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Dead on Ice

A Lovers in Crime Mystery
Narrated by: Mike Alger
Series: Lovers in Crime Mysteries, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin's basement. It doesn't take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star's roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too - because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.

©2012 Terri Lynn Zaleski (P)2016 Terri Lynn Zaleski

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A new Lauren Carr series!

A homicide detective and a prosecuting attorney are almost what you might consider a dream team when it comes to law enforcement and it’s certainly true in this series but, since Cameron and Josh don’t officially work together, we also frequently get the benefit of seeing investigations go in different directions. Certainly, that’s beneficial when the body-containing freezer is found in a hoarder’s house and, not long after, a bomb goes off.

Obviously, the first question is how did the porn star end up in the freezer followed by how did that freezer end up in Joshua’s cousin’s basement? Throw in the bomb element and connections between two cold cases and the hunt for clues is on. A plethora of characters, some of whom may very well be suspects, lead Cameron and Joshua on a compellingly twisty road to find final justice for these victims and many of these characters, such as the feuding church ladies, kept me wondering.

As always, the author introduces a few animals in the protagonists’ home life and, this time, the star is a wonderful Maine Coon named Irving. I have one of these delightful felines myself and am madly in love with this loving but curmudgeonly fluffybutt whose black and white coloring is decidedly not random splotches or the tuxedo effect 😉

Mike Alger continues doing a fine job with narration and I do hope he’ll always be the voice of Lauren Carr’s delightful mysteries.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great mystery

My Thoughts…

This is not my first Lauren Carr book and it won’t be my last. I’m so excited to get to start a new series with her. I can’t exactly point to the reason I enjoy her writing so much, but I genuinely do.

The characters are always well rounded and funny without being silly. In Dead on Ice, we meet Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates who already in a relationship. In a way, it felt like we dropped into the middle of their story, which was a great change of pace. Most stories show a relationship developing within the mystery. Here, we start a mystery with an established couple and watch them try to solve it. And their relationship is so real, with life complications and honest conflicts.

I do want to mention that I wouldn’t mind a character chart. There are a lot of ancillary characters in this book, meaning a lot of suspects to keep track of. The relationships between each person and their motives became a little complicated, so you really have to pay attention while reading. *Update* Check out the comments for information from the author!!!

I also love the setting. You don’t get a lot of books written in small town West Virginia, so when a good one is written, I really enjoy reading it. Having grown up in the tri-state area of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, I completely understood the mentality and mindset described in Dead on Ice.

Most importantly, Lauren Carr continued her streak of lovable and hysterical animal characters. I don’t know why they aren’t included in the blurb for this book, because they provide so much of the comic relief and charm. I’m not even a cat person, but the cat had so many start moments.

What’s Missing

If a book falls short of a 5 star rating, I try to figure out why instead of leaving it to the whim of my feelings. Sometimes, I am successful with this, sometimes I’m not. The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because I figured out the mystery pretty quickly. Otherwise, it was a thoroughly entertaining read.

Conclusion

If you enjoy mystery or crime novels, you should be reading Lauren Carr. She’s a great writer, with good stories and even better characters.

*Special thanks to Lauren Carr, Acorn Book Services, and iRead Book Tours for a copy of dead on Ice in exchange for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Dead on Ice

I recently became a fan of Lauren Carr’s mysteries. So, I was really excited to have the opportunity to listen to the audio version of her Dead on Ice. This one begins her Lovers in Crime series. Readers are introduced to a Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton for Hancock County and a homicide detective for the Pennsylvania State Police department, Cameron Gates. They join together investigating the murder of Cherry Pickens. She was found dead in a freezer in a basement. How did her body get there? Joshua and Cameron are determined to find out what had happened to her. They, also, get involved into another possible murder. Are these two cases linked?
I really enjoyed Dead on Ice. Joshua and Cameron is a great duo. It was fun getting to know the main characters. The mystery and suspense were not predictable at all. I was quite surprised to find out on who done it. Just like in any other Lauren Carr story, this one has its share of laughs. There are some quirky people Joshua and Cameron interact with in the town while investigating.
I am giving Dead on Ice a very well deserved five plus stars. I can not wait to read the next installment from the Lovers in Crime series. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy a well written cozy mystery. Audio book lovers will want to listen to this one, as well. Mike Alger’s performance should not be missed. He does a fantastic job bringing this book to life.
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An entangled legal drama with personality

Scandal, sex, drugs and hard core crime populate this entangled legal drama.
This book introduces us to Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton (and Irving) who are a dynamic couple when it comes to investigating and fighting crime.

When a hoarder house is being cleared out by members of the church to which it had been donated, a bomb is found and later, a body discovered in a freezer. This opens connected cold cases (no pun intended) and possible mob ties.

As dark as this has the potential to be, the author manages to sprinkle in humorous events as the story keeps up a lively pace. With a multitude of suspects, all with equally strong motives, this one will keep you guessing until the last chapter.

I enjoyed listening to the audio version, delightfully and skillfully narrated by Mike Alger.
Once you have started this series you will want to know what other "situations" this family finds themselves in. I am also pleased to let you know that the characters you come to care for cross over between Lauren Carr's various series.

Please come back and read my reviews on other books in this series coming soon.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 08-19-18

Great Story, Great Narration!

Lauren Carr has created another great series! I really like the character of Cameron Gates and her skunk looking cat Irving. Joshua Thornton is involved with Cameron, and its wonderful to see their relationship evolving. I so did not expect who the killer was in this book, which is something that I love. Murder mystery, great characters, humor, and unexpected twists all add to my enjoyment of a book. I thought Mike Alger did a great performance with this book. This book is a standalone listen. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lindsay
  • Gastonville, Pa or Cape Coral, FL
  • 07-21-17

You would never guess who the killer is?

Where does Dead on Ice rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It ranks around #4 at the moment. That is cause I am just meeting Cameron Gates and Joshua Thornton.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dead on Ice?

The explosion and why the freezer was in victims home in the first place.

Which character – as performed by Mike Alger – was your favorite?

Joshua Thornton

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Who would you think is the killer to Angie and Cherry Pickens?

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narrator

What made the experience of listening to Dead on Ice the most enjoyable?

I have read several books from this author. I would comment by saying that the books this author writes are right in the middle between cozy mystery and the hardcore murder mysteries. This is perfect for readers who want more but without the gore.

This is the first time that I have listened to a books from this author. I really enjoyed listening. The narrator, Mike Alger made the listening experience so much fun. He provided each character's voice with a distinct one. You could hear the difference between male and female.

Cameron and Joshua made a good pair. They bounced off each other well. Each one separately are fine but together they are stronger as if one person. Each of the characters in this story were such eccentric personalities. Thus this helped to keep the story entertaining. Although, this is just the first book in this series, I have to say this might be by favorite one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Don't fret! There's a police cat on the job!

The body of adult entertainment star Cherry Pickens turns up in the basement of Joshua Thornton’s cousin. It’s on Cameron Gates’s beat, throwing the two into a joint investigation. West Virginia-Pennsylvania state lines blur as they dig into this mystery.

While I have already ‘met’ Cameron and Jonathan in a later mystery (Kill and Run, Book 1 of Thorny Rose Mysteries), it was great to go back to this tale and meet them afresh. The tale starts off with a body in an old non-functioning freezer in a basement along with a bomb that throws some chaos into the mix. Turns out Cherry Pickens once lived in the area and disappeared years ago after the murder of teen Angie Sullivan. Discovery of Cherry’s body brings up old mysteries, feuds, and questions. I loved the layered mysteries in this book, as is such the case with other Carr mysteries I have enjoyed.

I have to say something about Cameron’s cat Irving. He is both a delight and a distraction. While I love that Irving is such a big part of Cameron’s life, I don’t get her taking him on investigations. She’s a police detective and good at it but having a ride along cat seems a bit silly. Other than that, I love how Irving isn’t too sure about Jonathan being around so much. The skunk scenes were great.

Jonathan’s teen son, Donny, had a great role in this story. He got to play undercover info gatherer at one point and there’s an older woman who’s willing to teach him some interesting things. However, both Cameron and Jonathan don’t approve of this woman.

Speaking of older women, there are two senior citizen ladies who have a bit of a brawl. In this scene they are actually rolling around on the floor yelling, punching, pulling hair, etc. I did find this to be a bit overkill and what might have been comedic turned into silly nonsense. This one scene sticks with me so well because it is simply ridiculous and doesn’t really fit the tone of the rest of the book. With that said, it does illustrate to great effect the distaste these two ladies have for each other. Their long-time feud becomes the center of the story.

On the side, the romance between Cameron and Jonathan is on. It feels like it has been going on for some time, so I wonder if this book is interconnected to yet an earlier series. Either way, it’s nice to have a touch of romance in the tale that doesn’t eclipse the murder mystery.

I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours.

The Narration: Mike Alger did a pretty good job with this story. His voices for Jonathan and Cameron were good and he does a really good old lady voice as well. I liked his teen voice for Donny too. I did feel that some of his female voices could use a touch more femininity but I can also hear that he is giving it his best.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fun, with quirky characters and lots of twists.

Cameron Gates is a sharp, spunky homicide detective. She is dating Joshua Thornton, a Philadelphia State Attorney, former naval officer. They are both concerned when Joshua’s cousin fails to show for church because he is always at every church event. They discover that he has died of an accident in his hoarder home. The church is the beneficiary of his Will and a group come to the home to clear out the massive collection. One of the elderly ladies drags Cameron to the basement where she discovers a bomb. The house is evacuated before the explosion so everyone escapes safely. As they begin to clear the ashes they discover a freezer that survived the blast with a grizzly secret inside: a woman “dead on ice”.

The woman turns out to be a pornographic star from the 1980s, who, not so coincidentally, had left the community shortly after high school graduation. Another teen girl had gone missing on prom night. The missing girl’s body had been found seven or so years earlier but the case was still a cold case. Cameron and Joshua are soon on the case to solve both murders. There are plenty of suspects as the friendships and rivalries of high school are revealed.

This was great fun with the quirky suspects, beyond the mob from whom the porn star was running. There is a cougar winery owner who makes passes at Joshua’s sixteen-year-old son, Donnie, two determined church ladies who have carried their teenage rival forward to their present-day bickering, and a heartbroken boyfriend who may have wanted revenge. The clues lead back and forth until the final chapter.

I had listened to two other books that included these characters in a 'sister series', the Thorny Rose Series, and found it fun to listen to the story that sets off the career of this couple as “the Lovers in Crime”. The romance is warm and growing even with the problems of Cameron’s cat, Irving, who looks more like a skunk and views Joshua as a rival. Ms. Carr does a great job with her mystery series. She provides strong characters, quirky secondary characters and lots of twists in the mysteries. I recommend Ms. Carr’s books for good mystery reading and or listening.

Audio Notes: Mike Alger does a good job narrating the character personalities. The narration makes this move at a good clip and captures the humor and emotions of the story. I enjoyed listening.

I received this audiobook as part of book tour. My rating 4.25.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 04-22-17

First of a series

I've enjoyed other Lauren Carr murder mysteries and this one is fine, but it is not up to Lauren Carr's normal standards. Dead on Ice is set in West Virginia and nearby Pennsylvania with the protagonists being PA state police homicide detective Cameron Gates and her lover prosecutor Joshua Thornton. When Thornton's relative and wildly successful elderly lawyer dies of an accident in his own cluttered home investigation finds the body of a female ex-porn star in his freezer. It is a clever plot and is well worth a listen. The narrator is a bit too enthusiastic and upbeat for the material. I will complete the 3 novel series.

6 of 14 people found this review helpful