Review: Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon

From award-winning male/male author Josh Lanyon: a librarian finds himself in a plot right out of one of his favorite mystery novels.

Librarian Carter Matheson is determined to enjoy himself on a Scottish bus tour for fans of mystery author Dame Vanessa Rayburn. Sure, his ex, Trevor, will also be on the trip with his new boyfriend, leaving Carter to share a room with a stranger, but he can’t pass up a chance to meet his favorite author.

Carter’s roommate turns out to be John Knight, a figure as mysterious as any character from Vanessa’s books. His strange affect and nighttime wanderings make Carter suspicious. When a fellow traveler’s death sparks rumors of foul play, Carter is left wondering if there’s anyone on the tour he can trust.

Drawn into the intrigue, Carter searches for answers, trying to fend off his growing attraction toward John. As the unexplained tragedies continue, the whole tour must face the fact that there may be a murderer in their midst—but who?

When Carter Matheson begins a mystery fans Scottish bus tour, he thinks the only potential problem will be sharing the bus with his ex and his new boyfriend. But the arrival of John Knight, Carter’s mysterious but alluring roommate, makes things interesting.

However, the tour quickly goes from fun to alarming once a passenger dies under suspicious circumstances. Carter takes it upon himself to find out which of his fellow tourists could be a potential murderer.

The first thing that drew me to this book was the word ‘Scottish’ in the blurb. Scotland’s on my bucket list, so I was hoping this book would deliver some picturesque scenes.

And I wasn’t disappointed! We’ve got ancient streets, mountains, seaside roads, and creepy old castles. The vivid descriptions of gloomy Scottish weather gave the book a sombre and foreboding feel.


When we’re first introduced to Carter, he’s a bit of a pitiful character. It’s obvious that his decision to go on the tour is as much to spite his ex as it is out of personal interest in mystery author Vanessa Rayburn.

But it didn’t take me long to warm up to him. He’s a librarian and crazy about reading - I could see the appeal! Plus, his ex, Trevor, and Trevor’s new boyfriend Vance are so immediately unlikeable, that I couldn’t help but root for Carter.

The love interest, John, is a bit of enigma. We don’t get his POV, and at first all readers see of him are his odd night-prowling habits. But that’s enough to pique Carter’s interest.

This isn’t a particularly romantic read. Carter and John might be in close quarters, and it only takes them a couple of days to fall into bed together, but the relationship plays second fiddle to the mystery aspect.

That being said, the two still make for a sweet couple. Both men are cautious about love, but it can’t be denied that there’s an obvious connection between them. By the end of the book, I was sure that they were well on their way to a happy ending.

The murder mystery was entertaining, and kept me guessing. I was never entirely sure what was happening, and how all the moving pieces connected together.

However, at some point I did start getting bored. The mystery’s just too tame for what I’d normally expect from Josh Lanyon. I was expecting something more thrilling that would keep me on the edge of my seat.

Overall, this was a good read, with enough romance and mystery to keep me entertained. Fans of Josh Lanyon should know that this is a lot more low-key than her usual fare. I wouldn’t mind a short sequel or epilogue to see where Carter and John end up!

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