"If You're Looking For A Mystery With An Abundance Of Comedy, "Dead On Ice" Will More Than Meet Your Expectations. I've Come To Expect Great Characters And Intricate Plotting From Lauren Carr, And "Dead On Ice" Is Up To Her Lofty Standards." David Kinchen, Huntingon Post
Dead on Ice is the first installment of Lauren's Lovers in Crime Mystery series, which features Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton (the protagonist in her first two novels) and his new love, Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates.
In this Loves in Crime Mystery, spunky Pennsylvania State Homicide Detective Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, when her body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to Cameron’s lover, JoshuaThornton, because the freezer was found in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too—because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.
Dead on Ice is the beginning of the new “Lovers In Crime Mystery” series that found it’s footing in the Mac Faraday series. Fans of the Mac’s series will recognize the characters we get to know in this fun mystery. State police detective Cameron Gates from Pennsylvania and Prosecutor Joshua Thornton, of Hancock County are the lovers in crime.
The two both showed up on a case involving Mac Faraday’s Shades of Murder, and it was instant attraction. Now they have their own series. Of course, Joshua Thornton was in an early series that took place when his five children were young and all living at home. Now he has just one left in the nest. That would be Donny, a charmer on his own.
When Joshua’s cousin, Albert Gordon, dies from a stroke, the town is shocked to find his body in a house filled with years of paper, gifts, magazines and more. No one had any idea he had become a hoarder after his wife died. In the middle of the cleaning out the house, a ticking bomb is found in the basement. Barely escaping with their lives, the church volunteers have little left to do.
Fire investigators didn’t find much that survived the blast and subsequent fire, except for an old refrigerator down in the basement. Even more surprising is the dead body that had been sealed inside for decades–intact. That starts us on the search for at least one, or maybe more, killers. Because that wasn’t the first murder.
Two cold cases, one from 1978 and one from mid-80’s. Both bodies found years later. In this case, with way too much in common.
Dead on Ice kept me guessing. You often find lots of suspects in Ms. Carr’s books but this time nearly everyone seemed to have motive and interest. All viable suspects considering the crimes were so long ago. Did it all happen because of high school girls arguing over a boy? Besides those in the community, is it possible the mob was involved?
Yet as the story develops, we will run across pornography, theft, adultery, and embezzlement. Lots of secrets everywhere the investigation goes. Will more die before Joshua and Cameron find the killer?
Cameron and Joshua are such likable characters. The connection they had when they first met is still there for the reader to enjoy too. They obviously care deeply for each other and aren’t afraid to show it. Both are very good at what they do in law enforcement. Joshua’s son, Donny adds a lot to the story, and of course, we get to know Irving the cat a little better. That will totally depend on his mood though. He doesn’t like just anybody.
I like this series every bit as much as Mac’s. You don’t find explicit descriptions of murders or sex, the language is decent, and there is a light air about the stories. How the author manages that in the midst of violence and mayhem takes talent. Lauren Carr has a good deal of that.
I’m looking forward to book two in the series, Real Murder, knowing how much I enjoy both Joshua and Cameron. Hopefully, Lauren is already at work on book three.
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