In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.
A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.
Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly's antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn't his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman's son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)
Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING.)
Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he's in the dog house--or rather the boathouse--after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky's elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name.)
I only found the work of Lauren Carr a few years ago. Although late to the game compared to her other fans, I dove immediately into deep water and have managed to read all of her full-length books. However, this is the first time I've had a chance to read shorter works by this author. All I can say is "Bravo."
Spring Thaw contains seven short stories - Spring Thaw, Killing Bid, Beauty to Die For, Countdown to Murder, Lucky Dog, The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program and A Gnarly Christmas. They all contain what I consider Carr's classic strengths - intelligent, strong characters (both men and women), quirky pets that can steal the limelight, interesting story lines, a plot that needs solving (sometimes darker, sometimes lighter) and humour (sometimes a touch, sometimes an all out party).
And despite the shorter length, each story was still fully told.
What was best about reading this book of short stories, it that often I lose sleep when I start a new Carr mystery. I just keep turning those pages until the wee hours of the morning, totally caught up in the plot. The next day sees me happy but dragging. With Spring Thaw I was able to read just a story or two and put the book down while I savoured those stories on their own. This meant I finally managed to stretch out reading one of Carr's books for a full three days I think. WOW! A record for me. In the end, while I enjoyed all the stories, I particularly loved the humorous ones featuring Gnarly. He is one crazy character and his antics made me smile.
I hope the author will consider offering more shorter stories in this format. It makes it so easy to tuck into a shorter period of reading into the end of a busy day.
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Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, 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, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
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