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A tale's brilliance is not in it's length, entertainment is a question of quality not quantity. The Boy Next Door is brilliant and that has nothing to do with my love of everything written by Josh Lanyon.

Heather for Padme's Reviews
For the last fourteen years, former celebrated Boy Detective Merle Madison has been trying to build a grown-up career for himself as a private investigator. There are just two problems: there’s not a lot of serious crime in the small town of Hayvenhurst — and Police Chief Isaac Ramsay keeps denying Merle’s application for a PI license.
Merle and Isaac have history, some good and some bad, so when someone seems determined to put Merle out of business–permanently–he naturally turns to his former sidekick for help.
But Isaac’s days of playing second fiddle to a Junior Sherlock Holmes are long past. In fact, Merle will be lucky if Isaac doesn’t kill him himself.

 

Prologue

 

Warm lips moving on mine, passionately, insistently.

I knew those lips. I knew that kiss.

Isaac…

Moist breath pushing into my mouth, filling my lungs.

Inhale.

Exhale.

We breathed in unison. Quiet. Intimate. Yes.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Isaac, I love you. I really do. I miss you so much…

From down a long tunnel a voice said, “He’s breathing on his own, Chief.”

And I’m really, truly sorry…

Inhale.

Exhale.

And from now on—

Waaaait a minute.

Chief?

That wasn’t right. I wanted Isaac, not Chief.

“Chief?” Once more the word hollowly echoed down long, empty corridors. “Chief?”

I murmured protest. The mouth fervently pressing mine withdrew.

I unstuck my eyelids, stared dazedly up. Bits of black floated in the evening air. Red embers drifted down like glowing snowflakes. In front of a kaleidoscope of ragged black-edged treetops was a ring of grim faces gazing down at me—and the grimmest face of all was that of Police Chief Ramsay. I thought I could see tiny twin flames dancing in his eyes.

I unstuck my lips. I’m not sure what I wanted to say. I can explain everything?

I probably owed him an explanation or two.

In the distance came an alarming tearing-away sort of sound. The cops all turned to watch in silence as my neighbor Dick Chekhov’s plastic Santa—still sitting in its red plastic sleigh—plummeted in flames from his rooftop.

As Santa’s sleigh crunched nose-first in the frosty grass, Isaac swung back to me.

Goddamn it, Merle,” he roared. “What did I say? What did I tell you? I’m done warning you. This time I’m throwing your ass in jail.”

I tried to sit up. “On what charges?”

“Malfeasance. Obstruction of justice. How about that? Interfering with a police investigation. That’s a good one. Conducting business without a license. Disturbing the peace. Public nuisance. How about menace to society? That fits. Don’t worry about it. I’ll find something. There won’t be any shortage of charges when I get done with you…”