Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cool Book of the Week: It's Murder, My Son

It's Murder, My Son

by Lauren Carr

Would your grandmother like this book?
I would hope she would. All of my books have been endorsed by Clean Indie Reads, because they are devoid of graphic violence, explicit sex, and foul language (except for a hell and a damn here and there).

My mother, who will turn eighty this year, generally loves my books. I say generally, because she hates Gnarly, the naughty German shepherd that Mac inherited from his birth mother. My mother and I share the love of a good mystery. She loves the puzzle of the mystery in this book and my whole series.

What is your elevator pitch for the Mac Faraday Mysteries?
Mac Faraday is an underpaid homicide detective. His wife leaves him and takes everything. On the day his divorce becomes final, he inherits two hundred and seventy million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake. Since he hates golf, he solves murder mysteries.

How did you come up with the plot?
It was a couple of things that came together at approximately the same time. I was inspired for the mystery, a woman killed by a supposed stalker who no one believes exists, by an episode of an old Unsolved Mysteries. There was a real murder case in Canada of a woman who claimed she was being stalked, but the police believed she had made it up, while her family claimed the stalker, who was never identified, was real.

Mac Faraday’s backstory, the underpaid detective who inherits a fortune, was inspired by an incident that happened to a friend of mine. She had had a baby as a teenager and had put her up for adoption. Then, when my friend was in her forties, married with grown children, her daughter found her and they have become good friends.

The mystery writer in my thought, suppose, after having this child who had been put up for adoption, the mother went on to become a world famous mystery author (the American version of Agatha Christie). Her great fictional detective is based on her fantasy of how her own son would grow up to be.

Meanwhile, the child (a son) grows up to become a brilliant (though underpaid) homicide detective.

The mother hunts her son down to identify him, and upon her death leaves him her fortune.
From this point on, the son’s life mirrors that of his mother’s famous mystery novels.

How is this book different from other books in this genre?
A reviewer described my books (both the Mac Faraday Mysteries and the Loves in Crime Mysteries) as “gritty cozies.” Another reviewer has noted that they have a touch of crime drama, but still have the cozy charm.

Mac Faraday is a retired police detective, but as the series goes on, he starts working with his half-brother, Police Chief David O’Callaghan, on murder cases. That makes him a professional police detective, which kicks him out of the cozy genre that says the detective has to be an amateur. Also, some of the murders do happen on-stage.

My books fit right square in the middle of two genres: Cozy and Police Procedurals.

Why is your book cool?
Gnarly, of course! In addition to the millions of bucks and the five-star Spencer Inn, Mac Faraday inherited Gnarly, his mother’s German shepherd who, readers discover, was the only dog dishonorably discharged from the United States Army and they refuse to talk about him. Readers will eventually find out why Gnarly was dishonorably discharged.

Based on my Australian shepherd Ziggy, who is an elder dog now, Gnarly is extremely intelligent. In the book, a dog trainer puts him in the genius category, and she explains, he needs to work, otherwise, he gets bored and gets into trouble.

Gnarly is more than comic relief in the Mac Faraday mysteries. He is the grounding rod for Mac.

Mac Faraday is in the perfect position to get a little full of himself. He has all this money. He is un-official royalty in Spencer, Maryland, the small town founded by his ancestors. He has a beautiful woman who is madly in love with him. He lives in a mansion.

But Gnarly, who is really just letting Mac stay at the mansion, sees through all that and knocks him down to size once in a while. Anyone who owns a pet will know what I am talking about.

I now have a real live Gnarly, a German shepherd who can, like the fictional Gnarly, open doors. We had to change some door knobs in our house because Gnarly was coming and going at will. The dog breeder told me that it is actually in his blood line. While I’m impressed, my husband is not.

Why reviewers think It's Murder, My Son is cool:

“An exciting mystery with plenty of intriguing and enigmatic characters, It's Murder, My Son is not a read that should be missed for mystery fans.” -Midwest Book Reviews

“A Mystery Lover Must-Read in my opinion!” -Glenda Bixler, Book Reader’s Heaven

“In It's Murder, My Son, Lauren Carr has provided a complex plot with a diversity of characters that blend so well with the mystery.” -Connie Gregory, Connie’s Reviews

I give It's Murder, My Son (Mac Faraday Mysteries) five stars...I'd award more if I could.--Laurel-Rain Snow, Laurel-Rain Snow's Creative Moments

The story takes hold immediately. There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The writing style is easy and draws the reader in effortlessly. I am looking forward to the next book!--Ariel Heart, Mystery and My Musings Review

I couldn't put this book down! Lauren Carr develops the characters and weaves the details of the murder investigation into a complex storyline that keeps the reader relentlessly turning pages. She is skilled at teasing you into reading more. I finished the last page still wanting to read more! -Kelly Carpenter, Kelly's Lucky You

No disrespect to Mac Faraday, Archie Monday, David O'Callaghan, Travis Turner or any of the multitude of good, bad and ugly characters populating Lauren Carr's It's Murder, My Son; but to me the most interesting character in the book is a lovable, mischievous, sneaky German shepherd named Gnarly. -David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

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, which 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 her new lakefront home in Spencer, Maryland, multi-millionaire 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 with only vague speculations from the local police department 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.

About the author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eight installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice. Real Murder is the second installment in this series.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs (including a real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Joshua Thornton Mysteries:
Fans of the Lovers in Crime Mysteries may wish to read these two books which feature Joshua Thornton years before meeting Detective Cameron Gates. Also in these mysteries, readers will meet Joshua Thornton's five children before they have flown the nest.
1) A Small Case of Murder
2) A Reunion to Die For

Mac Faraday Mysteries:
3) It's Murder, My Son
4) Old Loves Die Hard
5) Shades of Murder (introduces the Lovers in Crime: Joshua Thornton & Cameron Gates)
7) Blast from the Past
8) The Murders at Astaire Castle
9) The Lady Who Cried Murder (The Lovers in Crime
make a guest appearance in this Mac Faraday Mystery)
10) Twelve to Murder
12) A Wedding and a Killing (September 2014)

Three Days to Forever, the ninth book in the series, will be released in January 2015.

Connect with Lauren:
Acorn Books | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter
Gnarly’s Facebook Page | Lovers in Crime Facebook Page | Acorn Book Services Facebook Page

Lauren Carr’s Author Page on Amazon