story is centered around catching a criminal and one of the MC’s is in peril and the other MC is going to save him and we got none of it! Add to that the paltry epilogue and my bubble was burst. This is not surprising because I feel like some books Josh Lanyon doesn’t fulfill my expectations but I feel like she called it in with this one. 

________________________________________

5th  story
Murder Between The Pages 

3.5 stars

This is a story that I have tried to read before but hasn’t gotten past the first chapter. I don’t know why it didn’t hold my attention then. It’s a simple mystery whodunnit in true Lanyon fashion. 

The mystery itself was a bit lagging, almost the entirety of the story takes place in a bookstore with a cast of characters led by Leonard Fuller and Felix Day, two writers of mystery series with a rivalry. 

I found there to be quite a few characters that I got confused as to who they were, specifically other writers only mentioned sporadically or friends or co-workers of the bookstore owner. I’m not even sure now who a few characters were but they didn’t factor too much into the story so I didn’t focus on that. 

I figured that there was some type of attraction between Fuller and Day but it is more on the back burner and it’s almost glanced over when it does happen. I would have enjoyed reading more into that than the mystery. 

This was good for a novella, if not great. The entire set of stories are short enough to read if you like a mystery more than a romance and don’t want to be bogged down by a long novel. I enjoy Lanyon’s writing so I am always a sucker to these mysteries. Even if I don’t always feel satisfied by some parts I still get enjoyment out of reading them! 

*I received this ARC via NetGalley for review*
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I like that it was divided in short stories, it's different. The idea of each story happening in a different time and place was nice. Unfortunately, they weren't as interesting as I expected, and the characters weren't memorable, at least for me. It's not a bad book, it just wasn't for me.
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It was a rather nice book. My favourite stories were the very first ones, and I felt like the weaker ones were put towards the end (3rd and 4th story). Though I did enjoy the last, 5th, story quite a lot - I found its premise and characters extremely entertaining and I hope the author does more with that story in the future - I just felt like it could've been edited more to polish its story beats and make it more gripping, which I found to be the flaw with all the stories. 

The title of the collection reveals the common themes of these stories: war, loss, moving on, accepting and opening yourself up. I think if you're looking for a nice and comfortable read with queer men as its protagonists set in the first half of the 20th century with a happy ending, this book could be for you.
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"Shadows Left Behind" is a set of five historical mysteries ranging from WWI to post-WWII. 1916 to 1948. I've always enjoyed Lanyon's historicals because the characters feel true to the era and she does an excellent job of giving us the time period without too many extraneous details. 

Overall, I would give this collection 4 stars, with some stories a bit higher and others lower: 

Out of the Blue (1916) - Set in WWI, with planes dogfighting above the trenches and the staggering loss of life, two pilots meet because of a murder and its cover-up. I had a niggle about the way Lanyon develops the relationship between Bat and Cowboy and how its beginning is somewhat creepy and nonconsensual (due to blackmail) but she captures the feeling of grabbing life and love, while know that any day could be their last. 3.5 stars. 

The Dark Farewell (1922) - Set in Illinois during the Prohibition, reporter David Flynn meets Julian Devereaux, a traveling spiritualist / medium and it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that Julian is very attracted to David, and vice versa. Throw in a series of murders in the area, a traveling salesman, a death in the boarding house, labor unrest, hot nights and cool jazz, and this compelling story definitely held my interest .... until the final chapter where the story is way too quickly resolved. 4 stars. 

This Rough Magic (1935) - A great setting and two intriguing main characters (PI Neil Patrick Rafferty, and the upper crust Brett Sheridan) but where it falls apart, IMHO, is all the characters - there's Brett's sister and her tragically dead fiance, her relationship with a shady character, the stepmother with a mysterious past, Brett's delusional family and his shoplifting / piano playing sister, the wacky father and his love of Etruscan art, the siblings named Sebastian and Viola (and their dearly departed brother .... Hamlet) .... sigh. 3 stars. 

Slay Ride (1943): This story was a bit uneven, with a far-too long car chase and hostage / robbery / murder situation, which is quickly wrapped up with a single newspaper article and a short epilogue. But the relationship between Police Chief Rob Garrett and young reporter Jamie Johnson is very well-done. 3.5 stars. 

Murder Between the Pages (1948): This is my favorite story in the collection, an entertaining "locked room" mystery, set in 1948 or so, with two crime writers who hate each other with a passion, and in the process of solving a crime find themselves begrudgingly falling in love. Lanyon gives us two men who survived the war - one in the OSS and the other as a pilot - but still miss the excitement, and having a purpose. 4.5 stars.
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No other author in the M/M genre manages to combine romance and suspense as well as Josh Lanyon. This collection with 5 stories set between WWI and WWII is no exception. Whether it be a boy wonder journalist and the police chief who stole his heart or two feuding crime writers, whose animosity hides real passion, the stories are all well-crafted, masterfully researched and quick-witted. Though varying a bit in quality, it would not be justifiable to give this book anything other than 5 stars!
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5 historical short stories by Lanyon collected in a box set. I think Lanyon is not best served by the collected stories format, as all her quirks and shortcomings come across more starkly when you read her short stories back to back (for instance, she overuses some tropes, such as the characters hate each other and barely speak until they kiss and her abrupt endings). I admit I should have spaced out each story, as I felt the book dragged in some places. I also believe the best Lanyon is not historical Lanyon. She likes to present harsh realities and is not kind in showing her characters' faults. This makes them hard to like sometimes but especially when compounded by the historical context.

No need to point out that despite all that, Lanyon is still a very good writer and all of these are skilfully plotted, developed and realised. None of these should be classified as a Romance, in my view, and none have traditional HFN/HEAs (some do if you read the Christmas codas). They're more like love stories in a historical setting.

A couple of words on each story:

* Out of the Blue: this was... weird. It had a lot of dubious/non-con and the characters came across as callous.

* The Dark Farewell: probably one of my least favourites. I expected more out of this very interesting and atmospheric setting and I found the Deus Ex Machina ending disappointing coming from JL.

* This Rough Magic: again, the setting lent itself to an atmospheric and interesting story that never fully materialised, even if it was more successful that TDF. I liked the rough PI-meets-golden-boy trope and I enjoyed the ending. I didn't really understand Brett's motivation to sacrifice himself for his family when practically none of them are shown to have any redeeming qualities. Overall it was OK.

* Slay Ride: probably the one that frustrated me the most, even if (I think) the shortest. The crime/mystery aspect was half-baked at best and utterly uninteresting. The MCs have conversations where they don't know what they're saying (and the reader struggles to follow along) and the characterisation is dropped in favour of mopey, long paragraphs of their most inner thoughts. The big confrontation happens off-screen and we get a newspaper clipping (which is not reported by the journalist MC).

* Murder Between the Pages: the best of the bunch, probably, other than Out of the Blue. A locked room mystery that goes from having far too many possible suspects to far too few (including three that sort of blur together). Even so, the writing is witty and quick, and overall the mystery is engaging. I wish it hadn't been dual POV, as I felt it dragged the story a little bit, particularly as the both MCs... were the same person, basically. Snotty, high handed and sarcastic, they read the same to me. Additionally, they're both writers who write mysteries with startlingly similar main characters. I also didn't really feel any chemistry between the MCs, particularly when one spent half the book pining for a policeman (and I get that he was supposed to be oblivious to his feelings, always had been in love with Leonard, yadda yadda).
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historical-fiction, m-m-mystery, m-m-romance, historical-places-events, historical-research, anthology, paranormal, mental-health-issues, novella, theft, private-investigators, LGBTQIA, murder-investigation, murder, law-enforcement, journalist*****

The publisher's blurb gives the hooks, but here are my reactions to this favorite author's stories in this book.
1. Out of the Blue (1916): grief, loss, pilots in the Royal Flying Corps billeted in France, bullying, erotic affirmation of living, fine love story.
2. The Dark Farewell (1922): the 1922 miners' murders in Herrin, Il are fact. So is Prohibition and the ways that people used to get around it. The reluctant romance between the reporter and the spiritualist is really different from the usual as is the treatment of the supernatural in that era.
3. This Rough Magic (1935): Good mystery with an insight into sudden awareness of a person who finds that he is not who he thinks he is. I'm a sucker for a good mystery.
4. Slay Ride (1943): The police chief had been invalided out of the service after a leg wound in the Pacific. The young reporter keeps trying to enlist but is 4-F. Chasing a murderous thief together they explore a love neither had admitted for a number of years. Moving.
Murder Between the Pages (1948): there is more sly humor in this excellent whodunit that is a lot like the other JL mysteries I love.
Despite my annoyance of anthologies that are not print copies, I really enjoyed each of these stories!
I requested and received a free temporary ebook from JustJoshin Publishing, Inc. via NetGalley. Thank you!
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I would like to start this review with the cover, how subtle and the simple idea there is behind this one. The cover itself got me thinking that I have to read the book cover to cover, no matter how boring or how bad it could be. I had certain expectations, more like hope that the book will be good. Then I started reading the first novella <i>Out of blue</i> and the novella started with a strong and enticing introduction to the story, making me want to read more. Having read all the novellas, it's very difficult to choose the favorite one, but maybe <i>Murder between pages</i> would be the right choice. 

I would also like to write how amazed I am with the author's measure to everything in the stories - there is just the right dose of the characters, plot, details, mystery. There are no unnecessary details on something, everything adds up in a good way. Since this is my first contemporary Male/Male book, I have to be honest, it was rather interesting as a completely new experience. I have read before some prolific authors like Oscar Wilde, but although he was criticized for describing the male relationships so openly, it is nothing comparing to Josh Lanyon. Hats off to her, she really did a great job putting these novellas together.
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a book of short stories with mysteries and romance.

I liked all the stories, they are all set in the time of war, (I imagine the second one) some very beautiful and funny, others somewhat sad but generally entertaining.

As always, at least for me, Josh Lanyon is a good option to entertain a while, I just wish they were longer XD.
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Shadows Left Behind is a collection of 5 , smart, engaging, mysterious, humorous written historical novellas set before and after WW1 and WW2 . 

I loved them all. Yes,  ones a bit more than others . Yet , all are in the  4.5 and 5 stars range. 

I enjoyed these novellas so much that right after finish reading them, I got them all in  audiobooks. And very  happy to say, they are all faultlessly narrated and produced. 

I just reviewed Shadows Left Behind by Josh Lanyon. #ShadowsLeftBehind #NetGalley
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This was a good collection of mm historical stories. Some were a bit better than others but overall they were pretty enjoyable. I liked that these stories spanned different historical periods. Each one has its own little mystery. 
Highly recommend this to anyone that is a fan of mysteries, Josh Lanyon or the mm genre.
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I received an ARC of this book through netgalley but my opinion is my own.

First, I enjoy this author's writing. She's eloquent and her story-telling and characters are engaging and real. This anthology is no exception. I enjoyed these stories individually.

Unfortunately, as a collection, it was a little too depressing and repetitive. Every story deals with similar themes of time-period appropriate homophobia. A collection should have more diversity and something light to liven things up. So i would advise reading these individually with something lighter to brighten things up!
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I've been in a huge reading slump lately but to its credit I finished this anthology collection in about three days. Honestly, it comes pretty close to being written exactly just for me: I am absolutely nuts for this era and consume films of the 30s and 40s like they're air, and if there's anything I've ever wanted it's for there to be more gay romances which use those silly tropes and plotlines I am so fond of.  WWI flying aces, newspapermen and private eyes and nutty socialites... genuinely I am such a fan. The attention to historical detail felt very good and I did appreciate that the main plotline in each story was some kind of bonkers mystery. 

I feel like anthologies are difficult to critique because they are by their nature a mixed bag; suffice it to say that I liked some of the stories more than others, but found all to be fun & worth reading. I was constantly delighted by the various historical settings and I had so much fun trying to cast old Hollywood actors in these roles in my head. Many thanks to NetGalley and JustJoshin Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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'Shadows Left Behind' by Josh Lanyon. Josh Lanyon really knows how to weave a story together! Shadows Left Behind is a collection of historical novellas but each story reads like a fully fleshed out novel. I had previously read three of these stories but it is certainly not a chore to re-read them, because let's be honest, Lanyon is my most re-read author. This collection includes 5 unrelated novellas, they are all historical mysteries involving a love story. I believe Murder Between the Pages is my favorite story included in this collection as it involves a closed room murder scenario and features my two favorite male lead characters.

In my view, there is a difference between a romance and a love story and all of these stories fall firmly under the heading of, first 'mystery', then 'love story'. The characters are not perfect, sometimes they make questionable decisions and do things the wrong way but that's what makes them so relatable and lovable. I imagine them as real people living in our real world and it amazes me how Lanyon can create so much atmosphere in so few words.

It's usually difficult for me to rate collections because it could have my most favorite and least favorite stories ever but that's not an issue here. Individually, I gave each novella 5 stars.
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I regularly go through phases where I'm hard to satisfy as a reader, where a lot of things I read just don't work for me and might do at another time - these are unpredictable, so when I start DNF a number of things or others just don't quite click, I always wonder if it's that. Having said that, none of these stories really worked for me beyond general page-turning interest and I wasn't left wishing any of them were longer, except for possibly the third story in the collection.

All of the novellas in this collection clearly show the author's research and there's a reasonable sense of place about them. For me, though, the characters didn't stand up to the same scrutiny and some of them felt more than a little unrealised, Part of writing m/m is how the characters move from meeting to a relationship and in the final story in particular, that really didn't work for me - there's no 'spark' between the characters, whose bickering came across as petty rather than sexually charged. 

For the first couple, one set during WWI and one in its spiritualist-ridden aftermath, I didn't really like the sense of power imbalance going on, to the point of outright coerced consent in the first one. The threat of blackmail, a very real and possibly life-threatening thing for gay men throughout the time periods these novellas cover, is an immediate dampener on romance for me. 

<I>I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.</i>
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Shadows Left Behind is a collection of five novella length historical mystery romances by Josh Lanyon. Released 1st April 2021, it's 632 pages and is available in ebook format. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

According to my excel book review spreadsheet, the majority of my TBR and review selections are historical mysteries (followed closely by non-fiction, mostly cookbooks and gardening). I really love reading mysteries set in the past and enjoy solidly immersive, detailed, and well written stories most of all. 

This collection has 5 different novellas and all were engaging and well written. They vary in setting from WWI to just post WW2. The mysteries are serviceable and the romance plots are integral to the story. Since it's Josh Lanyon, most readers will already be aware of the romance angle, but they're all M/M romances and some of the descriptions are graphic, if that's an issue. 

The stories vary from 3-5 stars. I enjoyed them all but my favorite was the final selection "Murder Between the Pages". It's a locked room mystery and full of humor and snark. 

Four stars. Not really safe for work/commute reading. Entertaining and well written. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I love Josh Lanyon. That is a fact: she's one of my go-to authors when I'm in the mood for mystery and romance, so when I saw this box set on Netgalley I HAD to request it. I love historical fiction and I also love murder mysteries, so this seemed like the perfect type of read for me and for any fan of the genre.

I loved it, some novellas more than others, but nevertheless, I loved it. All five of them combine romance and heartache, hope and pain, and each one of them have their own brand of mystery set in different historical periods.
I enjoyed them all, but I think my favourites were definitely the third and fifth novella: "This Rough Magic" set in a magical 1935 atmosphere, where rich and privileged Brett Sheridan (who's also on the brink of a nervous breakdown) hires Patrick Rafferty, a rough private detective, to solve the mystery of a stolen folio; and also "Murder Between Pages", a locked-room mystery that delighted me to no end, featuring two rival writers that decide to team up and play amateur sleuth to solve a murder. It was glorious.

I recommend this box set to any Josh Lanyon hardcore fan, but also to readers that enjoy historical mysteries. it was a truly delightful anthology and each of the five novellas have their own distinct atmosphere and setting, an unforgettable cast of characters and some really enjoyable (and sometimes bonkers) mysteries.
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