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Ice

Narrated by: Mike Alger
Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappears, the court of public opinion finds young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted.

With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!

©2018 Terri Lynn Zaleski (P)2018 Terri Lynn Zaleski

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Ice

This mystery turns out to be so much more than advertised. (in a very good way) I love the book club aka the geezer squad! From the moment you meet them I was hoping things turned out the way they do in the end.

Looking into cold cases is their thing but when Chris their newest member is kind of reaccused of a cold case and keeps finding himself in the middle of current murders the squad gets busy. Throw in family, relationships, pets and old friends you know things get interesting fast. And don’t forget the ice storm! Really fun book!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Pam C
  • Wolfforth, TX
  • 05-18-18

Gotta get book 2!!

This is one of the best cold case books I have read in a long time. Lauren Carr has a very good insight on the thoughts and behaviors of people, in general. She even has the animals down pat. I enjoyed the humor in the story, the mystery, the relationships. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Chris and his mother. The writing moves along so well that I just could not put it down.
I listened to the audiobook version of this and Mike Alger is fantastic! His narration style reminded me of Rex Allen, the narrator of some of the old Disney shows. (Yep, I am old. lol) That made me enjoy his narration all the more!
I highly recommend this book and I look forward to the next one in the series!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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NEVER a dull moment

Audio Book Review. Oh my gosh! This book was so much fun, and as I was reading it (with my ears), there were so many people who popped to mind and to whom I will be recommending the book, and each for a different reason. (Christena -- because of Sterling, the fabulous German shepherd; Lynda – who loves a good cozy that has sexy middle-aged romance; Kristi – who loves to see a spunky librarian like herself in the mix; and so many MORE.) I will be book talking ICE: A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery to anyone who will listen and will be grabbing other Lauren Carr books (there are TONS) to add-in to the reading rotation. I’m now a fan!

Where Carr really shines is in writing these amazingly realistic characters who become important to the reader and who truly jump to life from the page. Main character Chris Matheson’s mother, Doris (that spunky librarian), provides some of the best lines in the book, but Sterling the retired police dog is a sneaky little scene stealer. I swear, he should have his own spin-off series! The picture that’s sketched out of Chris and his family and their generations of life in this small West Virginia town feels comfortable and familiar, flaws and all. There’s a tentative and imperfect romance to give readers the flutters, there’s the Geezer Squad “book club” that gives us some laughs (and some lessons), and everything feels good…except for the horribly brutal crimes that seem to plague the town.

And the whodunit elements are PRIME. There is never a dull moment in Ice, and it has layers upon layers of story elements to keep readers engaged. So much is going on with the cold cases, new crimes, and an additional, low-grade little mystery behind Helen, Chris's potential love interest. Readers are led around and misled around with an abundance of suspects all who MUST BE THE PERP. (and yeah, none of them is!) Carr is really a master at deceiving her readers in the most delicious ways.

Audio book narrator Mike Alger earns high marks in all areas for his performance. His pacing is perfect, and he brings the appropriate emotions and attitudes to his voicing of the characters. I listened at 1.25x speed, but that was more because I was impatient to see how the story would end than anything else. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series and sincerely hope that Alger is back to narrate it again.

I highly recommend this book because it has something to appeal to nearly every reader (except aliens…sorry, Belle). Ice is a contemporary balance of mystery, family, romance, aging, and humor elements that will keep readers fully entertained for the duration. Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for providing me an audio book download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another hit from Lauren Carr

I am a huge Lauren Carr fan. I have read and listened to several of her books. I love her writing style. She involves, family, friends, and pets in all of her books. The books re basically clean reads, there are a few colorful words but not enough to put anyone off, and no sex scenes. She even cleans up some very grisly murders, by giving you just enough description to give you the idea but leaves the blood and gore out. Her books are to me re good for all ages above middle grade.

Ice is book 1 in her new New Series featuring Chris Matheson and Cold Case Files. Chris is a retired FBI agent. He and his 3 daughters move back to his hometown and back in with his parents after the death of his wife.

Twenty four years ago when Chris was young, Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappeared. Everyone in town believes the child was his and he had something to do with the disappearance. Now 24 years later there are still some in the town who still believe he had something to do with the it.

After agreeing to go to a book club which he finds out is a bunch of retired Law Enforcement officers that call them selves the Geezer Squad. The Geezers all jump in to help Chris solve the case whether he is guilty or not.

There are several twists and turns with this book just as are will all of Lauren's books. I think I am really going to enjoy this new series. I love Cold Cases.

The book is narrated by Mike Alger. he actually narrates several of Lauren's books. I love the way he drags you into the story and keep my attention. He adds lots of emotion to the character voices as well as the story narration.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book

I do enjoy a good mystery, it just takes the right one to hold me. ICE by Lauren Carr is a page-turning, edge-of-your-seat kind of book. Every detail was pin-pointed. I loved follow Chris though his profession and his lifestyle.

The audio was fantastic. High-quality sound. I didn't hear any breathing against the microphone. The narrator, Mike Alger, was really great. This is the first time I listened to him.

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Great crime fiction and terrific narration

When Chris Matheson’s wife was killed, he was left with three young daughters to raise, a difficult thing to do under any circumstances but much worse when you’re an active FBI agent. Chris retired and moved the family home to Harper’s Ferry, WV, to live with his mom, director of the town library. A few months later, his mother, Doris, decided he needed something to do with his time, to get him out and about, and the perfect thing for him is the mystery book club that meets at the library. Reluctant at first, Chris finally succumbs to the pressure and, once again, his life takes a significant turn.

This is not your normal mystery book club, you see, but a group of retired law enforcement who, on their own, look into cold cases. Known as the Geezer Squad, they’re reluctant, at first, to accept Chris into their ranks because, well, he’s not qualified because he’s not a geezer so he doesn’t have the experience needed to ferret out the truth of long-dormant cases. That irritates Chris, of course, but they work out their differences and set out to solve some cases. One of them is the case of the pregnant Sandy Lipton who went missing years ago and Chris was initially a prime suspect.

Multiple murders, truly appealing characters, cunning investigating, and sly humor, not to mention a bunch of highly entertaining animals (including a retired law enforcement canine), make this a terrific piece of crime fiction. It’s made even better by the narration by Mike Alger who does a wonderful job with various voices and intonations. I actually listened to the second book in the series before this one — https://cncbooksblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/book-review-winter-frost-by-lauren-carr/ — and my high opinion of Mr. Alger has only been solidified. Ice will be on my list of best books read in 2019 😉

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great book/story, not great narrator

My Thoughts...

I am an admitted mystery junkie. I love mysteries, especially crime mysteries. There is something pretty magical about a who-done-it. I love seeing all of the pieces, trying to fit them together, and not knowing if they even can. Then everything clicks, usually with some climatic showdown between the villain and the hero. Even knowing this is coming, I can't help but read faster and faster until that moment comes.

With Ice, Lauren Carr creates a series full of outstanding characters and a compelling plot. She wonderfully weaves multiple threads making it nearly impossible to predict what's coming and who it's coming from. The pace is perfect for this book while still forming characters' stories that the reader can get invested in.

One of my favorite parts of this book, and most books, is the main character. The star of the novel... the dog. I'm not even kidding. Lauren Carr has an amazing ability to write canine characters that steal every scene. There were times, listening to this book, that I was laughing out loud. I can't believe that Sterling isn't given top billing in the blurb, and I'm astonished he isn't even mentioned. If you even like dogs, you will love this book if only for the doggo.

What’s Missing...

This is a new feature for me that I am trying out., so let me know what you think. Essentially, if a book doesn’t reach 5 stars, I like to give a little explanation as to why. In this book, I felt the format held back the rating. Normally, I love a good audiobook. And mostly, the narrator in Ice was good, but when it came to female characters, I struggled. The narrator had a habit of making their sentences sound naive and clueless. I think he was attempting to give their voices a more female cadence, but they ended up sounding almost ridiculous. It was so distracting and honestly brought down the entire experience for me.

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Ice


Ice begins the series, A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery by Lauren Carr. I have read a few of her books previously and enjoyed every one. This one does not disappoint. It tells the story of retired FBI agent Chris Matheson coming back to the town he grew up in. He finds his appearance not very welcoming as the town still blames him for the murder of young, pregnant Sandy Lipton from decades earlier. He joins forces with others to solve this murder so he can clear his name.

Ice is such a fun read. So many characters in this book that I loved dearly, such as his mother, Doris, his girls, Katelyn and Emma, and his love interest, Helen. But none of them can beat his highly intelligent and funny dog, Sterling. I could not help but to laugh out loud at that crazy dog and antics. I think he is the character that makes the whole book. I never knew what he would get into next.
The story line and plot of Ice is full of action and adventure, mystery and suspense, and romance. I did not find the it to be predictable at all. I never knew or could guess who the real killer was until near the end. I was surprised at all how it all ended.

I am giving Ice a well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend this book, as well as, the audio version. I thought the narrator portrayed the characters perfectly. His performance was superb. I am looking forward to reading the next installment from A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery series.

I received the audio version of this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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A wonderful balance of danger and family life

With humor and anxiety inducing thrilling passages, Lauren Carr once again keeps you glued to the pages (or speakers) with this new series about a retired FBI agent raising three daughters.
As if raising girls isn't challenging enough, Chris Matheson has a challenging and active mother plus a lady friend in law enforcement.
When rumors about Chris's past start circulating among his eldest daughter's school, he has no choice but to defend his own name as well as keep his family safe.

A wonderful balance of danger and family life and well written story you can't tear yourself away from. All masterfully narrated by the delightful Mike Alger.

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One of Carr's Best

Retired FBI agent Chris Matheson lives with his mom (Doris) and his daughters (Katelyn and Emma) on a little hobby farm complete with dogs (like Sterling), horses (such as Chewbacca), and a bunny rabbit (Thor). His mom doesn’t think his life is complete, so she introduces him to the local murder mystery book club. However, there’s more going on in this book club, which is full of retired investigators, cops, emergency responders, etc. They (who shall be known as the Geezer Squad) want to delve into a cold case and Chris has one that is near and dear to his heart – Sandy Lipton went missing along with her unborn baby when Chris was in his early 20s. A new entanglement with this old case brings in Helen Clark from the West Virginia state police. She also happens to be Chris’s old flame.

I have listened to many Lauren Carr books and this is one of my favorites. There’s plenty of humor mixed in with the more serious scenes. While there’s a little romance in the tale, it doesn’t distract from the main plot. I especially liked the inclusion of the family pets as they provide much of the comedic relief.

The plot was pretty good on this one, having plenty of twists and turns. I liked all the little surprises as one mystery is solved even as it provides another mystery to tackle. About half way through the tale, it did become a bit obvious who was the father of Sandy’s baby. Other than that, there were plenty of surprises.

Every once in a while, things gets a little too cutsy, like saccharine sweet. But I know Carr’s works often do this just as I know such moments move on quickly. I did think Helen was a little silly for still being a little ticked about how things fell out between her and Chris so many years ago. Sounds like she never made peace with it. Otherwise, Helen was a good character on her own and good fit for Chris’s partner on this mystery.

Doris was a hoot! She and Sterling were my favorite characters. She makes her granddaughters try to guess her talent that won her a state beauty pageant when she was in her teens (which provided the tuition money for college). At the end, we finally get to know what that talent was – a talent she kept in top order and came in handy.

All told, this was a fun murder mystery that kept me engaged the entire time. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Mike Alger makes a great Chris. I have listened to many Alger’s narrations and he continues to refine his performance with each audiobook. each character was distinct and his female voices sounded feminine. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

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  • Simon Gibson
  • 01-14-19

No One Talks About The Geezer Squad.

This really is an excellent crime novel with all the necessary twists and turns to keep the listener guessing. A wonderful, well rounded, ensemble of quirky characters. Chris, a former FBI agent, is introduced into the book club, on returning back to his old town. It turns out to be a group of former law enforcement employees who investigate cold cases of which Chris happens to be a central player of one. Great narration makes this an entertaining listen. I'm eagerly awaiting the next case.

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  • Jan M
  • 05-13-18

Outstanding!!!

I so enjoyed this book by Lauren Carr with its unique character, both human and four legged. Sterling and Thor stole several scenes with their vibrant personalities and antics. I love it when an author is able to include pets into a story in a very realistic and positive manner. The author did an outstanding job weaving mystery, humor, romance into one incredible book. This book is the beginning of a new series and a standalone listen. The characters were developed and thought the story flowed really well. Mike Alger did a great performance with his narration. He was able to give the characters distinguished voices and added the right emotions. The imagery in the book was so well done, as I could envision so many scenes. Without giving away spoilers, I loved how the author wrote the twists in this book and had multiple murders solved, both past and present. With some of the twists, I never saw them coming. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review.

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  • Placid
  • 05-12-18

Outstanding and exciting mystery book

This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

This book was interesting in that the concept of a murder/mystery club was presented with a group of retired people solving cold cases.

It involved solving multiple murders and not just a single case. The story was well written and full of excitement. The book kept you interested throughout and you were never bored or had a desire to not finish the book.

The narration was good and fully understandable and with the number of different characters it was fantastic the way it was performed.

I really enjoyed this book and want to try other books by the same author and narrator.