Cover Image: The Movie-Town Murders

The Movie-Town Murders

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Member Reviews

Another delightful romantic mystery in one of my favorite longstanding mystery series! One of my favorite aspects of this series is how much we see the established relationship grow and shift over time. The opposites attract nature of their romance is often put under stressors between long distance and their jobs, which makes for a high stakes romance plot in many ways, in addition to the high stakes from the thriller plot. I do wish the stories in this series didn’t always end on cliffhangers since we often have to wait a bit between books, but that’s more of just a personal pet peeve of mine than a stylistic critique since I personally prefer to read series back to back whenever possible. Really looking forward to the next book!
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A good mystery/thriller. An even better story about relationships. Relationships take effort to make them work, particularly if they are long-distance and one person is more demonstrative than the other. But it can happen. Romances so often just make it seems so easy once they get together. This shows that it isn't. I like it all the more for it.

It does end in a bit of a cliff hanger.

A good storyteller. I look forward to reading more of this series.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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Anoter excellent story in this series: compelling, entertaining, and well written. i was glad to catch up with the characters and solid mystery that kept me guessing.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoy this series and The Movie-Town Murders is a really great installment. No, I can't say A LOT happens here, it's a random case that has no connection to the characters, meaning they didn't know the person killed, and Jason goes undercover at a college to find out what happened to her (for a distant family friend). Jason and Sam do have on page time together and they are still navigating their relationship. It's hard when they are both good at what they do, don't want to change what they are doing or where their home base is, and yet also want to be together as in geographically. Jason is still being stalked by Dr. Nut Job, and oh, boy, I think the cliffhanger at the end may be hinting he found him.

I can't say I cared for this particular murder plot because Jason was so far removed from everything - his expertise is art, not film; he's undercover and not working with a team (directly); he altered his looks which I don't think I liked because he freakin' shaved his head! WTH?! Also, the victim was a B. That of course doesn't mean she deserved to die, but my sympathy was not with the victim and the way she died just did not jive with who the killer turned out to be. The killer was weird and I still don't fully understand what they were trying to accomplish in the end. The killer turns out to be a security guard at the college and he also turned out to be the underage lover, way back when, of one of the stars of the movie that the murder victim was so eager to get a copy of since it's believed to be the ONLY one. The security guard is like 80 years old now, so why was he interested all of sudden in selling this "priceless" movie? Why did he kill the woman? Why did he stage her murder to look like accidental death due to solo sexcapades? There are a lot of unanswered questions, which crapola, we don't get the answers to in this book because it ends with the security guard finding a dead body near Jason's house! With a small etched object Jason finds indicating Dr. Kyser, aka Dr. Nut Job, has come back and is toying with Jason. Ugh.

Regardless of whatever issues I have with this story I still really enjoyed it; I LOVED seeing Jason and Sam together. This book is something I really crave which is just being able to see these guys live their daily lives. I love books that continue beloved characters and their relationship and it's not always ups and downs, or constant lovey dovey time, or even being in the same room. They love each other, want to be together, and talk about their options. They discuss their cases, though Jason is reluctant to do so because of reasons. I could take 1000 more books just like this. I don't always need action, or death threats, or anything but being able to watch them live. Happy times!

I give this 4.5 stars because, like I said, the murder was interesting but not interesting, and I had hoped to have seen more forward progress and Jason and Sam's relationship. They are progressing, but at the same time it feels like two steps forward, one step back.

So excited for the next book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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A little sad to say that I kind of found this latest installment a bit....boring. It's a nice read, it's not *bad*. I mean I finished this ages ago and just didn't get around to writing this review because I had no desire to talk about it. It took me way too long to finish reading the book itself because I found myself just not caring. I don't know if it's just because I read most of the series in a short time and so it was too much of the same or if it's actually reflective of this story itself. I feel like nothing important happened. It feels like there is no relationship progress between the main couple, which isn't the focus but something should still....happen. They feel like they're still in the same place emotionally that they were in the previous book. I am still completely confused on the main case for this book. There was a lot of supposition and little to no evidence, and I'm not entirely sure it actually got resolved now that I am trying to think back. I know it connected to a previous case in some random way. OH and the ending of this? Did not love. Despite being underwhelmed by this one, I will still check out the next book (and the rest of the series) because I need to know how it all works out ultimately.
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Je ne connaissais pas cette série de Josh Lanyon mais après cet épisode, je vais m'empresser de lire les quatre premiers titres déjà parus.
Tout ne va pas, du tout, pour le meilleur dans le meilleur des mondes alors que débute cette nouvelle enquête. Jason qui a sérieusement dépassé les bornes (dans le volume précédent) va-t-il conserver son poste au F.B.I. alors qu'il était jusqu'ici considéré comme le prochain agent à avoir comme modèle ? Sa relation avec Sam en a pris un sérieux coup également et là, toutes les options sont ouvertes : Jason, n'a pas la moindre idée de ce qui l'attend et surtout ne sait plus si Sam l'attend !
C'est alors que, professionnellement au moins une nouvelle enquête pourrait décider de bien des choses dans un très proche futur. La petite fille d'un ex-sénateur de Californie est décédée dans des circonstances accidentelles selon le rapport du coroner ce qui ne satisfait personne, surtout, vu les circonstances en question. Mais le seul qui est décidé à ne pas laisser cette situation en l'état est ce même sénateur qui bien que retiré de la scène politique n'en fait pas moins jouer ses appuis pour que l'enquête soit réouverte. 
Jason est bien décidé à tirer le meilleur parti de cette seconde (et dernière chance) qui lui est donnée. Pour ce faire le voilà à accumuler les connaissances sur un film disparu depuis plus de 70 ans et qui pourrait être la clé de tout. Il en profite, malgré lui, pour découvrir qu'agent de terrain du FBI n'est finalement pas le pire des jobs que l'on puisse faire.
Non seulement l'intrigue m'a intéressé de bout en bout et sa conclusion surpris, mais j'ai appris une foule de choses sur le cinéma, ses codes, ses "acteurs"... et le pouvoir ambigüe des "défenseurs de la loi".
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Overall, I did enjoy the relationship between Sam and Jason. I really like how Jason is coming into his own and won't be pushed around. He started out a bit immature in the beginning of the series, and while you can still see that here and there, he is also quite competent at his job and has shown a lot of growth. Sam, for all his faults, has also slowly undergone a journey of growth, which makes me so excited and happy to see what is next for them. 

However, I must say I don't remember too much about this book in the specific, even after having read it and then skimming it again for this review. Some of it is the fact that a lot of the book drew on characters from previous books in the series, but it is frustratingly difficult to keep track of all the different cast members and their minute interactions with one another over the span of four or five books given the slow release of the books themselves. For this reason, I would highly recommend some sort of refresher in these books so I don't have to go back and reread four books to understand the significance of say a random road or highway or something. 

Other than that, I am actually quite intrigued about the series plot arcs. I'll be honest, the books stories don't often hold my interest because it's hard to keep investing in an ever-growing cast of characters and plots and still manage to remember all the most important pieces. But I am eager to see where the story goes from here and how Sam and Jason grow into their relationship beyond this.
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4.5 Stars
The fifth story of the Art of Murder series, this installment was much anticipated. Yes, I highly recommend you read this series in order to really get a full understanding of the complex characters.
 I have loved Jason West who is a FBI Special Art Crime Agent from the first. He is  super smart, incredibly dedicated and willing to take risks. He has fallen madly in love with Sam a Behavioral Analyst Unit Chief.  Sam can be infuriating at times. He suffered a great loss many years ago and finally opens up more to Jason about his feelings. There are times I felt Jason should cut his losses and leave Sam as he seems to be the one always compromising.  I realized in this book, Jason is also putting his job before his relationship just like Sam. They are both so stubborn and driven. Yet I believe they love each other after all. I hope this talented author throws us a bone and actually makes the guys have a workable relationship. Sam is slow to grow on you but If the walls finally come down they could  get their hard earned HEA.
 The book was several years in the making and I must confess I had a hard time with the continuity. I wish I had the time to have re-read the whole series before starting the Movie Town Murders which would have made this story flow better.
 The story does have an abrupt ending and I hope the next book comes sooner. The main elements of the story leave us guessing as to who the murderer was, among other questions. Hopefully all these loose ends will be clarified. A well written but slightly exasperating story that I highly recommend. 
Special thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book for my reading pleasure.
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DNF.  I think I am done with this series.  There is still too much baggage that our MC’s are carrying around.
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loveeee mlm romances a lot more recently, and this was a pretty good one! obsessed over the mystery aspect more than the romantic one, but everything blended well in my opinion
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It has been so long since I read the fourth book in this series, "The Monuments Men Murders", that I went back and did a quick reread of the entire series just to get to the point where I could recall enough of the overlying plot in order to read this latest book.

Lanyon has done a pretty remarkable job of making Sam and Jason's relationship an intensely-felt relationship that leans heavily on the longing and light on the actual boots-on-the-ground aspect, yet to me it still feels intriguing and dynamic. I really like their arc and like where they are at this place in the series.

However, the murder mystery here is not as captivating as others in the series, and while I appreciated Jason's professorial attempts, everything felt a bit too long, a bit too convoluted and by the time I got to the end, I had a moment where a character was murdered ... and I couldn't immediately recall WHO the victim was, and the final pages left me with a sense of "wait, what?" rather than anticipation for the next book in the series.

HOWEVER, I feel that once the next book is released, I will (hopefully) get a better sense of how everything plays out based on what we learned in this book in the series, which seems more of a transitional book instead of a clear stand-alone book. 3.5 stars.
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THE MOVIE-TOWN MURDERS are another fantastic entry in Lanyon's Art of Murder series. After a long time away (relatively speaking), Sam and Jason are back. It was wonderful to see their relationship continue to progress, albeit with some bumps along the way, and Lanyon's research into film history and lost film was a treat. It was also a pleasure to see A SNOWBALL IN HELL referenced, another great book by this author. All around, a win!
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This is the fifth book in The Art of Murder Series. I really enjoyed this book, but it took me a while to really get into it. The characters were wonderful. The pace started slow and then picked up. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series.
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So, I love Josh Lanyon's books. That's no secret. While Sam and Jason aren't my favorite pair because even for a slow-burn, they are slow, I still enjoy reading all of the mysteries. They're well done! 

I consumed this one quickly, but I just finished it and now I'm baffled. Absolutely baffled. Who was the murderer? It was all set up to be this one bad guy, but suddenly it's another (how he would've managed it I'm not sure either) and then suddenly something else happens at the very end. It was really confusing. 

You've got to read this to continue with the series, but I really do not understand the ending. I would've loved some sort of epilogue or greater conclusion. I'm sure it would be fine if the next book was out already and you could binge-read it all at once. 

With that said, I loved the references to Snowball in Hell, which I had the pleasure of reading earlier this year.
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A quick read which really felt like an instalment rather than a book. It definately cannot be read on it's own. You need to know what happened before and what's going to happen next.

I liked Lanyon's cheeky product placement. Snowball in Hell with the sultry looks fit right in. Copyright and piracy were frequently mentioned but not really deeply explored through different facets.

I wish I did not feel that this was hastily done but I do, the high achieved by this first book in this series The Mermaid Murders has just continued to roll down, no other peaks remembered.

An ARC gently provided by author/publisher via Netgalley
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This is the fifth book in the series about FBI Art Crime Team agent Jason West and BAU Chief Sam Kennedy, and a really nice one.

Jason is working undercover on the death of a former senator's granddaughter, UCLA film studies professor. Police assume the professor committed suicide, but the family has doubts. And it doesn't help that no one seemed to like the disagreeable professor, and Jason quickly discovers that there is a reason. Jason mostly works on this alone. So if, like me, you were counting on him and Sam to handle the case together, you won't find it here.

But I like the general direction in which Jason and Sam are going when it comes to their relationship. After the previous book, I started to worry a little about them, but luckily, we can see some changes in this book, especially when it comes to Sam's behavior. I feel like they are finally starting to talk to each other and work on this relationship. In this book, it was much easier than in the previous one for me to see that they fit together.

The ending of this story made me really look forward to the next book and wonder what else will happen in this series. And not only about the threat to Jason, but also about the unsolved mysteries of Sam's past that we learn a little about in this book.

If you haven't read the previous books in this series, I would rather not recommend starting it with this book as you will lose a lot of context, especially when it comes to the story of Sam and Jason and the threat to Jason from Dr. Kyser.

For those who have read the previous books in this series, I recommend continuing. This is a very solid addition to this series.
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Jason and Sam are back and their stories just keep getting better. It is always great to read the stories from this series. I love following the mystery of the individual books in addition to the overarching mystery of the series.
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2.5 rounded up

This was fine, but ultimately disappointing.

It's been less than a year and a half since I read the last book, but this one takes place *right* afterwards and a lot of the book heavily references the events from that book, which I only vaguely remembered--I'd highly recommend a reread of that book before this one if you don't want to spend the first 25% a little lost.

I continue to like Jason and Sam together, but I'm starting to grow a little weary of the world's slowest burn. It's been 5 books, and I just barely feel like they're in a solid relationship. They live across the country from one another and spent almost this entire book apart--I did think there was a decent focus on the romance despite that, and Lanyon is known for more plot-focused mysteries, but I did want a bit more here. And then, just when we think there's going to be some movement, once again Lanyon just fucking ends the book in the middle of the action--it's so fucking annoying! And bizarre! And honestly doesn't make me want to read more, it makes me want to say fuck this and spend my valuable time reading books that don't constantly end on cliffhangers.

Besides that, the mystery was just weird. Way too much random facts about old films, the entire concept of the case made no sense, and then we *also* get no resolution to it. Like, I thought it was supposed to be this one baddie from previous books, but then suddenly over the course of like a page Jason decides the murder was committed by like, this 80 year old man?? A man who then supposedly came to try and kill Jason, only instead, a security guard is dead? Who was maybe killed by Jason's stalker? I honestly was SO baffled and confused the entire last chapter, and then the book just ends, answering no questions. I'm just so bummed because I've really enjoyed this series but it seems like the author has lost their interest/investment in it, and at this point I really hope the next book is the last one and they just wrap up the romance and stop stringing us along.
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4* Decent outing for Jason, with progress on the romance front, too. Ish. 

I've only read the previous book in this series, and it wasn't that hard to pick up the leads' pasts and their on-off personal relationship, and at the time, I classed that book as having a side of romance on top of a good tale. Here, what struck me from the start was that the leads seemed to have done a big about turn from where they left off at the end of book 4, where I wasn't sure the romantic side of their relationship would survive, and were more open with each other. Romantic, even, in how they took each opportunity to come together without making demands on each other, though there were hints that at some point there would be an ultimatum. I liked that it seemed to be about physical closeness between them, rather than snatched getting off. They're still not great at communicating but they seem to have gotten one thing out in the open - that they love each other and consider each other worth it to snatch time together when they can, to say goodnight every night and to check in with each other. Sam still seems to have the upper hand and be the more selfish one but I think Jason has become more sure of his place in Sam's life. I hope that when said ultimatum comes, Jason isn't the only one making compromises as he already feels like the lesser partner, though for me, the nicer, stronger, more visible lead. 

The storyline took a different turn to what I was expecting, with not an art-related theft case in the strictest sense but one where Jason trusted his instincts and delivered, and also provided a lead on a side character that was wanted by the authorities. I'm not sure I was fully vested in him getting to the bottom of his case, as the subject matter was made out to be a really... tiresome, not to speak too ill of the dead...character that seemed to come from wealth but was unhappy and found fault with pretty much everything. A Karen by any other name. And, there were a number of characters introduced that had the potential to have been party to her demise, who got page time but then faded away. Yes, I know that in this kind of tale not everything can be neatly dotted and crossed but at least it'd have been nice to have had an epilogue of sorts. The ending didn't allow for this, as it took us straight into book 6 with the final event on Jason's doorstep, and for me, that was a touch frustrating as it was a cliff hanger. But, of good enough quality that it's whetted my appetite for the next book.

Whilst I didn't think that this was JL at her best in terms of balance - there was detail that felt not entirely necessary (like that $1000 meal for two, though parts sounded yummy, like the thing with the 747 that came up that felt inorganic, like the bigged-up soirée that ended up being abortive, though a catalyst of sorts, like the Sam off-the-grid escapade that never got addressed) and as mentioned, there wasn't the satisfaction of seeing people's reactions when the truth was outed – it was still a class tale, as we Brits say, as expected from JL. There’s her lovely use of language (I loved seeing ‘biblot’ used in lieu of the more ordinary English equivalent) in the descriptions of Jason’s cottage and the environs, and her boldness in lines such as ‘The intonation was African-American. Her voice was high and indignant’ – many authors would shy away from a description such as this, for fear of being criticised for the racial depiction. I liked that, as always in this more serious type of JL tale, I got an education and wanted to know more about the things she brought into it. 

It's certainly a worthwhile tale and I look forward to book 6, despite not entirely believing in the cliff hanger right at the very end of this tale, but perhaps all will be revealed and forgiven. 

ARC courtesy of JustJoshin Publishing, Inc and NetGalley.
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