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Publisher's Summary

It's election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the year-round residents who enjoy their rural way of life and the city dwellers who are moving into mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed-gate community - complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clotheslines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees to the town's residents, David O'Callaghan, the chief of police, decides to make a statement - by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday's German shepherd, to run for mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight, Gnarly becomes the frontrunner, and his political opponents proceed to dig into the canine's past. When one of the mayoral candidates ends up dead, it becomes apparent that slinging mud is not enough for someone with a stake in this election.

With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang - including old friends from past cases - dive in to clear Gnarly's name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!

©2017 Terri Zaleski (P)2017 Terri Zaleski

What listeners say about Candidate for Murder

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Listen!!!

First of all, I am a dog lover and have 3 German Shepherds, so this book featuring Gnarly really appealed to me. I thought the author wrote an awesome story with so many great characters and unexpected twists. The narrator did an excellent performance. This book is part of a series and a standalone listen. I was voluntarily provided with this review copy audiobook upon my request and have voluntarily written this review. I really enjoy books that feature retired war dogs. The author wrote a very compelling mystery with so much action and suspense. Also, the antics of Gnarly and Shadow are very realistic. I do not try to write a synopsis of the book in my reviews, as I like to leave it up to the professionals as they are more eloquent. I highly recommend this book and will look for more books by both this author and narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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20+ Stars

This book was just so dang good. Everytime I thought i had the bad guy/girl figured out it turned out i was wrong. This book is full of such richly created characters that draw you into the meat of the storyline. It has an interwoven storyline that includes each character and their particular interests and talents. Lauren Carr has done an incredible job and the narrator was superb with all the many voices. This book will surly keep you entertained. I listened to this book with an external speaker and my dog was glued to it as much as I was. When the action would take place she would just pace around.
I highly recommend any books written by Mrs. Carr. I did receive this book for free in exchange for an honest review and I also review books for Audiobooks Unleashed. Happy reading.

1 person found this helpful

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Gnarly dog, front & center

Note: Even though this is part of a series, it works just fine as a stand alone novel.
This tale puts Gnarly front and center. Yay! He’s easily my favorite character. All along, we’ve had hints of why Gnarly is no longer in the military. Now, we get the story. It’s told in small reveals throughout this bigger story where Gnarly inadvertently ends up running in local politics. It’s kind of funny and kind of serious – I really liked the balance. Ever had a local politician that was so bad at their job a good dog could do a better job? If so, then I think you’ll get a good chuckle out this story.
However, the story by the nature of it has political views from some of the characters. Not too bad though I did notice that all the bad guys lean one way and all the good guys lean the other way. Currently, life is politicized enough and I really don’t want it in my fiction. I read to escape it and I can bump into politics on any social media platform, any news site. I don’t need it in my murder mysteries.
Overall, it was another great story where there’s more than one mystery to unravel. I love how integrated the ladies are in the stories. They get just as much done as the men and are about equal in the bad guy column too. Dallas and her dog Stormy get to know the family better. I think Dallas could use a little more fleshing out. She’s still very much a Texas gal caricature but I still like her.
The mystery itself was fun. I guessed correctly on some things and was totally off the mark on other things. I love that the path to truth has many twists and turns. While we have a few convenient moments where the bad guys spill their guts, it was still a fun mystery to solve. Oh! and I loved Nigel the butler. I really want to get a Nigel for my home security system. 4/5 stars.
The Narration: C. J. McAllister was a change from Mike Alger, who narrates most of this series. I liked his male voices. Each was distinct. His female voices could use a bit more femininity and his Texas accent for Dallas was a little over done. The pacing was a little off with odd pauses between paragraphs (maybe? pages? chapters?). There were no other tech issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.

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A Good Long Mystery

I really liked this audiobook! It had humor. The narrator did a really good job. I loved Narly, the dog character! This is the twelfth book in the Mac Faraday series. I hadn't listened to or read any of the previous books in this series prior to listening to this audiobook, which is a standalone. It was easy to understand the plot. The book did have a lot of unique characters, and I found that it helped me to make a list of them as I listened. This is a long audiobook. The various characters are really interesting people, many of which are talented or wealthy. The story didn't drag and held the listener's attention.

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fun mystery!

As a quick reminder, here is my rating structure:

1 star: Did not finish
2 Stars: Finished but I do not recommend
3 Stars: Liked but could use some improvements
4 Stars: Loved this book!
5 Stars: Rare. The unput-down-able, binge read obsession.
My Thoughts
Candidate for Murder bookstagram post
Lauren Carr is easily one of my favorite mystery writers and I say that knowing what a big statement that is. The reason I love her so much are her characters, especially the 4 legged friends.

In this particular series, we see Gnarly, a retired bomb sniffing dog, be nominated for mayor because the other two candidates are worthless. Oh yeah, and there are some murders to solve thrown in.

Lauren Carr always has me guessing and laughing. Her books always keep me entertained from beginning to end. I’ve never once been disappointed with one her stories, and Candidate for Murder is no exception.

It’s perfectly paced and written so well, with plenty of wit and charm. You can read these books as stand-alones or as a part of the series. I have read a lot of them, but not in order. I might go back and read them from beginning to end, just for fun.

Just go start this fun mystery series, because, trust me, you won’t be able to stop.

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A Timely Tale

A number of years ago, a perfectly normal fellow named Mac Faraday learned that his biological mother was a very famous person and, on the day his acrimonius divorce became final, Mac inherited a vast fortune. Now, the retired homicide detective lives in a magnificent estate on a lake in Spencer, Maryland, with his beloved dog, Gnarly. Gnarly has a questionable past but his biggest issue these days is his kleptomania. Nothing is safe from being pilfered by this German Shepherd.

At the moment, the whole town is focused on the upcoming mayoral election. It was already contentious due to strained feelings between the locals and the summer crowd; now, it’s a no holds barred fight because David, Mac’s police chief brother, nominated Gnarly as the one to beat the other two unpalatable candidates, Nancy Braxton and Bill Clark. The door is wide open for probes into the pasts of all three and it doesn’t take long for someone to dredge up old accusations of cowardice against the war dog when his handler was murdered during deployment. That’s not all, though—soon enough, one of the nominees is found dead in mysterious circumstances and, as it turns out, there’s more than one murder afoot.

Gnarly’s past is a fascinating story and it takes David along with a number of friends and other family members to get to the truth about his cowardice charge and the murders. I loved spending time again with Gnarly’s pals, Shetland sheepdog Spencer, Basset Hound Newman and Belgian Shepherd Storm as well as assorted humans. Gnarly’s campaign managers, Bernie and Hap, are a hilarious addition to a story that is a full-throated investigation into murder, political shenanigans and national security issues while still being shot through with humor. Narrator C.J. McAllister offers a lively performance and distinct voices along with a good sense of timing and brings Ms. Carr’s terrific story to life. Highly recommended ;-)

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Great as usual

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read this book four years ago, but I was happy to listen to it because I knew I enjoyed it back then, but I didn’t remember all of the details.

This is Lauren Carr’s 12th Mac Faraday novel. I have read quite a few of her bookss because I like her writing style. It’s easy to follow, the dialogue is outstanding, and I enjoy the dogs’ parts in the stories.

There are a lot of characters in Candidate for Murder but since I’m acquainted with several of them, I wasn’t confused. There is usually a Cast of Characters at the beginning of the books which helps new readers, but that’s not available with the audiobook as far as I can tell.

I like Mac Faraday and his wife, Archie Monday, and I love Mac’s dog, Gnarly! In fact, this book is about Gnarly in a roundabout way. Chief of Police and Mac Faraday’s half brother, David, is watching Gnarly while Mac is out of town. David is so disgusted with the two candidates running for mayor of the small town of Spencer that he signs Gnarly up as a candidate. Gnarly’s immediately a hit and way ahead of the other candidates in the polls.

Unfortunately, one of the candidates is murdered. That’s not the only murder that Mac and his entourage have to solve. They meet the husband of Gnarly’s murdered handler and promise to find out who killed her when she was in Iraq.

There are some twists and humor as usual. It’s hard to figure out who the bad guy is, or the worst guy. When politics is involved you never know what’s going to come up. And when Gnarly runs for mayor, they even try to dig up dirt on him. Can he actually win?

The narrator did an excellent job. I was impressed that he was able to change his voice enough for the many characters that I had no difficulty knowing who was speaking.

I definitely recommend Candidate for Murder. It has great characters, mystery, intrigue, twists, and lots of humor.

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Candidate for Murder

I love love love Lauren Carr’s writing. I was so excited when I had the chance to read her Candidate for Murder. This installment from her Mac Faraday Mystery series does not disappoint. Even though it is part of a series, I believe readers can get by reading it as a stand alone. Though, I would highly recommend to reading the previous books as they should not be missed. I enjoyed catching up with Mac and his hilarious pup Gnarly. Gnarly is by far my favorite character in this series. This is one of those books that I look for in a story: action, adventure, mystery, suspense, and lots and lots of laughs. The mystery was not one I could have predicted. I was left wondering as to who did it until near the end. I love the mix of quirkiness thrown in from time to time to break down the tension.

I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of Candidate for Murder. Once again C.J. McAllister does a wonderful job bringing this story and characters to life. The performance is superb.

I am giving Candidate for Murder a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who love a fun and entertaining cozy mystery that will make them giggle throughout. I am hoping to read more from the Mac Faraday Mystery series in the near future. I love this series.

I received Candidate for Murder from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Feels so much like real life

Are you looking to step away from your real-life politics? Well come read Candidate for Murder or listen to it in audio. I have now read it in both paperbacks and listened to in audiobook. I enjoy the audiobook a bit better.

In the world of politics maybe dogs are better and smarter than us humans. They will be honest with you. This book has quite a few unsolved murders. As soon as Gnarly enters the election, things to heat up.

Why would someone want to kill their family members? Why would you want to cheat your way through winning? What so important that you have to have power and not let go?

Lauren Carr writes her books well. The narrator of this book does well with the telling. I am on the edge of my seat or feet while listening to this book. This book as mysteries and murder galore for beginning to end.

Maybe the reason for that is cause I hear the voices that play each character in the book. If you have not read, you are missing out. If you are a mystery or and murder fan, these books are up to your alley. You will not be disappointed. You will want to pick up more after reading or listening. You should check out my review of Candidate for Murder (Paperback version).

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This books contains humor, action and mysteries!

In 'Candidate for Murder', David Thornton is "fed up" with the two "crooked" politicians, He is watching Gnarly while Max nd Archie are on a cruise. To make a statement, Police Chief, David Thornton, nominates Gnarly for the Mayoral race. Gnarly has his vises, but he seved his country in the canine unit during the War in Iraq. He is honest and has more "gumption' than either of the two running mates. Little does he know what chaos this will cause nor what "mushrooming" effect it will have on many situations and individuals. People begin dying and past crimes become present investigations.

In Lauren Carr's usual mix of humor, outrageous interactions, romance and mystery, the reader will experience laughter along with the suspense. When one mystery is solved, the story continues on until each of the other mysteries are solved.

The characters are very diverse, yet well-portrayed. The reader will tend to feel he/she is a part of the community and various situations. The scenes are equally well-defined. The cover is simple, but chosen well. The Title is perfect for this story.

This is a very fast paced, adventurous tale. The narrator did a good job in dramatizing the story. In the first part of the book, he makes David, a tall, "fit", Police Chief sound like a "runty Godfather" with the use of an "airy" strained sounding voice. It was annoying. As Narrator, C.J. McAllister, progresses into the story, David's voice is given more strength, so is easier to listen to. He does a good job, but not a great job.

I offer a Five Stars rating on the Book and Three on the Narrator.
This audio was gifted me with no direction on how it was to be rated. This is my honest review.

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Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 12-10-18

Wrongly listed .

Wrongly listed ,should be listed under comics , ideal for juvenile super dog fans , utter piffle .

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 08-12-17

American politics goes to the dogs.

Any additional comments?

This is not a book which could be easily summerised. Nor even simple to categorise. It is a a sprightly written and amusing tale of domestic relationships, a political satire, containing more than one murder mystery, spies. And dogs. Filled with great characters, this lovely book's stories dart like coloured fishes through different scenarios - and they all seem to make perfect sense. It was a sheer joy.
The pleasure is increased by the narration of C.J.McCallister who breathes even more life into all of the protagonists with his varied and clearly differentiated voicings, including a marvellous Texan drawl for an investigative journalist named Dallas. And a personal favourite, Nigel, an AI butler who certainly pulls out all the stops to care for his people, is once again featured. I am a relative newcomer to the books of Lauren Carr - this is only my second - but I am already beginning to feel that I know some of these people personally. At number twelve in the series it might have been difficult to enter into this world, but it isn't: part of the joy is meeting the folks as the story unfolds.

This is a delectably delicious story of deception, death and dogs - amusing and easy listening with plenty of twists and turns and thrills of the chase.. Definitely recommended.