Neil Patrick Rafferty

Created by Josh Lanyon
Pseudonym of D.L. Browne

“It was always a dame, wasn’t it?”

That’s the opening line in This Rough Magic (2011), a classic bit that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Black Mask story 75 years earlier, but of course in Josh Lanyon’s books, it’s rarely a dame that the hero rides off with into the sunset at the end.

That’s because Lanyon has been writing gay mystery and romance short stories, novellas, and novels for well over a decade, with no apologies but plenty of sass and style. If you dig hard-boiled crime and detective fiction written they way they used to do it, with a little light humour folded into the mix, Lanyon just may be the writer for you.

In This Rough Magic, the first book in a proposed new series set in 1930s San Francisco, Lanyon riffs on the Thin Man films and old crime pulps (plus a spot of Shakespeare).

Wealthy man about town Brett Sheridan, soon to settle down and wed society heiress Juliet Lennox, thinks he knows the score when he hires been-around private eye NEIL PATRICK RAFFERTY, a “guy who takes chances,” to recover a priceless stolen folio of The Tempest. Brett’s convinced his sister is the culprit, but what Brett doesn’t count on is the “instant and powerful attraction that flares between him and Rafferty.”

There’s plenty of repartee, and more than a few wisecracks worthy of Chandler himself. A woman, for example, has “a mouth that would make a French maid blink.”


An Eppie Award winner and a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, an Edgar nominee, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads All Time Favorite M/M Author award, Josh Lanyon is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English amateur sleuth series. She’s also the author of  the hard-boiled Nathan Doyle & Matthew Spain series, about a Los Angeles reporter and a cop set in the 1940s, and Puzzle for Two (2023), a standalone cozy featuring rookie California P.I. Zach Davies. She is married and lives in Southern California.


  • “… as smartass brilliant as anything Chandler could tap out.”



Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. But please take this all with a grain of salt. I’m married to the wench.

One thought on “Neil Patrick Rafferty

  1. Thanks for this one, Kevin. I love your style of writing, and never more so than when you are discussing anything to do with writer Josh Lanyon. For me, she is the best there is. I always look forward to seeing your posts pop up in my Inbox whatever the topic. Thanks again.

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