Josh Lanyon Main Title

Murder in Pastel

Contemporary Mystery, Amateur Sleuth

Ten years ago Cosmo Bari vanished, and with him, his legendary masterpiece, Virgin in Pastel. Since that day no one in the seaside art colony of Steeple Hill has heard from the eccentric painter.

Surrounded by an extended family of Cosmo’s colorful compatriots, mystery writer Kyle Bari believes he has come to terms with being abandoned by his famous father, until the day Adam MacKinnon arrives with his new lover, the beautiful but poisonous, Brett.

Brett has an unerring instinct for other people’s weak spots; soon the quiet colony is seething with hostility and suspicion as Brett hints he knows something about the missing artist.


Murder in Pastel was started around the same time as Fatal Shadows. Originally it was written for my own amusement and there was no intention to publish it -- especially since I had used so many of the same themes and motifs (not to mention actual bits and pieces) of Fatal Shadows. But it remained one of my personal favorites, and I simply liked it too much not to share it.
Initially, I self-published using the pen name “Colin Dunne.” Later I sold the story to an indie publisher. Both times readers instantly recognized the Lanyon writing “voice,” and it seemed best to let the novel go out of print. So I did.
But Murder in Pastel belongs in the Lanyon catalog, and so I’ve had it re-edited and I’ve commissioned a wonderful cover by Johanna Ollila that brilliantly echoes Giorgio de Chirico’s “Mystery and Melancholy of a Street”.
I hope you enjoy the return of one of my favorite stories.
Josh Lanyon, September 2015


Download "Murder in Pastel," a free illustration by Johanna Ollila (inspired by this story) for you to color.

Murder in Pastel
September 2015
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
Barnes & Noble
Trade paperback
September 2015
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
December 2016,
JustJoshin Publishing Inc.
Narrated by Tristan Wright

Copyright 2000-18, Josh Lanyon.
All rights reserved.