Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 388 pages
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 30, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries,
so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on
stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some
mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!
Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin. Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital. Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier. “She was number twelve,” Dean says. “Twelve?” Murphy asks. “Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.” Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy: “13”
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Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is that had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed. Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer. The case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike. In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to shift
through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning
“Mysteries, murder, danger, and memories that threatens their lives keeps the action and suspense at a high level and even when the answers are found, it left me wanting more.” – Review by Sherry Fundin of Fundinmental
After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy. When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory. Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
Murder by Perfection is a wonderful read and a perfect to
escape from the challenges of a busy day. Danger, intrigue, humor, and
love all take their turn in this tale which will keep you reading into
the wee hours.” Review by Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn
Beware: Perfection has a dark side! 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.
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns! 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. A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
GUEST POST BY THE AUTHOR
Ten Fun Facts about the Thorny Rose Detectives
By Lauren Carr
1) Lieutenant Murphy Thornton USN of Lauren Carr’s Thorny Rose Mystery series is the son of
Joshua Thornton of the Lovers in Crime Mystery series. Fans of Lauren Carr’s mysteries may
have first been introduced to Murphy in her first two books A Small Case of Murder and A
Reunion to Die For. In those two books, Murphy was only seventeen years old. He has since
2) The female half of the Thorny Rose couple is Jessica Faraday, the only daughter of Mac Faraday
of Lauren Carr’s Mac Faraday Mystery series. Lauren Carr fans may remember briefly meeting
Jessica in Old Loves Die Hard in which her and Tristan’s mother was murdered.
3) Murphy met Jessica when he foiled an attempt to kidnap her in Three Days to Forever.
4) Murphy has an identical twin, Joshua Thornton Jr (J.J.), who is seven minutes older. J.J. was
featured in Killer in the Band and The Root of Murder (Lovers in Crime Mystery) and appears in
Murder by Perfection. Murphy and J.J. are mirror twins, meaning they are truly mirror images of
each other. For this reason, J.J.’s heart, liver, and spleen are on the opposite side of his body
5) Health conscious Murphy is a pescatarian, a vegetarian who eats fish. He also avoids alcohol,
caffeine, processed sugar, and dairy products. Jessica drinks coffee loaded with gourmet
creamer, sugar, and eats chocolate pop-tarts for breakfast.
6) Jessica named her pure bred blue merle Shetland sheepdog Spencer after her grandmother, the
late mystery writer Robin Spencer. Murphy calls the sheltie Candi after his first girlfriend who
kissed and loved everybody—especially the basketball team.
7) Newman, Murphy’s Basset Hound is a forty-five-pound couch potato who came with Murphy’s
first apartment in Washington DC. Newman came with the worn recliner, left by a fellow navy
officer sent overseas, that the mixed breed calls his home.
8) A television addict, Newman taught himself how to work the television remote. Newman likes to
watch the news and business report. He hates walks.
9) Jessica’s younger brother, Tristan, is dating Murphy’s younger sister Sarah, who is training to be
the first navy SEAL. Tristan and Sarah met at Jessica and Murphy’s wedding in Three Days to
Forever. Originally, he wanted to be a paleontologist. Computers were a hobby, for which he has
a special gift. He claims dinosaurs and computers are very much alike.
10) Jessica and Murphy have a virtual butler named Nigel, the central computer that manages their
smart house. A prototype, Nigel was designed by a team of computer experts, which included
Tristan. In addition to controlling the house’s lighting, temperature, and pantry management,
Nigel also manages the estate’s security, as illustrated in Candidate for Murder when the virtual
butler and Gnarly the German shepherd take on a team of black ops assassins.