Murder by Perfection

A Thorny Rose Mystery, Book 3
Narrated by: Mike Alger
Series: Thorny Rose Mysteries, Book 3
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Perfection can be a fatal endeavor.

Frustrated with their busy schedules, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday attempt to find togetherness by scheduling a weekly date night. The last thing Jessica Faraday expected for her date night was to take a couple’s gourmet cooking course at the Stepford Kitchen Studio, owned by Chef Natalie Stepford--the model of perfection in looks, home, and business.

When Natalie ends up dead and Murphy goes missing, the Thorny Rose detectives must peel back the layers of Natalie Stepford’s life to discover that the pursuit of perfection can be deadly.  

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

What listeners say about Murder by Perfection

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Story, Awesome Narration!

I read the book before I listened to it, and both are excellent, but I loved the audio more. Mike Alger brings to life the various characters, and conveys the emotions so well. I loved the twists in this book, and never saw some of them coming! Lauren Carr definitely weaves an awesome mystery. I like how the path is not obvious, nor are all characters what they seem. The disappearance of Murphy was very unexpected and pivotal. Jessica did an amazing job of holding it together. I love how the author is able to add some great humor into the book as well. I think this is my favorite of the Thorny Rose Mystery books to date. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. This book is a standalone listen and a continuation of the series.

2 people found this helpful

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

Murder has many faces

Murder by Perfection
Thorny Rose Mystery #3
By Lauren Carr
Read by Mike Alger

For Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday marriage is not a easy with their schedules conflicting. But they are determined to take time out for them - but when Murphy is given an assignment on "date night" Jessica is less than thrilled. Who wants to take part in a couple's cooking class instead of having a romantic date at home? But a murder investigation is riding on what Murphy can uncover.

But Murphy goes missing and the gourmet cooking instructor is brutally murdered. With time ticking down Murphy's father Joshua and his twin brother JJ soon join Jessica and Tristan as they comb through clues. Is Murphy's disappearance related to the murder he was investigating? And even more troubling who could take down a Phantom?

This is one who-dun-it that will leave you wondering just who did what to whom. This is the first that I've read anything in which JJ was more than a mention and some of the scenes with him are quite entertaining. And one just can't help but be amused whenever Nigel is in a scene - the Thornton/Faraday "butler".

This is not a cozy mystery or a gentle read and is most definitely in the PG category for violence and suggestive scenes. But if your taste in books runs towards mystery, suspense, and murder you will devour this book! There are suspects aplenty and a few characters that one just can't help disliking. The narration is well presented by Mike Alger. There is no drag and it progresses at a good pace for the 8-1/2 hour reading, good for a long commute or just eye-resting listening enjoyment.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

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

Another Terrific Entry!

4.5 stars

Murphy and Jessica lead hectic lives but he’s more than willing when an old Navy friend asks to meet him, hinting that he wants to talk about something shady. Just as Murphy is arriving, he hears a gunshot and finds Commander Ross Caldwell dead in his car. NCIS is quick to respond and Murphy, even though he’s a witness, is soon deep into the investigation but no one can foresee what they will begin to unearth, beginning with the disappearance of the HHS representative Ross was planning to see.

Various bits of information lead them in several directions including to what may be criminal activities in a private clinic but it’s the kidnapping of Murphy that brings the extended Faraday-Thornton family into the mix and Jessica’s brother, Tristan, along with JJ, Murphy’s twin brother, become particularly important to the entire investigation. Jessica carries out her part, somewhat haphazardly, in the ransom negotiations but it’s the brothers who play critical roles. Before all is said and done, a tangle of leads unravel more than one sinister plot with plenty of paths for the investigators—and readers—to follow.

As can be expected by anyone familiar with Lauren Carr’s work, the suspense and tension are lightened by side moments with pets like Newman, a Basset hound mix who brings new meaning to the sobriquet “couch potato” and who has learned how to operate the remote to watch his favorite tv shows. Adding to the fun is Nigel, an AI created by the techno-geek Tristan; Nigel runs the Faraday-Thornton mansion and is a whiz with research. Nigel has become my latest fantasy, not to mention the mansion and all the nifty toys the very wealthy couple enjoy. There’s also a hilarious scene involving JJ and some phone calls that had me chortling out loud 🤣

Having come to love Mike Alger’s narration in other books by Ms. Carr, I was very glad to hear him again and, while I wasn’t so thrilled with a couple of enhancements, for lack of a better word, they didn’t detract in any way from my enjoyment of the audio version of this book.

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

Love it

Murder by Perfection was another great addition to the Thorny Rose Mysteries series. I love how the books are well balanced to not be too dark or too light and how the author adds humor and adorable animals. This particular audio book was not only well written, but very well narrated as the narration helped me to feel like I was truly watching the mystery unfold. I enjoyed the kidnapping angle as it offered a different plot element that kept be on the edge of my seat with suspense for Murphy and Jessica. Overall, a great audio book!

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

This book contains several mysterious/ suspenseful situations in one exciting story!

Jessica’s and Murphy’s marital bliss is challenged with their separate life styles. After one heated argument, Murphy gets away from Jessica and the house on his motorcycle to “ follow a lead”. When Tristen goes with Jessica looking for Murphy a few hours later, what they discover is alarming.., Murphy’s father, Joshua is called

Awoke from sleep with a n all too real dream, Murphy’s identical twin brother does his farm chores, arranges for Poppy to take over until he returns. He then waits for his father to come. He knows Murphy is in trouble.

The Thornton’s, Jessica and Tristen along with the Phantoms all work together in solving the chain of mysteries to discover what happened to Murphy.

This gripping, fast paced novel contains the usual intrigue, humor, romance and adventure, which this author instills into her stories, including a deep intensity .

Narrator, Mike Alger, does an impressive job in his delivery of “ voices” and emphasis in key phrases and in stirring up one’s emotions in the various events.

Reader/Listener beware, contains some crude language and sexual references. Also, mentions graphically violent situations.

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

Fun even if a little cliched

Note: While this is Book 3 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

I’ve been a fan of Lauren Carr’s works for several years now. Sinking into this book was like joining an old friend for a lengthy cup of tea. I enjoy the writing style and characters equally. There’s also a twist or three and there’s usually more than one mystery to solve.

Jessica and Murphy are trying to balance her schooling and his career with their personal lives. And that’s how they get pulled into a minor investigation that involves a couples’s cooking class. Natalie Stepford is a well known cook and quite the looker too.

Of course, we get a body or two and the investigations into each are off and running. Then Murphy turns up missing. So the timeline jumps around a little in regards to Murphy and that through me a bit more than once. Still, I loved it that Murphy, this very capable man with lots of combat training and other special skills gained from his time in the super secret Phantoms, is the one that goes missing and it’s up to his wife and family to save him.

Newman was a source of amusement, a mix dog of some sort that rules over the TV, changing the station if the show doesn’t suit him. I also found the electronic butler Nigel fun, as people are sometimes started by his disembodied voice.

This tale had a few more cliches than normal for Carr’s works. On one hand, that made it easy to follow along and just enjoy the characters. On the other hand, it did make some things predictable. Despite this, I had a lot of fun with the story.

Murphy’s twin brother gets called in to help lay down a ruse that will bring the culprits to light even as other members of the family continue to pursue their investigations. I didn’t really like that Jessica had to use her feminine wiles, playing a woman in emotional distress, as her part of the ruse. First, she hasn’t acted like that at all, and secondly, she has plenty more to offer as a character.

The action is well balanced with humor and I also liked the flirtations between Murphy and Jessica as they do their best to fit in some sexytimes with their busy schedules. The end leaves us on a very satisfying note. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Mike Alger has narrated several of Carr’s books and listening to his narrations is like listening to an old friend at this point. I love his voices for the men. He manages to make all the related men sound like relatives while also giving them their own unique voices. He makes a perfect Murphy. His female voices are usually feminine but there’s less range there and sometimes more then one woman will sound like the other. His pacing is perfect and there’s no issues with the recording. 4.5/5 stars.

#FeelGood

#tagsgiving and #sweepstakes

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

Love The Thorny Rose Series!

Escape into this terrific mystery

Terrific, complicated story with favorite characters included make for a wonderful read/listen once again. Jessica and Murphy are young newlyweds facing changes that are increasing tension between the two.

So when Murphy disappears the fear for his safety is strong and multilayered. Especially since he had discovered the body of his friend before. To find Murphy, they must find the murderer, but then another body is found.

As we’ve come to expect from Lauren Carr’s excellent novels, the killings increase, along with the suspects. You’ll find many twists in this one, some misleading us (along with the investigators). Who and why will be revealed clue by clue.

First, they must find Murphy.

I received a copy of the audio version of this book as part of the virtual tour hosted by iRead Book Tours. You can read my full review and learn more about the tour at Mystery Suspense Reviews.

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

Another win for Lauren Carr

Another Win for Lauren Carr. Murder by Perfection was a great read. In is book 3 in the Thorny Rose Mystery Series. Which is a spin off of her Mac Faraday series. Mac's daughter Jessica and her husband Murphy Thornton are the stars of this series. I have to admit Lauren Carr always fills her books with so much going on you never have a chance to get bored and every book is different and never gets stale. I also love how her books are clean reads. I mean this book has murder, kidnapping, a sex kitten, but it is not graphic or filled with sexual content or even strong language.



In the book Murphy and Jessica feel like they are loosing touch with each other and decide on a weekly date night to get closer together. This is a great idea. My husband and I do this every Thursday night and have for 12 years now.



There are a couple of mysteries in this book. One morning Murphy is out running and hears a gun shot. He finds Ross Caldwell slumped in his car. Murphy of course call the police and is immediately stuck in the investigation to find out who killed him.



Anther mystery in the book is Natalie Stepford. She runs a couples gourmet cooking class. When she ends up dead, they all must figure out why. While investigation Murphy ends up missing. In order to find Murphy they must find out all of Natalie's dirty little secrets.



If you like, multifaceted mysteries and Lauren Carr this is a must read. I actually listened to the audiobook. Mike Alger does an awesome job with the narration as he has done with so many of Lauren's other books I have listened to. Between Lauren's writing skills and Mike's narration there is never a blah moment in the book.

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

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

Great story and narrator

I have listened to a bunch of audio books from this author. This author has a really good narrator who does great audio work. Therefore, I really like "listening" to books from this author versus "reading" them myself. This is my favorite series from Lauren Carr. It features couple Murphy and Jessica. They keep things entertaining but at the same time, they are very relatable. Murphy may be high ranking in the NCIS but when it comes to Jessica; he will fight "rush hour" traffic to get pizza for dinner.

Murphy runs into Commander Ross Caldwell. He has not seen him in a while. Caldwell says that he has some very important information. Murphy stumbles upon Caldwell's dead body the next day. He was murdered. What is Natalie Stepford's connection to Caldwell? Before Murphy and Jessica can figure it out; Natalie is murdered. Things are really heating up in the kitchen.

I enjoyed this book. It had a really good storyline with some twists. There were many characters introduced in the story but I had no troubles keeping them straight. One person that put a smile on my face is Boris. Boris is Murphy's boss. He had a tough exterior but he would say things out of the blue at times that had me smiling and laughing a few times. Murphy and Jessica #togetherforever.

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

Great murder/mystery/thriller!

Murder by Perfection was a great thriller with sex, drugs, black market organ transplants, secret lives, kidnapping, crazy guys, an elite US Navy team, and family pulling together to solve the murder. Toss all that together with a plot that twists and turns and you have a great mystery/thriller!