Book Title: ICE by Lauren Carr
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Cozy
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: April 25, 2018
Content Rating: PG (It’s a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)
Book Description:The clues for a close-to-the-heart missing person’s case heat up when Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on the cold case.
When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappear, the court of public opinion finds young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted. With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!
To read more audiobook reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.
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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.
My Review: 4/5
Another great book by Lauren Carr! I’ve been a fan of hers since I listened to the Mac Faraday mysteries. The characters are enjoyable, and there is enough mystery, romance, and humor to satisfy everyone’s need.
Ice is no different. The author has introduced us to a new protagonist, ex-FBI officer Chris Matheson. Chris has returned home with his three daughters to live with his mother, Doris, after his wife was killed. He is reunited with his high school love, and is thrown into the thick of several investigations.
I loved all of the main characters in Ice. From Chris to his mother Doris who is a feisty, hilarious woman. Also, Helen is the perfect match for Chris, bringing out his vulnerabilities. Even the newly acquired K-9 Spencer was a great addition! There is a lot of humor in ICE, which is always a nice touch while reading a murder mystery.
Ms. Carr always does a great job of wrapping everything up at the end, which makes you go “oh yeah!”. I’ve found most of her stories to be unpredictable. My only complaint about ICE was the amount of characters. It was difficult at times to keep track of who was who, especially harder while listening.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable book. I am looking forward to the next installment of Chris Matheson’s adventure.
Practical Tips for Beginning Mystery Writers
By Lauren Carr
Everyone wants to be Jessica Fletcher. Do you remember Jessica Fletcher? Oh, that’s right. She was in the 80’s. I guess I’ve dated myself. Okay! I admit it! I’m THAT old. Do you want to make something of it?
All right. My mood is swinging back into the other direction. … Where was I? Oh, yes, you want to be a mystery writer.
Number One: Research. Research in mystery writing is very important. However, I strongly advise against hands-on research in murder mystery writing. No matter how good you may be, if you kill your ex-husband, they are going to catch you and you will go to jail. Then you will be spending so much time fighting off a muscle-bound, tattooed roommate calling you “Cupcake” that you won’t have time to write your book.
It is best to do your research online. Google is a good starting source. There is an unbelievable wealth of sources on the internet now, geared specifically toward writers for research in law enforcement and forensics. I know one author who found a video on YouTube on how to build a bomb.
Number Two: Once you’ve done your research into murder, you now need to come up with a story line. The best place to start is to come up with a protagonist. Another word is ‘hero.’ Some writers base their detectives on themselves. Others base them on their fantasy hero. At this point, ask yourself: Who do you want to save the day? You or some dashing, sexy, man with piercing eyes and a big gun? …
(Hold that thought while I go get a glass of cold water.)
Number Three: Your victim. You can’t have a murder mystery without someone getting killed. You may already have a murder victim. Many murder mystery writers have victims in mind before they have even thought of writing a book. To tell you the truth, many mystery writers were driven to write murder mysteries because of their victims.
This is the one case where it is okay to ask, “Who would I like to kill?” Bosses are a favorite. At a book event, one reader told me that she had two ex-husbands that she wanted me to kill between the pages for her.
Number Four: How are you going to kill your victim? If you are basing your victim on someone in particular, you may already have a murder method in mind. Or you may have so many ideas that you don’t know which one to choose from. It is all a matter of preference. Do you want your murder victim to go out with a whimper or a bang? Is he or she worthy of going out in a blaze of glory? If not, maybe you want a particularly tortuous death, like being dined on by a kamado dragon. Or, you could have him die “off-stage”. In this case, you don’t need to write it out. You could simply have the reader hear about it later.
Number Five: The solving of the case. This is where many mystery writers get tripped up. They have so much fun with steps one-through-four that they’ve forgotten that someone has to solve their victim’s murder. Maybe because subconsciously, they don’t want their victim’s murder solved. That is something for the writer to take to Dr. Phil to sort out.
As much fun as it was killing their boss or ex-husband or nasty neighbor or lawyer who rolled over and played dead in divorce court or—How about that teacher in high school who gave me a “B” on the essay when I bloody well deserved an “A” and because of that I didn’t get into the Harvard and my life was ruined and now I’m cleaning gutters for a living—
Excuse me. Back on track.
Your mystery does need to get solved. After the murder, you need to lead the reader on the path through the detection, solving of the crime, and the capture of the killer.
That’s right. In the end, the killer is captured by the detective.
That’s why in the beginning I warned you not to practice this at home in real life—unless you want to evade capture when they find out by getting cosmetic surgery, dressing up like a member of the opposite sex, joining a rock band and then spending the rest of your life on the lam—which is another blog post.
Happy Mystery Writing!