Summer of Love & Murder
Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.
The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.
Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:
“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!”
- Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R
“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” - Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews
Buy the Book:
Killer in the Band is author Lauren Carr’s latest mystery with the Thornton’s. Joshua and Cameron are settling into their newly restructured life with adopted daughter Izzy and Joshua’s youngest son Donny. J.J., oldest son and twin to Murphy, comes back home to study for his bar exam, unfortunately tensions are still high between him and Cameron his step-mother. Add to that an old flame steps back into his life, and she stirs up more conflict between father and son as she is twice J.J’s age. Suellen has a secret, though and wants only to share that with J.J. Much to his father and step-mother’s dismay, J.J. and Suellen rekindle their relationship.
Lauren’s trademark animal characters and their antics are back and with new ones as Suellen owns a large farm and orchard. The horses and the rooster became endearing sidekicks that gave lighthearted moments and humor to this rather intense murder mystery- not one but two murder mysteries. I am glad for the critters as this story seemed darker than the others I have read and sometimes I just needed a breather.
Having two mysteries to solve has detective Cameron on her toes and at odds with step-son J.J. as both surround Suellen and her life. We also meet other characters, Poppy a somewhat horse whisperer and Noah a mysterious young man. Ms. Carr’s mysteries are well developed and include intricate timelines and a whole host of people, but what I really like is that her stories are written so that I am never at a loss as to what is going on. This book shines with that ability as two timelines and mysteries are progressing at the same rapid rate and I was caught up in both. Her characters, both human and animal, also keep the story flowing with their distinct personalities and it was like watching a movie in my mind. Again the ever helpful cast of characters at the beginning of the book was present and I so appreciate that extra effort and information on the author’s part.
There is some crude language sprinkled throughout, and like Joshua, I was uncomfortable with J.J.’ s relationship. Other than that I enjoyed this next edition in the Lovers in Crime Mystery series.
I received this book free of charge from the author or publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and the views expressed are my own.
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Tales About Characters with Tails
By Lauren Carr
“Gnarly is my favorite character.”
“I love the antics of Gnarly.”
“Irving is a hoot.”
“Twists, turns, and a tarantula named Monique.”
These are actual comments made by both readers and reviewers about characters in my murder mystery series. Surprisingly, these characters all have one things in common.
They all have tails. Well, maybe not the tarantula. Do tarantulas have tails? I need to check on that.
As the writer of three mystery series, I feel like a proud mother when readers and reviewers fall in love with my characters. Yes, they do love the human characters, too, but there is a special fondness for the fur covered ones, too. Yes, tarantulas do have fur. That I do know.
From the very beginning, all of my books have had animals. However, in my first two books, the pets were only in the background—little more than window dressing.
For several drafts of It’s Murder, My Son, the first Mac Faraday Mystery, Gnarly was much the same. He didn’t spring into the canine kleptomaniac that he is now until one of the final drafts of the book.
How did that happen? Gnarly is based on my Australian shepherd Ziggy, who came into our lives while was writing It’s Murder, My Son. Like the Gnarly in the book, Ziggy was precocious and totally loveable in his badness. So much so, that I had to include him in my book. In order to make him a dishonorably discharged army canine I made him a German shepherd and changed his name to Gnarly, which means “extreme.”
Don’t think I make their antics up! Readers are always telling me stories, because I am a writer. And, since I love animals and often have animals in my books, many readers and fans love to pass on their animal stories. In the Mac Faraday mysteries, Gnarly sleeps under Mac’s bed, which is where Ziggy slept. One reader told me that she thought only her dog did that until she read It’s Murder, My Son.
I guess it was only a matter of time before I set a mystery on a farm filled with wacky critters.
Much of the mystery in Killer in the Band is set at Russell Ridge Farm and Orchards, which is based on a number of farms located in and around the Ohio Valley. Like Joshua Thornton, I come from a long line of farmers and grew up on a farm. So much of that lifestyle is based on my own life.
Gulliver is based on a horse who I saw in a YouTube video who would let himself out of his stall and then let all the other horses loose, except for one—a mare who happened to be his mother! Seeing this video, I cracked up and called a friend of mine who has a horse farm to ask about it. She said Houdini horses are really not that uncommon, but suggested that this one must have some mommy issues since he doesn’t free his mother.
Charley the Rooster comes from one of my readers! Yep, his name is really Charley. He was given to the reader’s niece as a chick at Easter and grew so big that they couldn’t keep him at their suburban home, so they sent him to live with relatives who lived in a small town in southern West Virginia. I’m sure you heard of the neighborhood dog who chases everyone and who everyone is afraid of. Well, that became Charley the Rooster. One day a store keeper decided he’d had it with Charley and went after him with a broom. The fight between the store owner and Charley spilled out into the middle of the street in this small town where the editor of the local newspaper snapped a picture of it. The next day, Charley and the store owner ended up on the front page of the newspaper.
When I heard that, there was no way I couldn’t put Charley in my book.
Do you have a “critter story?” Feel free to visit my website (www.mysterylady.net) and fill out the contact form. Who knows? Your critter could make it into a Lauren Carr mystery.
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