Mystery writer and amateur sleuth has finally started to see the fruits of his labors: his first novel has been optioned by Paul Kane, one of the great Hollywood movie producers. But while at a dinner party with many of the people involved with bringing his novel to the big screen, a man named Porter Jones suddenly keels over dead into his bowl of soup. As Adrien was the last person to speak with Jones and also handed Jones the fatal glass of alcohol, he is the prime suspect. Something to which he is not unaccustomed as these types of deaths follow him around like a mischievous shadow. To make matters even more uncomfortable, Adrien's former lover detective Jake Riordan has been assigned to the case.Once the police leave, Paul Kane approaches Adrien and asks him to do a little covert questioning to find out what happened. He knows of Adrien's reputation as an amateur sleuth and believes that he would be able to get better answers than the police would. Against his better judgement -- and a warning from Jake -- Adrien grudgingly agrees, hoping to find out the truth before he finds himself behind bars. When he begins digging into the case, he uncovers long-held grudges and love affairs gone wrong, and that he and Jake are being manipulated like chess pieces. But will he be able to uncover the truth before he winds up as the next victim?Josh Lanyon's "Death of a Pirate King" is the fourth title in his great series of mysteries featuring Adrien English. Adrien is smart, funny, and what I like most, is a struggling writer. He has his problems, like the broken relationship with Jake and his own heart condition, and that makes him even more likeable. He seems more like a next door neighbor rather than a hard-boiled gumshoe. The story is nicely paced, deftly combining Adrien's sleuthing with trying to reconcile his romantic past. And it has a sense of humor and sarcastic wit about it without being campy.It's a great addition to the Adrien English series, and I highly recommend both this book and the series.
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