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I was so taken with the end of this book that I immediately picked up the second and started it, and believe me, it’s even more delightful. I think you'll like these books very much!

Squashduck Reviews
Boy meets Cop.
For the first time, books 1 – 3 of The Adrien English Mysteries collected in one volume!
Fatal Shadows – When his former best friend and employee is murdered following a very public argument, bookseller and sometimes mystery writer Adrien English finds himself suspected of murder.
A Dangerous Thing – Adrien English arrives at the Pine Shadow Ranch only to find a corpse in his driveway. By the time the unfriendly local sheriffs arrive, the body has disappeared.
The Hell You Say – It’s Christmas time and the “ill-starred and bookish” bookseller and occasional mystery writer must contend with a Satanic cult, a handsome university professor and his on-again/off-again relationship with the eternally conflicted LAPD Detective Jake Riordan.
And, as ever, murder…

Bam! Bam! Bam!

I nearly dropped the can of salmon I was opening for my supper.

The shop was locked for the evening. That meant my visitor was probably one of two people — and that didn’t sound like Velvet’s knock.

I set the can on the counter, wiped the fish oil off my hands. I opened the door. Sure enough, Jake stood there. Clearly this wasn’t a social call.

“What the hell do you think you’re playing at?” he said, brushing past me.

I was pretty sure he was not referring to the missing food groups in my evening repast. “Oh, come on,” I said. “Guy was just helping me —”

“Yeah, I know what that faggot Snowden is helping you with. What part of stay the fuck out of it don’t you understand?”

“This doesn’t have anything to do with your investigation,” I said angrily. Which was not true, although as far as I knew, Peter Verlane had not materialized on the cops’ radar so far, so technically I was not trespassing on Jake’s turf.

That’s what I told myself, but it didn’t fly as well with Jake.

“You’re not that stupid,” he said. “Then again, maybe you are. I go to the trouble of lying — of falsifying police reports — to keep you out of this shit, and you turn right around and walk back into it.”

My heart slipped into heavy, slow punches against my rib cage. “Give me a break,” I said. “You didn’t lie to protect me. You lied to protect yourself. You never asked me what I wanted. And I sure as hell never made you any promises about what I would or wouldn’t do.”

His finger jabbed the air, punctuating his words. “Stay. Out. Of. It. Or this time, bad heart or not, I will throw your ass in jail.”

“No, you won’t,” I said. “You wouldn’t want to risk anyone discovering the connection between us.”

His face changed, grew ugly, dangerous. “Are you threatening me?”

I hadn’t been, but like an ember in dry grass, a self-destructive impulse flicked to life in my mind.

“My existence threatens you.”

He shoved me back, hard. I crashed into the hall table, knocking it over, smashing the jar of old marbles I had collected. Glass balls skipped and bounced along the corridor. I landed on my back, my head banging down on the hardwood floor.

I lay there for a second, blinking up at the lighting fixture, taking in the years of dust and dead moths gathered in the etched-glass globe. The silence that followed was more startling than the collision of me and the table and the floor. I heard Jake’s harsh breathing and a marble rolling away down the hall — which seemed pretty damned appropriate, since I’d apparently lost all of mine.

He bent over me. Probably safer to stay submissively on my back, but I got up fast, knocking his hands away. It was a protective instinct and maybe not a wise one. I hadn’t had time to inventory what, if any real damage, I’d sustained.

Weirdly, neither of us spoke. There was plenty to say, but no words.

Jake stared at me. In his eyes, I read the urge to knock me down again, to punch, to kick, to silence, to destroy. His hands were clenched by his side. I felt light-headed with anger and outrage — and yeah, maybe a little fear. He could probably kill me by accident. My heart was tripping in my throat.

I was afraid if I tried to speak I would cry. From rage.

He swallowed once, dryly. He looked sick.

“I won’t tell you again. Stay out of it.”

He went, shutting the door quietly behind him.