REVIEW: TWELVE TO MURDER, BY LAUREN CARR

7093e63514d7908676e4970e6a858fcc_bvcxWhen Austin and Janice Stillman are found murdered in their summer home at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, one of the suspects is Lenny Frost, a former child actor who had been represented by Janice Stillman.

But just when other suspects are brought into focus, Lenny enters a local pub and takes all the customers hostage, demanding that Mac Faraday find the true killer before midnight. Or he will start killing hostages.

From this point on, the plot thickens, twists, and turns, and numerous characters fill up the canvas, making our jaunt fun and puzzling. What, if anything, do the current murders have to do with Lenny’s kidnapping years ago when he was seventeen? Who was involved in that crime, and how does it all somehow make sense at the end of the day? Are there numerous people out to get Lenny, or is he just paranoid?

It is never a simple path to solving mysteries with Mac Faraday, David O’Callaghan, and Archie Monday and associates on the case. The fun is in trying to keep up with their theories and how they will ultimately sort through the clues. Gnarly is a great companion to any mystery in Deep Creek Lake…unless someone has fed him chili.

Another great romp that kept me riveted to the pages, Twelve to Murder: A Mac Faraday Mystery earned 4.5 stars.

REVIEW: THE LADY WHO CRIED MURDER, BY LAUREN CARR

18629340Khloe Everest believes that she can create her own fame through various well-timed actions. So she takes a drastic step and fakes her own abduction. The aftermath was unexpected…and not in a good way.

Three years later, disowned by her mother, Khloe returns to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, after her mother’s sudden death. Holed up in her mother’s house, ready to make another play at notoriety with a stunning announcement, another unexpected event happens…her body is discovered in the house, stabbed to death and dismembered.

Mac Faraday, our resident rich man and detective, is on the case with his brother, David O’Callaghan, who is also the Chief of Police. But the victim’s notoriety, as well as the agendas of several politicians and so-called friends, cripple the investigation and make the path to solving the case very challenging. Plus…a few previous victims seem to be connected to this one, leading them to realize that they are in pursuit of a serial killer(s).

Will Mac and David find their killer(s), or will they soon discover that this case has disturbing and complex elements that will take them down many twisted pathways? Will justice be served, or will the bad guys win out once again?

I enjoyed how other familiar characters cropped up here and there, like Archie, Mac’s fiancee, and Chelsea, a former girlfriend of David’s, who is slowly moving closer to forgiving him for past misdeeds. And from another Lauren Carr series (Lovers in Crime), Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton show up to assist with the case, as some of the previous victims lived in their jurisdictions. They brought something delightful to the canvas, as they are newlyweds, trying to carve out alone time, even in the midst of all the mystery.

There could not be a story set in Deep Creek Lake without Gnarly, Archie’s German Shepherd…and now that Chelsea is a resident, her dog Molly adds some fun to the mix. But when Cameron appears with her Maine Coon cat Irving…well, you can imagine the antics. I liked being able to laugh and smile in these light moments amidst all the frightening events.

The Lady Who Cried Murder: A Mac Faraday Mystery was another heart-stopping romp, and while the mystery and path to its solution were wonderful, I always love the characters as much as the suspense. Five stars.