I could begin this review of Josh Lanyon’s The Ghost Had an Early Checkout with cries of more, please and yes, yes, yes! These would describe how I felt after reading this long-awaited sequel to The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks and getting to once more visit with Perry and Nick. I have long wished for more about these two polar opposites and this short novel did not disappoint.
Perry and Nick are now living in LA with Nick working as a private investigator and Perry pursuing art classes. While hanging out in a tree sketching an old building, Perry hears a scream and sets off to investigate. Bowled over by someone in a costume, complete with a skeleton mask and wooden sword, Perry discovers a small eclectic group of people living in the aging relic of what once was a grand hotel. The place is owned by a former star of horror film fame, Horace Daly. Horace relates a tale of an avenging former lover who has been sending death threats to Horace for the last few years. While he claims to have seen other intruders, no one has believed him; it doesn’t help that he was once committed after suffering a nervous breakdown after stabbing a former lover who had attacked him with the same knife.
Perry promises to come spend the weekend with Horace and help him uncover who is trying to kill him. When Nick arrives home from a job earlier than expected, the two of them pack a bag and head to Angel’s Rest to investigate the strange group that inhabits its halls. What neither man expects is to become the target of someone who doesn’t like the idea of anyone asking one too many questions.
I fell in love with Perry and Nick in their first novel, The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks. With a ten year age gap and Nick, a former Navy Seal who never fancied that he would fall in love, paired with Perry, who wears his heart on his sleeve and thinks the world of Nick, you couldn’t ask for a more delicious couple. They are as different as any two could be and yet theirs is a stable, deep abiding affection that allows little room for unnecessary worry over whether they will make it as a couple. They have a future and this novel goes a long way in solidifying that claim. But Perry is assuredly a danger magnet and Nick spends a great deal of time worrying his boyfriend may end up in trouble more likely than not.
The side characters in this book read like an Agatha Christie’s cast of who’s who and makes this novel even more delightful. With multiple people apparently having an interest in seeing Horace kick the bucket, it’s a race to the end to see who the real culprit is and why. Once again, author Josh Lanyon gives you a clever little mystery with a hint of romance and this time with a touch of the macabre. I loved this short novel and hope against all hope that we will get to see more adventures with Perry and Nick.