Monday, July 7, 2014

Lauren Carr Adds Another Winner With Latest Lovers in Crime Mystery, Real Murder

PROLOGUE--Friday the Thirteenth, February 13, 1976

Dolly's Gentlemen's Club, Newell, West Virginia

In the upper tip of West Virginia's northern panhandle, the tiny town of Newell has two claims to fame--Homer Laughlin China Company, whose wares are used in restaurants and fine dining all over the world, and the Waterford Race Track. Folks travel for miles to see the Thoroughbreds race for the  was a board houfinish line.

Off the record, Newell also had another claim to fame in the Ohio Valley. It was located a half mile off route 208, the first left beyond the race track--Doll's Gentlemen's Club.

On a lazy weekday afternoon, one would think that the huge white antebellum house with a wrap-around porch and veranda off the second story, all nestled behind two huge willow trees, was simply the grand home of a gentleman farmer.

Those not in the know would assume the young women living there were some lucky farmer's lovely daughters. The local law enforcement told people that the establishment was a boarding house for women--who happened to throw parties on the weekends...
The stereo was set to repeat
the song "Stairway to
Heaven" by Led

...killed in silence...

"Ava!" Bart tried turning the doorknow. The door was locked. As loud as they were, Ava should have been answering the door. Then he was worried. Had she overdosed? Did she even use drugs. He didn't know Ava well enough to know if she did.

He took the keys he had for the bedroom doors out of his pocket. As a guard, he had the keys in case any of the girls got into trouble with a client, or, as in this case, possibly had a medical emergency. He unlocked the door and forced his way inside. The lights were indeed off. The girls crowded in the doorway to see what was preventing Ava from answering the door. Bart flipped on the wall switch to bathe the room in light. ,In unison the girls screamed at a variety of hysterical pitches.

Real Murder
A Lovers in Crime Mystery
By Lauren Carr

Friday the Thirteenth: September 13, 1996

"It was twenty years ago today that West Virginia Congressman Roderick Hillard was killed when his private plane...crashed...

Joshua Thornton was in the midst of negotiating an argument between his twins, J.J. and Murphy, when a young man dressed in the uniform of a Hancock County Sheriff Deputy came calling... It was Mike Gardner and Joshua had not seen him for quite some time... He had come to ask for help... But Thornton was already scheduled and late getting ready to fly to Italy and had to regretfully tell him he couldn't help him through his murder case for a murdered prostitute. He was even on his way to meet with an informant...

And as he left with a strange car following him.  Thorton's stomach twisted, feeling panic that was immediately forcing Joshua to try to catch him, but both cars had disappeared...

That was the last time anyone saw Deputy Mike Gardner...

Sensing that his mistress
had had a rough day, Irving,
Cameron's Maine Coon cat,
leapt into her lap and
rubbed his face against her chin.
Joshua Thornton has remarried! Cameron is a homicide detective...and, apparently, they were "too hot" to wait, LOL, and had their wedding without inviting the children who lived away from home...Not a pretty thing to watch as one daughter comes home and immediately starts.. so much fun to watch all three of them! 

Cameron had been out on the job, been hurt--How? By jumping off a 2nd-floor fire escape directly onto the man she was chasing--and told to take two weeks off. Everybody knew that would not happen... 

Around the same time, a couple of kids were racing on the lake and one noticed that a car was in the water under where they were stopped! He realized it was a police car... Mike Gardner had been found--and declared dead in 2001!

Joshua Thornton knew one thing, he was going to work to find out what had happened to Mike!

One of the ways that was used to keep Cameron away from work was to invite her to a luncheon with several women. It was at that time Dolly Houseman who was also a neighbor of hers started asking her questions. While they were getting acquainted, Dolly mentioned her 8 girls...

And as they talked about Cameron being a detective, Dolly mentioned she needed a detective. Then went on to explain that one of her girls had been murdered...

Now Jan who had been the one to invite Cameron warned her that Dolly was quite old now...and that a real murder had not occurred...

But as Dolly further talked with Cameron, she shared that Ava had been the one who was murdered and that she had worked at Dolly's years ago when Dolly had been a madam with 8 girls in her stable! 

And then it was easy to make the connection between Dolly's murder of one of her girls and Mike Gardner's case of looking for the murder of a prostitute. Interestingly, when the questions began the police who had been involved indicated that nobody cared since she was just a hooker, but that certainly had proven to be a wrong assumption...

Especially when Dolly is murdered!

I had a small "inkling" regarding who the murderer was, but that was based on what I'd read rather than on any evidence that clearly led me to my conclusion...does that count? But there were certainly link after link, some of which were political since Dolly's had been known to host quite a number of business meetings before other pleasures...

There's a touch of underlying humor that I found totally entertaining, especially when Irving was involved... I can't include examples since I was unable to find a good sit-in for Irving. So just enjoy Hitler's lookalike for my contribution!

Joshua and Cameron have not been married long, but their relationship is sweet, tender...and reveals they are very much in love...even though there are times when memories from the past will come to create a flashback of distraction. Carr has done an outstanding job in creating this romantic couple which certainly adds greatly to this reviewer's enjoyment...and as a bit of romantic suspense for readers to enjoy... I've been a fan since I read her first book; my guess is if you read one, you too won't be able to read just one! Try this one to begin the series...right now, I'm not sure which is my favorite of her series. Fortunately I don't have to choose! Enjoy!


Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. A best-selling mystery author on Amazon, Lauren created the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, Blast from the Past , The Murders at Astaire Castle, The Lady Who Cried Murder, and Twelve to Murder have been receiving raves from readers and reviewers. Lauren is also the author of the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which is located in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, where she grew up. Dead on Ice features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also an independent publisher of both ebook and print books, spanning several genres, both fiction and non-fiction. A popular speaker, Lauren is frequently asked for advice about how to succeed as an author while running a business, cooking dinner, feeding dogs, and doing laundry. Authors in Bathrobes tells budding writers the truth about what it takes to be a successful writer today: determination, hard work, a dependable laptop, a full pot of coffee, comfy slippers, and a durable bathrobe. She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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