Book Title: Murder by Perfection by Lauren Carr
Series: Thorny Rose Mystery Series (Volume 3)
Category: Adult fiction, 322 pages
Genre: Murder Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: May 31, 2018
Format available for review: print, ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF) & Audible download
Willing to send print books to: USA and Canada
Tour dates: Oct 8 to Nov 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG (mild violence and sexual suggestion)
Perfection can be a fatal endeavor.
Frustrated with their busy schedules, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday attempt to find togetherness by scheduling a weekly date night. The last thing Jessica Faraday expected for her date night was to take a couple’s gourmet cooking course at the Stepford Kitchen Studio, owned by Chef Natalie Stepford―the model of perfection in looks, home, and business.
When Natalie ends up dead and Murphy goes missing, the Thorny Rose detectives must peel back the layers of Natalie Stepford’s life to discover that the pursuit of perfection can be deadly.
Author's Book Page - http://www.mysterylady.net/murder-by-perfection2.html
Book Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ2WoYPd5_c&authuser=0
Add to your shelves -
Murder By Perfection is the 3rd book in the Thorny Rose Mysteries -
1 Kill and Run
2 A Fine Year for Murder
2.5 Twofer Murder
3 Murder By Perfection
AVAILABLE in print or ebook -
Put a Little Love in Your Murder and Mayhem
By Lauren Carr
How is it that love and murder seem to go hand in hand when it comes to murder mysteries?
Think about it. We pick up a mystery because we want to read about murder and mayhem. Yet, somewhere, someplace, whether it be in the forefront of the plot or in the background, there’s an interweaving of romance.
Nancy Drew had Ned hanging around.
Perry Mason had Della Street at his beck and call—at least I think so. You could never really tell. That was one of the things that kept readers coming back. Are they or aren’t they?
Mystery fans fell in love with Elizabeth George’s Inspector Thomas Lynley and his late wife Helen. When George killed Helen off, I was as mad at Elizabeth George as if she pulled the trigger. (Actually, as the writer, didn’t she pull the trigger?)
Romance is not only found in murder mysteries. On the other side of the bookshelf, in the romance genre, mystery often plays a big role in romance
novels. I remember not being able to put down Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, one of literature’s greatest romance novels, which is filled with mystery surrounding the death of Rebecca, the first Mrs. DeWinter.
Even mysteries with unattached detectives, some who want nothing to do with love, or who are never successful at it, usually seem to have a couple of characters who have been struck with cupid’s arrow somewhere in the plot. It is not uncommon for the protagonist to be dragged into the mystery to save the couple’s union. Does anybody know how often the hard-boiled detective has been hired by the wife of a murder suspect to clear her husband or boyfriend’s name?
“Love is for suckers and fools,” the detective will grumble before going off to solve the case, only because he wants to bring a smile to the poor lady’s pretty face.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’m all for love and romance, especially when it means a big box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
Love has a big part in murder mysteries. Mystery writers, including myself, seem to always write it in and readers love to scoop it up. From the first installment of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, readers were anxious for Mac and his lady love Archie to get together.
Readers and reviewers were thrilled when I matched Mac Faraday’s daughter Jessica up with Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy for the Thorny Rose mysteries. The honeymoon is over in Murder By Perfection, but that doesn’t mean the bloom is off the rose by any means as they struggle to find that perfect balance between their careers and marriage.
Why does love play such a big role in murder mysteries?
Well, the answer can be found in the definition of the two emotions.
Love: The definition of Love as defined by Google is “an intense feeling of deep affection.”
Murder: Also according to Google: “The unlawful, premeditated killing of another human being.” While Google doesn’t go on to say it, it can go without saying that this act is brought about by an intense feeling, but not of affection, the feeling that is opposite of love: hatred.
In my opinion the mixture of these two emotions, so extreme from each other, is akin to a literary sweet and sour mix. In one chapter, we have the plot surrounding the intense act of murder, only be complemented by the sweet love scenes.
When planning the storyline for the third Thorny Rose Mystery, Murder by Perfection, I could not resist adding a little tension to Murphy and Jessica’s young marriage. What marriage doesn’t hit a rough patch, especially when both members of the couple are struggling to succeed in their respective careers.
In this excerpt, they struggle to discuss the murder of a mobster while keeping their personal feelings in check:
With a sensuous grin at her reflection in the mirror, Jessica applied an extra dab of cologne behind her ears—all the better for Murphy to nibble on. She rose from her seat and stepped back to study her reflection.
Her new silk hand-painted robe. Naked underneath. Wait!
She snatched the scissors from the dressing table and clipped off the price tag.
After tossing it into the waste basket under the vanity, she resumed the inspection.
High heels? All the better to show off long legs. Spray on tan? No missed spots? Check. Hair? Not one strand out of place. At least until Murphy runs his fingers through it. Champagne chilling for me. Organic grape juice for Murphy. Raw oysters and Caesar salad in the fridge. Spa ready to go. Strawberries dipped in chocolate for afterwards. Everything is ready for date night. What could possibly go wrong?
Her cell phone erupted into song to signal a call from one of her medical school friends. She checked the caller ID. It read Brett. With a sigh, she connected the call.
“Hey, Jessica. What cha doin’?”
“Cooking dinner and waiting for my husband to come home.” She made a point of referring to Murphy’s imminent arrival. Ever since his relationship with his live-in girlfriend had ended, Brett seemed to be too close to her for comfort. She wasn’t sure if it was her imagination or not. In either case, she decided to insert a reminder of her marital status whenever possible.
“Playing the happy homemaker, huh?”
“That’s right. What’s up, Brett?”
“Well, a group of us are going to blow off steam by going to that new Marvel movie that’s releasing tonight. Wanna come?”
“Thanks, but I intend to blow off some steam myself with my husband.” She let out a wicked laugh. “If you know what I mean.”
Brett responded with his own chuckle. “Aw, sounds like you’re going to have a more exciting evening than I am.”
“I’m sure I will.”
“I don’t suppose you would care to take any pictures to show me what I’m missing?”
Jessica was struck speechless. When she found her voice, she said, “Excuse me?”
“You heard me.”
“Murphy has arrived,” Nigel’s voice came through the speaker.
“Who was that?” Brett asked.
“Our butler. Goodbye, Brett.” She disconnected the call. Her heartbeat quickening with anger at Brett, Jessica ran the brush through her hair one last time.
Determined not to allow him to ruin date night, she shoved his inappropriate comment out of her mind and focused on Murphy before hurrying down the stairs.
She landed in the middle of the two-story foyer as he stepped through the door.
“Welcome home, darling!” She dropped her robe to the floor.
Murphy’s eyes grew wide. His mouth dropped open.
“It’s date night.” She winked at him.
In her fantasy, she expected him to grab her up into his arms and ravage her—hopefully right there on the floor in the foyer. At the very least, she expected him to give her a hug and a kiss.
Instead, he stood before her with his hat in his hand— looking horribly guilty.
“Your CO called you,” she said. “You have to go on a mission.”
“Not exactly,” he said while looking her up and down. “Kind of. Sort of.”
Her hands landed on her bare hips. “What do you mean ‘kind of, sort of ’?”
He picked up the robe from the floor. “I’m not going out of town.”
“Great.” She grasped his belt and pulled him to her.
He wrapped the robe around her shoulders. “The good news is that we’re going to have our date night.”
She gazed up into his eyes. “And the bad news?” she asked in a breathy voice.
He looked her naked body up and down. “We’re going to have to spend it fully dressed.”
Her bottom lip stuck out in a pout.
“But we can still do ‘what not’ afterwards.” He set his hat on the foyer table. “As a matter of fact, to make it up to you,” he proceeded to unbutton his shirt “—I’d be willing to squeeze some ‘what not’ in beforehand if that’s what it takes to put a smile to your face.”
The taste of a good romance in a mystery can take the edge off the gruesomeness of a killer plot, which is a good thing. I have found that books with no romance or tender emotion between characters to be depressing and leave a feeling of hopelessness—which is another genre.
Personally, I prefer a little love mixed in with my murder and mayhem.
Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally to wherever Amazon delivers / 1 winner)
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Meet the Author:
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
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.
Website - http://mysterylady.net/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/TheMysteryLadie
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991
InstaGram - https://www.instagram.com/authorlaurencarr/