In this latest Mac Faraday Mystery from best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr, readers will embark on a rollercoaster adventure with old friends (including the Lovers in Crime team of Prosecutor Joshua Thornton and Homicide Detective Cameron Gates), but also meet new ones as Mac Faraday’s daughter Jessica Faraday and Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy Thornton join the team in the race to get the love birds to the altar!
With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.
But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.
With time running out to the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything … FOREVER!
“Lauren Carr’s mystery novels are indeed one of my go-tos when I’m looking for a good whodunit.” –Reviewer: Shana Benedict, ABookVacation Book Reviews.
“Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue. And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end." - Reviewer: Every Free Chance Book Reviews.
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How many years have I lived here, and I still don’t know where Archie puts the scissors?
After closing the drawer in the nightstand on his side of the bed, Mac gave up and twisted around to grasp the designer tag hanging from under his armpit. Hoping to not tear a hole in the new blue sweater that his daughter, Jessica, had given him for Christmas, he gave it a sharp tug.
The tag gave way, but the plastic “do-hickey” that kept it attached to the sweater didn’t.
From where he was sprawled out in the center of the bed, Gnarly cocked his head at him.
“I don’t suppose you could bite it off without putting a hole in this sweater, huh, Gnarly?”
Mac studied the label he had torn off. Dolce & Gabbana.
Never heard of them. But if Jessica bought it, it has to be expensive, and she’ll have a fit if I put a hole in it. Mac went into the master bathroom in search of nail clippers.
Gnarly’s bark, and then his jump between the bed and the door, prompted Mac to forget the do-hickey hanging under his armpit. After grabbing his gun from the drawer in the nightstand, he followed Gnarly down the stairs to the two-
story foyer, out the cut-glass front door, and onto the front porch. Mac clutched his weapon behind his back. When Gnarly, sitting at his side, uttered a low growl, Mac tightened his grip and watched the sedan slowly make its way around the circular driveway before coming to a halt at the bottom of the porch steps.
When the elderly driver stepped out of the car, Mac placed her and the car.
Agnes Douglas. Archie’s mother.
No wonder Gnarly had growled. He never had liked her very much … and the feeling was mutual.
Shoving aside his fears about the safety of Archie, his family, and their friends, Mac forced a wide grin onto his face.
After shoving the gun into the back waistband of his pants and covering it up with his sweater, he hurried down the steps to take the white-haired woman into his arms. Like her only daughter, she was petite. She fell two inches short of five feet tall, and Mac had to bend over to hug her. In her heavy dark blue winter coat and thick snow boots, she resembled a blue snow man.
Shouldn’t she be with Archie and the bridesmaids getting their hair done at the salon? Oh well, Agnes goes and does what she wants when she wants. Best not to question.
“Agnes, I’m so glad to see you.” Mac clasped her arm, slipped his other arm around her waist, and guided her across the slick ice, up the steps, and inside.
At the top of the steps, Gnarly backed away. Agnes had made it quite clear to Gnarly that he was only allowed to look at, but not touch, her.
“I told her that I had one of my headaches.” At the top of the porch steps, she turned to Mac. She tilted her head back to peer up at him from over the top of her glasses. She paused to look him up and then down, and then she noticed that he was wearing only his bedroom slippers without any socks. “What are you doing outside in two feet of snow and ice without boots on?”
“I heard you coming and didn’t want you to slip on the ice.”
Agnes’ head bobbed up and down while she chastised him. “Do I look like I need your help? I haven’t broken a hip yet. Archie depends on you. What good are you going to do her dropping dead from pneumonia?”
Unable to come up with an answer, Mac shrugged
Willing Gnarly out of her way, she opened the front door.
“I hope you have the tea ready.” Grabbing him by the elbow, she ushered him inside. Gnarly was barely able to slip inside before she slammed the door.
“Actually,” Mac said as gently as possible, “I was on my way out.
Her head snapped up to glare at him. “What do you mean you were on your way out?”
“One of my groomsmen and I have an appointment with the tailor.” Mac looked down at the tiny elderly woman who stood before him in the middle of the living room. She clasped her handbag with both hands in front of her.
Like a referee at a boxing match, Gnarly sat between them, looking from one to the other
“Did I do something to upset you, Agnes?”
“I think it’s best if we lay out our ground rules before you marry Archie,” she said.
Sensing a battle, Mac folded his arms across his chest. He was physically setting up a barrier. “Okay, Agnes. Shoot.”
“To be blunt,” Agnes said in a tone devoid of emotion,
“I’m giving this marriage five years. Archie refuses to tell me how much you’re paying for this huge three-ring circus, but I hope you’ll think it’s worth it when you only get five years on your investment.”
“Five years? Investment?” Mac chuckled. “With all due respect—”
Agnes’ hand shot up. She shook her head. “Don’t give me that all-due-respect crap. I’ve had seven children, six boys.
Archie’s daddy keeled over with a heart attack when she was only five years old. Since that time, I’ve been ’round the block so much that I wore a rut in it and”—she shook her finger at him—“I learned ages ago that when someone says to me ‘with all due respect,’ they’re not giving me an ounce of it.”
“I don’t consider Archie to be an investment,” Mac said through gritted teeth. “And to be blunt, I don’t think you know enough about our relationship to be in a position to make any sort of prediction about the success or lack of success of our marriage.”
“Archie has spent the last dozen years of her life hiding out in this mansion, taking care of your mother,” Agnes said.
“Then, she’s spent the last few years in your bed. Now,” she glanced him up and down, “you’re a very attractive man, and I’m sure Archie wouldn’t want to marry you if you weren’t good in bed. I’m sure all of that money adds to your appeal, but there’s more to lifelong happiness than sex and money. There’s character, and marriage with a man who has no character—”
Mac stepped toward her. “What gives you the right to comment on my character?”
As if to voice his agreement, Gnarly barked.
10 Reasons to Become a Murder Mystery Writer
By Lauren Carr
- You tried writing erotica, but things went really wrong during research and now your husband is in traction. Now, he refuses to help you do research for that genre anymore, so you need to find a genre that is less dangerous.
- You have a really bad boss, but you can’t quit your job, so the only option you have is to kill him. But you don’t want to go to jail because—
- you’ll miss too much work,
- and then you’ll get fired, in which case you might as well have quit your job instead of killing your boss.
Therefore, you need to kill your boss and know how to get away with it. You have come up with the perfect murder.
- After having committed the perfect murder, you have to brag about it! But if you brag about it:
- everyone will know you killed your boss,
- and then you’ll go to jail,
- and then you’ll miss too much work,
- and get fired.
In which case, you might as well have quit your job instead of killing your boss. So, how do you brag about committing the perfect murder without getting caught? Become a mystery writer.
- You want to be a detective, but your husband refuses to be married to a detective who will lure crazy revenge-seeking killers to your home because they will stain the carpet with blood and put bullet holes in the drywall. So, you’re murder mystery thinking is confined to your mind.
- You’ve been hearing and seeing some strange things going on next door and you’ve been documenting it. Now that you’ve been going over your notes, you can see that this would make some really interesting reading!
- You’re friend’s supposedly amicable divorce suddenly turned bad and you’re a really good friend. Really good friends don’t just help you move—they help you move the body. After all the research you’ve done to help her, why not publish it to help others?
- You’re a psychopath, but the sight of blood and gore in real life makes you queasy. So you can only be a psychopath in your own mind.
- You’re a psychopath, but you’re sane enough to know that if you act on it that you’ll go to jail & you don’t want to go to jail.
- The economy is hurting everyone—even the mob—who has laid you off as a paid assassin. So, you might as well put what you know to work in another forum—murder mystery writing.
- Just in case your husband suddenly turns up missing, you need to a reasonable explanation for why you have been visiting all these strange websites.