A series of Mystery Novels by Josh Lanyon starting in 2000. Besides the five core novels there are several shorts, an illustrated choose your own adventure version of the first novel as well as a recently added novella.
The titular Adrien-with-an-'e'-English, a sharp-tongued L.A. Bookseller by day and accidental Amateur Sleuth by night, finds himself stumbling from murder investigation to murder investigation, much to the exasperation of L.A.P.D. homocide detective Jake Riordan.Charming and witty, but self sufficient Adrien not only has to navigate the intricacies of being a suspect in several homocide investigations, but also his growing attraction to Jake, who is closeted and intends to stay that way.
With Adrien being a Mystery Novel buff and and aspiring Mystery writer himself the series is very self-aware and often pokes gentle fun at Mystery novel conventions as well as referencing a lot of writers, famous and obscure.Backed by a charming cast of secondary characters like Adriens Family, his writers club and employees as well as Jakes Partner, the series is anchored in equal parts around Adriens growth as a person and the mysteries he's trying to solve. Naturally he routienly places himself in mortal jeopardy in the process.
Audio adaptions of all five core books are available.
The Adrien English book series:
- Fatal Shadows
- A Dangerous Thing
- The Hell You Say
- Death of a Pirate King
- The Dark Tide
- Stranger Things Have Happened (An Adrien English write your own damn story.)
- So This Is Christmas
This series provides examples of:
- Affectionate Nickname: Baby.
- Ascended Fanboy: Adrien loves Mystery Novels so much that he decided to open a bookstore called 'Cloak and Dagger' dedicated to them in an Old, Dark House with a Dark Secret, where he hosts a weekly mystery writing workshop named 'Partners in Crime'. He also happens to be the author of the 'Jason Leeland' Mystery Novel series, wich is quite successfull.
- Amateur Sleuth: Adrien, naturally.
- Armoured Closet Gay: Jake Riordan
- Celebrity Resemblance: Adrien is said to resemble Montgomery Clift quite a bit.
- Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: Adriens mother Lisa is old enough to have a son in his thirties from her first marriage. Despite that, she is constantly portrayed as a very imposing and beautiful woman.
- Ill Boy: Adriens backstory and the reason for his heart condition, wich gives him a profound sense of Your Days Are Numbered
- Straight Gay: Jake again. In fact, he passes so well, that when he finally does come out his family doesn't believe him at first.Jake: "You know those stories you hear about someone finally coming out to their family, only to hear that their folks knew it all the time?"Adrien: "Yes."Jake: "Thatís not how it was."'
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Adrien supposedly looks like Montgomery Clift and uses sarcasm to cope with just about anything.Adrien: "I've got this funny resentful streak about people who try to kill me."
Books of this series provide examples of:
- Alone with the Psycho: Has a particularily chilling one when Adrien figures out that the man he has been dating and is about to sleep with is actually a very sinister version of a Stalker with a Crush and the killer to boot.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Per Wordof God Fatal Shadows was origially planned as a standalone Novel with a much darker twist, in that Adrien was originally planned to be actually guilty. Jake, smitten with him, would have sacrificed his ideals and possibly his position to help him escape. Traces of this are left in the finished Novel and as a result it is darker in tone and harsher towards Adriens psychological well being. Also the romance Elements are very toned down compared to later novels in the series.
- Gratuitous French: Claude La Pierre who uses this to mask his humble origins.
- Yandere: Part of the killers motivation.
- Hollywood Satanism: This is part of the cetral Mystery in 'The Hell You Say'.