Josh Lanyon inspired is truly a thing to behold. This book had such an amazing feel to it, it was like Josh went right into The Great Gatsby, took a stroll in there, and sat down with that mojo to write a book. As far as crime mysteries go, this was first rate. I was in on it enough that I had a sense of where I was going, but never giving me too much, so the payoff was still fantastic when the whole thing crescendoed. Then there was the romance, Pierce and Griff, were beautiful together. Pierce icy and powerful, with all that hurt inside, and Griff so fragile and so brave. I fell in love. Completely in love with this book. There was something about the writing in this one, may have been the conjuring of F. Scott (who is one of my most favorite authors) or maybe it was just that some stories are charmed. I don’t know what it was, but this one, it’s going to stick around my head for awhile.
That Josh Lanyon can write a fantastic mystery novel is not really up for debate, as this is a established fact. But what he does with this type of novel that really elevates the experience for me, is that he is not afraid to be whimsical and poetic. He’ll open up a story by summoning up Fitzgerald and building on that mood to give us something lyrical and haunting. He is not afraid of the dramatic, his brand, it’s that mix of sweeping romance and gritty noir that always, ALWAYS satisfies.
For this story I wanted to do both wine and food. Josh is amazing with the food descriptions in his books, and as a lover of good food and good drink I always appreciate his efforts. The Farm to Table movement was mentioned in the book a few times, so I decided to make a soup which I make quite often in the Spring. It’s a Curried Carrot and Yams Soup which has all fresh ingredients and just tastes like sunshine.
This soup has a lot of flavor, so it needs a wine that can stand up to it, but not so heavy it overshadows it. I found a Spanish Rosé that was PERFECT. The grape is a Prieto Picudo variety that has a bit of spice and a whole lot of body. The 2012 Tombu Rosé from Castilla y Leon in Spain is a lovely find for this summer and for $7 a bottle a total keeper!
Now back the story. Griffin Hadley has landed the biggest break of his very short journalistic career. Somehow he’s convinced Jarrett Arlington one of the wealthiest men in America to let him try, and write a book about the disappearance of his grandson Brian, who was taken from the family’s Long Island estate 20 years earlier. Griffin has always been intrigued with that case and with that family. He’s always had a fascination with The Great Gatsby, and the mysticism behind those old money American families who seemed to exist to look beautiful to the public, but somehow always had incredibly tragic existences.
As soon as Griff walks into Winden House for his week of research on Brian’s disappearance he realizes that this family, truly is like another species. They live in such a different world from his. No one seems to DO anything, no real jobs or purpose. It’s like they live in a bubble, and then there is their henchman aka family lawyer, Pierce Mather. The guy has it out for Griffin from the word go, and seems to be set on making him quit writing the book. Griffin is not giving up easily and Jarrett does seem to have his back, so despite the less than warm reception from the others involved he gets to work.
The more Griff uncovers about the family and what happened the night of Brian’s disappearance, the more he is convinced that the going theory is not what really happened. Things just don’t add up. What’s more, strange things are going on, it looks like someone REALLY doesn’t want him to write this book. It’s a strange experience he is having in this place, and with every passing minute is more compelled to figure out exactly what happened to Brian. Then there’s Pierce. The man makes Griffin weak in the knees, he is so strong and fierce. All Griff wants to do is get closer to him. Getting involved with the man IS NOT smart, but damn if he can help himself.
This book is Josh Lanyon at his best, delicious and twisty mystery, beautiful writing, and the men. THE MEN. Pierce and Griff are going straight to my favorites list, the way the unraveled for each other, and just let down walls was so so lovely. There was something between the two of them that could not be ignored or put off, what drew them to each other was stronger then circumstances, it was fate.
Completely recommend. Everything about this book classic Lanyon goodness, and all I can say is, if you haven’t started reading it, you should remedy that right now.
Stranger on the Shore is available for purchase here.
Curried Carrot and Yam Soup