After 10 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?
©2017 Terri Lynn Zaleski (P)2017 Terri Lynn Zaleski
Jessica Faraday, daughter of a retired homicide detective, is recently married to Murphy Thornton, son of a former JAG lawyer, and a naval officer himself with some series skills and hidden assignments. Jessica is having nightmares that have been persistent since a childhood trauma and are causing her to strike Murphy while they are sleeping.
Jessica and Murphy attend a family bar-b-que where investigative journalist Dallas Walker is describing a cold case she is investigating that is known as the Pine Bridge Massacre – a brutal killing of a family. Suddenly Jessica realizes that she witnessed the death of the young girl but has been suppressing the details.
Murphy and Jessica decide to take a second honeymoon at Pine Bridge to investigate the old murder. Dallas, a lanky, gorgeous red-headed Texan, will come in as a rich journalist to the fancy plantation resort on the other end to town.
Murphy gets to meet Jessica’s cousins, the nice ones and the decidedly not nice ones. The newlywed’s appearance in town immediately stirs up trouble especially when their dog digs out a half-buried skull near the old crime scene. Secrets begin to unravel and there are some very unhappy, and dangerous murderers who want the Thornton’s out of town – one way or another.
This story moves along well as Ms. Carr weaves through the details of another mystery full of corruption and murder. It is fun to follow Jessica and Murphy as they uncover clues and speculate on the facts and motives. Murphy’s training gets him into a bit of trouble. I enjoyed the inclusion of the pets and a new ‘family’ character, a computer assistant named Nigel. The author includes some surprises and twists then neatly wraps up the loose ends.
This is the second mystery in the series and I enjoyed both. (See review of Kill and Run.) They are easy to follow with likeable characters whose interaction adds to the engaging storylines. I recommend this to readers who like a fast paced, light in tone (but not light in danger) mystery.
Audio Notes: C.J. McAllister does a nice job with the narration. The voices are given appropriate accents and tones and the pacing is handled to keep the characters distinct and the story moving. I enjoyed the listening experience which made this move more quickly for me.
I received this title for book tour review. My rating 4.25.
Murder, corruption, embezzlement, family drama, fraud, and ghosts. How much more can you pack into one story? Well this one has all the twists and turns that Lauren Carr is know for and then some. When Jessica and Murphy head out to solve a mysterious death at her families winery and hotel more than just bodies are dug up. This is the second installment of the Thorney Rose Mysteries. Old favorites like Spenser, the dog, and new favorite characters like Nigel are seamlessly embroidered into this rich mystery. I found my self alternately laughing and hanging on the edge of my seat. I whole heatedly recommend this story to new fans and old of Lauren Carr.
I actually listened to this as an audible book. If you haven't tried audible.com you really should. Listening to books has not stopped me from reading them on my kindle or actual paper books. But an Audible book is great when you spend a lot of time driving or if you are riding on an airplane. Also Audible gives you a free one month trial so you have nothing to lose.
Lauren Carr’s mysteries are always captivating. This one lives up to expectations! Love her books are now available in audio, with narrator, C J McAllister. Great Job!
Jessica Faraday-Thornton begins having nightmares when a reporter starts investigating a cold case. The dreams are so realistic that she and husband Murphy Thornton decide to go to the winery where the murder took place. The winery owned by members of her family.
As memories surface, the danger rises, putting their marriage—and their lives—at risk. Missing women, a suspicious hotelier, childhood friends, a woman in white…The two newlyweds must find answers before more die.
As always Lauren combines mystery and humor, with a bit of romance added in for good measure. The plot is twisty, the characters likable, the animals lovable, and the mystery complicated. Don’t miss this one!
You can read my full review at Mystery Suspense Reviews. I received this book as part of the iRead Book Tours virtual tour.
Jessica Faraday witnessed a whole family being murdered 15 years ago but has suppressed the memories. Now in the present she has started to have nightmares about that night and is starting to remember bits and pieces of those memories she suppressed. Poor Murphy is catching the brunt of it as she is attacking him during her nightmares.
Dallas Walker is an investigative reporter. Her newest story is about the Pine Bridge Massacre. As she tells Murphy and Jessica about it they come to the conclusion that Jessica did actually witness the murders.
Jessica and Murphy head to Pine Ridge to solve the murders and to help Jessica with her suppressed memories and so Murphy can get a good nights sleep without Jessica trying to kill him.
Lauren has done it again with this book. I really loved all the twist and turns in the investigation. Every time I kind of thought I had it figured out, a new twist would come along. There are actually a couple of mysteries in the book. It is a very fast paced book. I couldn't stop once I started this book. I really enjoy Lauren Carr's books. I liked the Mac Faraday series and I really enjoyed the 1st book in this series as well. I love how she keeps the same characters and also adds to the list with each book. I like how she crossed over some of the characters from the Mac Faraday series.
I did listen to the audiobook which was given to me as art of a book tour promotion.
Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.
Jessica Faraday is still having nightmares and unfortunately she’s acting out in her sleep and striking her new husband, Murphy Thornton. She needs answers as to why she does this. When their journalist friend Dallas Walker calls with some interesting news about the Pine Bridge Massacre, which occurred over a decade ago, Jessica starts to wonder if maybe she’s suppressed a memory from that night when her family was visiting the area. Now Murphy and Jessica return to Jessica’s family winery to hunt for clues. What they find stirs up Jessica’s memories.
I liked this book more than I did Book 1, Kill and Run. There were fewer family members to get mixed up and not much jurisdictional squabbling to keep straight. I was able to focus on getting to know Murphy and Jessica. In Book 1, Murphy had a definite role while Jessica was a minor character. Here, we get to meet her family and learn some history of the area as well. While I did feel that Jessica spent an inordinate amount of time frozen, crying, or freaking out, she eventually is able to struggle free of that and actually do something. She ends on a strong, healthy note by the end of this book.
The mystery is layered, which I loved. There are layers of motive from back then when a family was murdered. Then a few more layers have been added on over the years as blackmail and cover-ups come into play. I also liked this little side mystery involving some minor characters in the story.
Now about Murphy. He’s a Phantom, which is some sort of military special ops super secret silliness. This was brought up in Book 1 but didn’t really factor in, so I could ignore it. Now it gets more play here and I’m on the fence about it. He’s a trained, killing weapon, so you better not startle him… or drop hot tea on his pants. That seemed a little overdone to me. On the other hand, he’s a really great guy to have around in a pinch. I did like the straw trick.
Jessica’s recovered memories are sprinkled throughout the tale and sometimes they act as a deus ex machina to move the plot along. Not all the time, since the duo (and eventually Dallas as well) continue to find other clues. Jessica’s recovered memories were sometimes used well and sometimes I felt they were a little too convenient for the plot. Still, I was kept entertained by the uncovering of not only the previous crime but also of subsequent crimes.
What I really liked about this book is that it brought up some things about spousal abuse, like assumptions other people make. Jessica is having these horrible nightmares and she unknowingly acts out in her sleep, injuring Murphy more than once. In turn, he occasionally acts back without wanting to hurt her but just to stop her from seriously damaging him. In short, they both have marks but people only react to Jessica’s injuries (which I think is very realistic) without asking for details or checking Murphy for injuries. I liked how the story incorporated this nuance of culture.
I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours.
The Narration: C. J. McAllister did a better job with this book. I was luke warm on his performance for Book 1 but I feel he really improved for this book. He definitely sounded engaged and his female voices were better. Though his voice for Jessica often sounded like he was talking with tight pursed lips, especially during the romantic scenes – and that put an odd image in my head. That could just be me. I liked his big Texan accent for Dallas.
I recommend this book and others in this series for people who appreciate well developed characters and complicated thrilling mysteries
Murphy Thornton because of the way he calmly deals with whatever is thrown at him. He is remarkably responsible and patient.
My admiration for narrator C.J. McAllister continues to grow.
Remember you married the whole family
Lover of life!
A cozy mystery at its BEST! This book has strong characters with strong voices, which was blended perfectly with the quick plot and developing story. I felt like I was never really certain which way the story was going to go...which was awesome! I feel like listening to the book really allowed me to be part of the action, being there along side the characters. I have never read/listened to Carr before and I am certainly going to be diving into more of these wonderful character driven books.
I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I have read several books by Lauren Carr including Kill and Run in which Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are the main characters so I was looking forward to listening to this book. Before the Thorny Rose Mysteries, I read several Mac Faraday Mysteries. Mac Faraday is Jessica’s father so most of the characters in these books feel like old friends.
I like Lauren Carr’s writing style. It’s easy to follow and she doesn’t get bogged down with lengthy descriptions. The dialogue is especially enjoyable. There are quite a few characters in this book but they’re easy to keep track of, although that may be because I know so many of them from previous books.
Poor Jessica Faraday is having nightmares which turn out to be repressed memories. Her nightmares are getting more disturbing and violent so she and her husband Murphy Thornton decide to go to the town where she may have witnessed a murder when she was 10 years old. What they find are some disturbed people and despite several twists, they’re able to solve the mystery. But they come across so much more in the process.
The narrator, C.J. McAllister, does a great job narrating the story. He changes his voice just enough so that I could tell who was talking, which I imagine was a challenge with so many characters. He has a good voice for narrating and does a good job with clarity and pace.
This is definitely a book that will keep you guessing and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery. It will also stand alone without reading the previous books, but the Faradays and their friends and family are great!
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Audible classifies this novel and this series as cozy mysteries; that description fits perfectly. Lauren Carr mixes vivid and likable characters with interesting twists to keep the listeners attention. C. J. McAlister's narration is superb.
I am not sure if I would want to listen to it a second time or not because while I greatly enjoyed the book I don't feel like I missed anything that would require a second read through.
For me the most memorable moment of A Fine Year for Murder was at the beginning when investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton about the Pine Bridge Massacre. That is the moment that set the couple on the case as Jessica seems to have suppressed memories of the massacre.
C.J. McAllister’s performance of A Fine Year for Murder: A Thorny Rose Mystery, Book 2 was particularly well done. C.J did a great job with the character's voices and the voice tone really set the scene for the the book perfectly.
This was a book that if I did not have to worry about eating or sleeping that I could have easily listened to in just one sitting. However since it was a ten hour book I listened to it in about five two hour sittings. That was honestly difficult as I hated putting down the headphones.
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