Dead on Ice, by Lauren Carr, A Review

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The Lovers In Crime

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.

The Story

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 foran 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?

The Characters

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.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

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