Friday, April 22, 2022

Shadow of Murder Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

This morning, I have a mystery in our book review spotlight! I have read several novels from author Lauren Carr--and have become quite attached to many of her characters and series!  Today, I have the latest book from her Mac Faraday series:  Shadow of Murder to share!  Learn about the book--and, if you missed my recent series spotlight post--go check out that post here, learn about the author, read an excerpt from the book, read my thoughts on this book & enter the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!


Book Title: Shadow of Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 14)

Category:  Adult fiction, 496 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery / Police Procedural / Crime Fiction
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  Mar 30, 2022
Content Rating: PG-13. Lauren Carr's mysteries are murder mysteries. Sometimes, the murder does happen on-stage. There is no graphic violence or explicit sex.There is some very mild language (hell or damn, very few and far between) No F-Bombs!

"Five Stars for Lauren Carr's 14th book of the Mac Faraday Murder Mysteries, Shadow of Murder! In this new release, she has recaptured the fun of cute "creatures" with the fast-moving, suspenseful, and captivating mystery, along with her usual touch of romance." - review by Lu Ann Worley, Rockin' Book Reviews
"This newest title in the author's Mac Faraday cozy murder mystery series offers Lauren Carr's most intricate plot to date - full of twists and turns guaranteed to keep readers up until the wee hours. While still full of the humor, fun critters and touch of romance that are her trademark, the author has also woven in a dark supernatural element that whispers through to the startling ending." - review by Marilyn R. Wilson, bestselling author, freelance writer, editor, and speaker at Olio by Marilyn.

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About the Book


You can't move to the next chapter of your life, without tying up loose ends in the previous.
True crime blogger, Erica Hart starts a new chapter in her life with a bang when a dark shadow darts into the mountain road to send her SUV off a cliff and to the bottom of Deep Creek Lake. Spencer’s newest addition to the police force, Dusty O’Meara assumes it was a bear. Erica is not so sure.
Soon afterwards, contractors discover Konnor Langston’s body at the bottom of an abandoned swimming pool at the new summer home of Mac Faraday’s son.
With Police Chief David O’Callaghan away on paternity leave, Deputy Chief Dusty O’Meara must lead the investigation in his first murder case since moving to Spencer. Not only does Dusty have to work under the shadow of the legendary Mac Faraday, but he also has to match wits with Erica, who is determined to find justice for Konnor, her childhood friend.
Mac isn’t so difficult. Even Gnarly, the town’s canine mayor, is manageable if his authority is well-respected and he is kept entertained.
Erica Hart, Dusty finds, is more of a challenge. It wouldn’t be so difficult if she wasn’t so irresistible.


My Review


Shadow of Murder Brings a Lot of Activity to Readers. I have read several of Carr's books--and I always begin by refreshing my memory of the many characters with the quick character summaries she offers in her cast list. The characters and their quirky personalities, conversations, and relationships are always some of my favorite aspects of the author's novels! Knowing that the characters are vital to the flow of every Lauren Carr book, even I was a bit daunted with this novel when I saw the length of the cast of characters! When I say that each character plays a part in the book--know that they do! In some twist, turn, subplot, or conversation--each character brings something to the flow of the story and the reader. With many characters comes a lot of activity! Shadow of murder packs a lot of action into the pages, and the story holds your attention from the very first pages. 


Shadow of Murder is a Stand Alone Mystery. While Shadow of Murder is the 14th book in the series, and many of the novel's characters are series regulars, the book is a stand-alone mystery. I enjoyed the new characters as much as my old favorites in this novel--and I enjoyed the new darker, paranormal elements that gave this novel something a little different than others that I have read in the series.


Shadow of Murder Appeals to a Variety of Readers. While the characters solve murders--the author reveals the characters' lives, relationships, and side stories through a host of interrelated twists and turns. Fans of clean romance novels and romantic comedies will enjoy some of the romantic elements of the novel and humor. Mystery fans will enjoy the development and resolution of the plot. Paranormal fantasy fans will find things to love in this book, and readers who love people watching and small-town relationships--and animals who like to steal the shows--will find something to bring a smile from beginning to end.


Would I Recommend Shadow of Murder by Lauren Carr? The Mac Faraday series is my favorite series from the author. This book takes readers on a slightly different adventure with new characters and other good vs. evil elements--but keeps much of the same humor, sarcasm, and plot twists and turns that "old" readers and new ones alike will enjoy. This book should be on your reading list if you want clean mystery novels with hints of life stories, love stories, and surprises. 



Read an Excerpt


“It’s showtime,” Archie whispered when she saw Marissa pull into the circular drive in her new Mercedes convertible. “Is Gnarly secure? Naomi Howell looked like she was about to have a stroke when she heard a bark while she was going to her table.”

“Gnarly?” Mac replied through the earcom. “I didn’t know we were tasked with dog sitting him in addition to catching a murderer.”

“Mac,” Archie hissed.

“Calm down, Archie,” Dusty said over Mac’s and Tristan’s laughter. “He’s asleep on the sofa.”

As host, Archie welcomed her guests on the walkway leading down to the rose garden at the tip of the point. Forty women had accepted Archie’s invitation to the tea. Small tables of four or six filled the burgundy rose garden on Spencer Point. They had placed a platform and podium at one end, behind which rested the lake.

Spencer Manor had three rose gardens. There was the Hansel and Gretel Rose Garden, where the guest house rested. Consisting of a variety of miniature roses, with each bush hosting a different color, this garden was perfect to accompany the variety of guests who may stay in the small cottage.

Across the point, rested a courtyard with a bench on which Robin Spencer, and now Archie, would sit in solitude among her heirloom roses. Like the different moods of whoever meditated along the shore, the heirloom rose garden comprised a hodgepodge of roses of various colors and sizes.

The tip of the point was home to Robin Spencer’s elegant burgundy rose garden. The burgundy rose meant unconscious beauty, which was perfect for those who had known the famous author in life. Among the roses, with the various layers of depth, Robin’s burgundy roses signified a depth of passion beyond the traditional red rose.

To complement the hue of the roses, Archie wore a soft burgundy sleeveless empire waist tea-length dress with a lace bodice. Multiple silky layers made up the skirt. She wore strappy sandals to allow her feet to breathe.

She pasted a smile on her face when she saw Marissa slip out of the driver’s seat of her Mercedes and turn to regard her. Even from several yards away, she could feel the evil permeate from Marissa Bloomberg or Ivy or Krystle or whoever she was.

Evil has so many identities.

Marissa was dressed in a red sleeveless sheath dress that fell to above the knee. Archie’s eyes were drawn to the pendant with the yellow stone resting in the pentagram’s heart. She sensed Marissa’s attachment to the pentagram went beyond fashion.

“Oh, Archie, this is absolutely fabulous! It’s been ages since we’ve had tea in Robin’s burgundy rose garden.”

Archie had been so focused on Marissa that she didn’t notice when Bea Southern, the editor from Home and Gardens Maryland, had arrived until the woman took her into a hug.

“Good thing you picked today instead of tomorrow, dear,” Bea said. “Did you see the forecast? Low pressure system is coming up from the south. Torrential rain, thunderstorms, and they are talking flash flooding, too.”

“Sounds like everything is coming to a head all at once,” Marissa said as she approached. “Most people view storms as adverse parts of nature. When in reality, they serve a valuable purpose. Adversity tests the rest of us. It washes away the weak—leaving the strong to survive and grow stronger.

Archie caught a nervous sideways glance from Bea in Marissa’s direction. “I better go to find my table. I hope you placed me near the front. I don’t want to miss a word of the Cold Case Divas’s speech.”

“I assigned your table front and center, as always, Bea.” Archie patted her on the shoulder. “You’re sitting with Naomi Howell.”

“Naomi’s here?” Bea glanced around. “I guess Gnarly’s not attending?”

“He sent his regards.”

Like a mouse frightened of becoming a snack for the feline, Bea scurried away.

The curl on the corners of Marissa’s mouth revealed delight at the other woman’s intimidation. “You didn’t waste any time. Back less than one week and you’re already campaigning for your old office of president.”

“Who said anything about campaigning?” Archie asked. “I missed my friends while we were in Europe. Maybe if you went to the effort of making a few, you’d know what that was like.”

Marissa’s glare hardened. The knuckles of her fingers turned white as she tightened her grip around the yellow pendant.

Behind Marissa, Archie saw Erica, Britney, and Claudia disembarking from Jayne’s Cadillac SUV. They wore bright, summery dresses with stylish hats.

Archie grinned. “Well, it looks like our speaker has arrived.”

With a smug grin, Marissa turned around to watch Erica Hart trot up the walkway.

“Archie, I am so excited about meeting your friends.” Erica took Archie into a hug. “I have to confess, I don’t know that much about gardening, except that Wentworth loves digging them up.” She introduced Britney and Jayne before launching into the major attraction.

“You would not believe the timing of your party,” Erica said quickly. “A couple of weeks ago, my marketing agent and I had scheduled for her to come up from Florida this weekend to go over the campaign for my new release this fall.”

“Dead in Red,” Claudia interjected while eying Marissa with narrowed eyes.

“Of course, I’ve had the fiasco with my SUV ending up at the bottom of the lake and the black mold occupying my house. I was going to cancel, but Dusty insisted Claudia come up, anyway.”

“I’ve never been to Deep Creek Lake,” Claudia said. “I’ve heard of it. My brother was planning a trip out here—a long time ago.”

“Well, I’m glad”—Archie held out her hand to her—“I’m afraid I didn’t catch your name.”

Claudia grasped her hand. “Claudia D’Angelo, owner of D’Angelo Marketing. Thank you so much for inviting me, Ms. Monday. I so enjoy watching Erica speak. This is my first tea.”

“I hope you enjoy it,” Archie said. “This is Marissa Bloomberg. She is the president of Deep Creek Lake Home and Garden Club. They set up the tours every year.”

With a smug grin, Marissa grasped her hand in a firm shake. “Pleasure to meet you, Claudia.”

Keeping hold of Marissa’s hand, Claudia said in a low voice, “Pleasure is all mine.”

“Claudia, don’t overplay our hand,” Mac directed through their earbuds.

Archie stepped between the two women and gestured in the garden’s direction. “Let me show you ladies to your table.” She ushered them down the path toward the courtyard.

Once they were out of earshot, Erica glanced over her shoulder to see that Marissa was following them. Several feet back, she watched them with her eyes narrowed to dark slits. She fingered the pentagram she wore around her neck.

Erica asked in a low voice. “Was that—”

“Her eyes,” Claudia spat out. “She may have been able to change everything else, but not her eyes. They are windows into a soul made of pure evil. That is Ivy. I am one hundred and fifty percent positive.”

In the courtyard, the caterers had set up a buffet table at the end closest to the manor. The guests had a selection of tea sandwiches, cookies, and desserts. Servers dressed in black with long white aprons served hot tea in elegant tea pots.

Archie led the crew to a table at the far end of the courtyard to the left of the podium. Each table had nameplates set on the luncheon plates. Claudia was pale by the time she took her seat. Her hands shook when she took a sip from her water glass.

“Claudia, she can’t hurt you,” Erica told her in a low voice.

“She can’t hurt me,” Claudia said, “but it’s going to take every ounce of my self-control to not wrap my hands around her throat and strangle her.” She gazed at each one of them. “I thought I’d be scared when I saw her. Ivy could be so intimidating. But I’m not scared. I’m furious. I’ve never been so mad in my life.”

“Use that anger, Claudia,” Mac said in a soothing tone. “Stick to the plan. Wait for Archie’s lead to approach her. Remember what we talked about. No extortion. No threats. Either of those and her defense attorney will spin it to her advantage. Just let her know you know. Then back off and we’ll allow her to make the next move. Hopefully, she’ll give herself away.”

Claudia eyed Marissa meeting and greeting the other guests like she was royalty. Her red form-fitting dress hugged every curve of her flawless figure while she strutted to her seat of honor at the head table.

“Can I rip off her dress and strangle her with it?” Claudia asked.

“I like the way you think, girlfriend.” Britney bumped fists with her.


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Also Available for Your Mystery Loving Pleasure:

"Lauren's dialogue is brisk, her setting beautiful and the addition of Gnarly is very clever...It's Murder, My Son is a delightful read and I look forward to more of Carr's Mac Faraday mysteries." - review by Connie Gregory, Connie's Reviews

Book Title: It's Murder, My Son by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 1)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 288 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  June 23, 2010

About the Book

What started out as the worst day of Mac Faraday’s life would end up being a new beginning. After a messy divorce hearing, the last person that Mac wanted to see was another lawyer. Yet, this lawyer wore the expression of a child bursting to tell his secret. This confidence would reveal Mac as heir to undreamed of fortunes, and lead him to the birthplace of America’s Queen of Mystery and an investigation that will unfold like one of her famous mystery novels.

Soon after she moves to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Katrina Singleton learns that life in an exclusive community is not all good. For some unknown reason, a strange man calling himself “Pay Back” begins stalking her. When Katrina is found strangled all evidence points to her terrorist, who is nowhere to be found.

Three months later, the file on her murder is still open when Mac Faraday, sole heir to his unknown birth mother’s home and fortune, moves into the estate next door. Little does he know as he drives up to Spencer Manor that he is driving into a closed gate community that is hiding more suspicious deaths than his DC workload as a homicide detective. With the help of his late mother’s journal, this retired cop puts all his detective skills to work to pick up where the local investigators have left off to follow the clues to Katrina’s killer. 


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"As in any good who-done-it, there are red herrings and plot complications in Old Loves Die Hard and fans of mysteries and police procedurals will get a kick out of Lauren Carr's books." - review by David M. Kinchen, Huntington News
Book Title: Old Loves Die Hard by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 2)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 318 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  April 23, 2011
About the Book

In Old Loves Die Hard, Carr picks up where she left off in It’s Murder, My Son. Mac Faraday is settling nicely into his new life at Spencer Manor when his ex-wife Christine shows up—and she wants him back! Before Mac can send her packing, Christine and her estranged lover are murdered in Mac’s private penthouse suite at the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort built by his ancestors.

The investigation leads to the discovery of cases files for some of Mac’s murder cases in the room of the man responsible for destroying his marriage. Why would his ex-wife’s lover come to Spencer to dig into Mac’s old cases?

With the help of his new friends on Deep Creek Lake, Mac must use all of his detective skills to clear his name and the Spencer Inn’s reputation, before its five-stars—and more bodies—start dropping.


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"Shades of Murder is a fascinating, intricately woven mystery that has a number of engaging characters looking into two cases that would seem to have nothing in common. ...This is a most entertaining entry in this series, made all the more so by the wonderful inclusion of Gnarly and Irving, Mac's dog and Gates's black and white cat, who meet during the course of the story." - review by Mysterious Reviews
Book Title: Shades of Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 3)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 232 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  May 7, 2012
About the Book
In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art–it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece–she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio–and her painting is nowhere to be found. Almost a decade later, the long-lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor–a convicted serial killer.

The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron (*) set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!
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"I must say, I truly enjoyed reading this book! I found myself waking up slightly early for work just to finish a couple chapters! Not only was this book captivating, I found myself laughing at Gnarly, the ever so lovable and rambunctious German Shepherd! I look forward to reading the next book by Lauren Carr!" - Review by Debbie Hill, Miss Book Lovers

Book Title: Blast from the Past by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 4)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 301 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 2, 2013
About the Book


A woman is killed when she falls down the stairs. Men die writhing, in a little coffee shop.  Death may not be that unusual these days in Deep Creek Lake, but then someone tries to kill Archie, the woman Mac Faraday loves.

When she tells Mac the reason behind it and her secret is exposed, Mac and the entire police department will go to extremes to keep Archie safe.

That raises rather a lot of questions:

Who exactly are they protecting her from?
Could it be warring crime lords? Hit men?
Why does one particular couple keep showing up around town?
Just how many killers are there, anyway?
Is anyone who they say they are?

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"So much fun to read!  The castle seemed foreboding. The rumors of the ghost dog, werewolves, and more made more plausible in light of the murders. Is it enough to make even detectives reconsider?  Is it all about the missing book or is the real motive money?" - review by Mystery Suspense Reviews

Book Title: The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 5)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 281 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  July 18, 2013
Content Rating: PG-13 - Lauren Carr's mysteries are murder mysteries. Sometimes, the murder does happen on-stage. There is no graphic violence or explicit sex.There is some very mild language (hell or damn, very few and far between) No F-Bombs!
 About the Book


Never tell Mac Faraday not to go someplace.

Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac to not go to the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop —even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of a stone wall and locked gate with a warning for visitors to keep out.

Topping the list of the ten top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning to keep out, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What was supposed to be a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolfman. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly. 

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"I recommend this book to all mystery lovers! The Lady Who Cried Murder was another heart-stopping thriller! While the mystery and the road to it's solution was amazing, I truly enjoyed the cast and characters (they feel like family)! Another great hit and I look forward to reading the next installment of Mac Faraday and his gang and what kind of drama they end up in!"review by Debbie Hill, Miss Book Lovers

Book Title: The Lady Who Cried Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 6)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 286 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 2, 2014
 About the Book
Determined to get her pretty face in front of the cameras, Khloe Everest fakes an abduction only to make a grand entrance in the midst of a press conference held by Spencer’s Police Chief David O’Callaghan.

Three years later, after failing to catapult her notoriety into a long-lasting celebrity, Khloe Everest returns to Spencer upon her mother’s sudden death and seemingly finds another weapon to propel her into the spotlight. Unfortunately, someone kills her before she can make this entrance.

In Lauren Carr’s sixth mystery, Mac Faraday and his friends come up against reality stars, politicians, has-beens, and wannabes. Mac also finds himself face-to-face with an old foe from his past who had managed to escape arrest during their last encounter. Now, Mac sees that his adversary has only become more powerful, and dangerous, with the passage of time.

Intent to not let this killer escape again, Mac and his friends need to put all of their talents together to put a stop to a cold-blooded lady killer. 

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"Twelve To Murder is a clever blend of comedy, mystery, and sappy love story. Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue.  And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end." - Review by Every Free Chance Book Reviews.

Book Title: Twelve to Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 7)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 266 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  February 9, 2014
About the Book


Mac Faraday’s plan to spend a quiet weekend home alone with his lady love, Archie Monday, is shattered by murder.

A middle-aged couple are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. To any other detective, the case would be considered open and shut when it appears as if one of the victims has written her killer’s name in her blood—not so for Mac Faraday, who believes there is more to this case than meets the eye.

In Lauren Carr’s latest Mac Faraday Mystery former child-star and teen-idol Lenny Frost steps into a pub in Deep Creek Lake to see his face on the television over the bar with the announcement that he’s wanted for the murder of his agent and her husband!

How does Lenny Frost react to this sudden comeback into the headlines? He takes everyone hostage and gives Mac Faraday twelve hours to find the real killer or he’s going to kill everyone in the bar.

Will it be a fatal last call at midnight?


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"There is actually a mystery within a mystery in Carr's new book. It's a tangled, twisting adventure that adds more dead bodies along the way. Carr's characters are lively, her plots complex, there is always just enough humor to set a lighter tone." - Review by Allene Reynolds, Mystery and Me

Book Title: A Wedding and a Killing by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 8)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 275 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  September 13, 2014
About the Book
Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married—along the tranquil shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a body in the church office.

In A Wedding and a Killing, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?


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"I am, bottom line, amazed at the giant step that places Carr comparable to significant authors whose name slips off our tongues like, for instance, Nora Roberts. Watch this author--she's moving quickly to where her goals are headed... Three Days to Forever has to be, in my opinion, the best of her best! Get it!" - review by Glenda Bixler, Book Readers Heaven

Book Title: Three Days to Forever by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 9)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 366 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 19, 2015
About the Book

In one of the most critically-acclaimed Mac Faraday Mysteries from best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr, readers embark on a roller-coaster adventure with old friends (including the Lovers in Crime team of Prosecutor Joshua Thornton and Homicide Detective Cameron Gates), but also meet new ones as Mac Faraday’s daughter Jessica Faraday and Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy Thornton join the team in the race to get the lovebirds to the altar!*

With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.

But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.

With time running out to the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything … FOREVER!
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"There's lots of drama, crimes, murder, and laughter that surrounds the Diablo Ball. As usual, Gnarly is in the middle of everything. Hated to have to keep putting this down. I loved reading Open Season for Murder." - review by Rhonda Laney, readalot


Book Title: Open Season for Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 10)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 318 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  June 1, 2015
About the Book


“Robin, it’s me, Ashton.”

Spring is in the air. In Deep Creek Lake, the burst of blossoms on the trees has the effect of a starting pistol in the race to get the resort area ready in time for the seasonal residents return to Spencer, Maryland.

​This year, the Spencer Inn, Mac Faraday’s five-star resort, has the added duty of preparing for the Diablo Ball, an annual benefit event that used to kick off Deep Creek Lake’s summer season. The exclusive gala has drawn in A-listers from across the country—including suspects and witnesses connected to Ashton Piedmont, a young woman who had disappeared while skinny dipping in Deep Creek Lake five years earlier—days after the last Diablo Ball.

Intrigued by a mysterious phone call from a young woman claiming to be Ashton, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday can’t resist diving head first into the cold case. But he’s not the only one. Someone behind the scenes has gone to a lot of trouble to bring Ashton Piedmont’s friends and enemies to the Diablo Ball—which promises to be a gala event to die for!


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"The story moves at a rapid pace and has a bit of everything - romance, humor, and suspense with several other murders after the body is discovered. A few surprises along with the tension both at home and in New York. Carr does an excellent job of developing her characters and providing backstory while maintaining a quick pace. Well worth the sleep I gave up to get to the end." - review by Christa Nardi, Christa Reads and Writes.

Book Title: Cancelled Vows by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 11)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 320 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 28, 2016
About the Book


Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can walk down the aisle—divorce his first wife!

Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail-biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend—and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a roadblock, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time! 

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"OMG! Carr is over the top and giving us an easy "10"  with her latest, Candidate for Murder!...Don't just sit there thinking that this might be the book to try for Lauren Carr! I'm telling you right now it's a must-read for daring, adventure, crime-busting, high-level government criminal elimination." - reviewer by Glenda Bixler, Book Readers Heaven

Book Title: Candidate for Murder by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 12)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 410 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  June 16, 2016
About the Book
It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clotheslines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer! 

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front-runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front-runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front-runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army but to throw in a murder for good measure. 

With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!


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"With her usual panache, Lauren Carr blends the grittiness of murder(s) with a good deal of humor, the latter revolving largely around Gnarly and David's Belgian shepherd, Storm, who would much rather be couch potato-ing than anything involving exertion." - review by Lelia Taylor, Buried Under Books

Book Title: Crimes Past by Lauren Carr
Series:  A Mac Faraday Mystery (Volume 13)

Category:  Adult fiction (18+), 245 pages
Genre:  Murder Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  October 16, 2018
About the Book


It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a late colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every avenue for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends is the killer.

When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends is a cold-blooded murderer.

About the Book  

Meet the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

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 two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the authorwebsite  ~  facebook  ~  instagrampinterest ~ bookbub ~ goodreads

Enter the Giveaway

SHADOW OF MURDER (Mac Faraday Mysteries) Tour Giveaway



  1. Good luck to the author for the success of the book!

  2. ooh -- I didn't realize her latest book had a paranormal element. love this! thanks for the review!