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Real Murder

A Lovers in Crime Mystery, Book 2
Narrated by: Mike Alger
Series: Lovers in Crime Mysteries, Book 2
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Homicide Detective Cameron Gates befriends Dolly, the little old lady who lives across the street, she is warned not to get lured into helping the elderly woman by investigating the unsolved murder of one of her girls. "She's senile," Cameron is warned. "It's not a real murder."

Such is not the case. After Dolly is brutally murdered, Cameron discovers that the sweet blue-haired lady's "girl" was a call girl who had been killed in a mysterious double homicide.

Meanwhile, Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton is looking for answers to the murder of a childhood friend, a sheriff deputy whose cruiser is found at the bottom of a lake. The deputy had disappeared almost 20 years ago while privately investigating the murder of a local prostitute.

It doesn't take long for the Lovers in Crime to put their cases together to reveal a long-kept secret that some believe is worth killing to keep undercover.

©2014 Terri Lynn Zaleski (P)2017 Terri Lynn Zaleski

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

Riveting and fun

Ah, what harm could there be in listening to an old lady who keeps looking for someone to find out who killed her girl? Cameron is about to realize that there’s a whole lot behind Dolly’s querulous requests, especially after the woman is found murdered. Meanwhile, Josh is off on his own pursuit of truth after a friend from his childhood, a deputy who disappeared years ago shortly after talking to Josh, is found in his cruiser in a lake.

In a mystery that is chock full of connected threads, ominous notes from the past, evidence leading in many directions and a crazy quilt of possibilities, Cameron and Josh—and the reader—are led on a wild chase for the truths of the past and today. Every single time I thought “Aha!”, I was proven wrong and that, of course, propelled me down a mindbending path in search of answers, right along with our sleuthing duo.

This time around, we get a good look at relationships, not only between Joshua and Cam (and the fabulous Irving who is anything but a humdrum kitty) but also in other families. An interesting thread has to do with the tension between Josh’s daughter and Cameron, offset by the cheerful acceptance of a stepmother by Josh’s teenaged son, Donnie. This attention to family dynamics really enhanced the investigations and made me even more invested in the outcome.

Many of the players in this book were vividly brought to life by the narration by Mike Alger and I have to say his talents really shine here, particularly with regards to his evocation of tones and emotions. Anyone looking for their new favorite voiceover performer will be happily surprised by Mr. Alger.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

excellent and complicated collection of mysteries

Another excellent and complicated collection of mysteries (and murder) from author Lauren Carr.
You can read (or listen to) this as a stand alone, but this is a cast and world you will find yourself being pulled into and want to visit again and again.
Josh and Cameron are now married but still in the honeymoon phase, with the required adjustments. Cam also has adjustments to make after being injured and required to take "time off."
Cameron has to meet and get to know Josh's neighbors, including an elderly woman who knew Joshua since he was very young. She has her own secrets from her younger days. When she tries to tell people they wave her off as going senile in her old age.
Another mystery from years past (nearly twenty) and also hitting close to home, involve a deputy who has been missing, and Josh feels guilty. Sometimes we have to accept our inability to make different choices. When this decades later mystery as a major break, that also hits too close to home.
It was fun to get to know Josh's kids at a very young age. Also adding entertainment and humor to this book are the furry family members.

With many twists and seemingly unrelated turns and events, this book will take some focus if you want to catch all the clues liberally sprinkled across the pages. It is worth a second look once you find out how it ends.

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

Great Listen

Real Murder (A Lovers in Crime Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr was just as great of a read as Dead on Ice! The series continues to follow Homicide Detective Cameron Gates and Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton. I felt like I connected with Cameron more in this book as I felt like she had more passion behind her desire to solve the case with how the old lady she formed a friendship with ended up dead and "her girl" ended up being a real person that was murdered. The story was riveting and the author did a great job of keeping the story to a fast pace without causing me to miss out on any details!

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    5 out of 5 stars

Irving the skunk cat is my hero

Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

I’ve read a lot of Lauren Carr books, but this one was one of my favorites. I love the humor and trust between the couples and family members. Cameron is an awesome female character. She stands well on her own but I also like that her man, the sexy grey fox Joshua Thornton, is willing to pamper her a bit as she recovers from a concussion. Cookies always help.

Murders occurring over the span of three generations provide the background for this story. I really loved the old, fancy whore house aspect. The main characters, Cameron and Joshua, are great about sticking to the facts and not coloring the old murders with their ideas about prostitution. The prostitutes were treated like real people in this story, even if they had minor roles. And Dolly made me laugh out loud more than once. So funny!

I know that I mentioned in the past that I thought it was silly that Cameron’s cat got to ride around with her at work (in her cop car), but I really like this cat. He’s colored like a skunk and a large Maine Coon cat on top of that, so plenty of people are a little afraid of him when they first see him. I would love to spend an adventure traipsing around with Irving.

Joshua and Cameron have more than murder on their minds. They were recently married (second marriage for both of them) and Joshua’s adult children had a little problem with them not having a standard wedding. But I loved that Joshua’s adult daughter had a secret of her own when it comes to relationships – ha! Joshua had to grow up a little and realize his kids are adults (and his youngest son is quickly becoming an adult).

The murders were well laid out and then wended together. Since I’m well familiar with Carr’s works, I knew right away that these multiple murders would come together into one large mystery but I don’t want to spoil things for others so I won’t give details. The one that surprised me was the young man in water with his car. On the surface, it had some similarities to the missing officer, but the truth behind it were surprising.

The action is well spaced out with plenty of humor and character growth. I was never bored and I didn’t want to put it down even though I really needed sleep. 5/5 stars.

The Narration: Mike Alger gave a really good performance on this book. Sometimes I find his female voices lacking or a little cartoony, but he really provided a quality narration for this book. I love the way Joshua talks to Irving (the cat who is a little territorial about his woman, Cameron). And I love how Joshua’s son sounds a little like him but also manages to consistently sound younger. Alger’s voice for old Dolly was great, especially when she was telling some little naughty joke. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

murder mystery perfection

My Thoughts…

So, I’ve been lucky enough to get the chance to review this entire series even though it began years ago. It’s particularly exciting because I don’t have to wait years to read each sequel. It’s a lot like Netflix through my audiobooks, I get to binge listen. Listening in this way makes remember the details from book to book much easier.

This installment was very interesting in its construction. There are multiple murders inside this storyline spanning decades, showing the cultural differences years can make in solving a crime. When a prostitute and her client are murdered in a brothel, the police barely attempt to solve the crime because no one interested in justice for these victims. In the present day, however, the victims jobs and recreations are of less concern than a killer running free.

The way in which these murders are woven into the lives of our lead characters is intricate and well thought out. Bringing in some of the drama from the previous novel, Joshua and Cameron continue their teamwork to solve a very personal crime to Josh. Luckily, there skill and relationship seem up to the challenge.

I love the personal touches Lauren Carr always puts into her work. The bright and colorful animal characters bring heart into any situation. She loves to use food to anchor time and events, which is exactly what most people do. We gather around food and use it to comfort and support each other. In this particular series, an ice cream sundae is the star, and each time it is talked about, I’m jealous that I can’t get one in real life.

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 Real Murder in exchange for an honest review.

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

Real Murder

Real Murder is the exciting second installment from Lauren Carr’s series, Lovers in Crime. Readers catch back up with the Homicide Detective, Cameron Gates, and Prosecuting Attorney, Joshua Thornton. Cameron helps her new elderly friend and neighbor, Dolly, by investigating a long ago murder. Dolly, too, then becomes a murder victim herself. While, Joshua, is looking into the murder of an old friend, who was killed investigating another murder. Will Cameron and Joshua be able to solve the murders before it is too late and another suspicious death occurs?
I have enjoyed Lauren Carr’s mysteries and Real Murder does not disappoint. I believe this one has more twists and turns that often kept me guessing what could possibly happen next. I had the pleasure of listening to the audible version of this story and Mike Alger does a fabulous performance bringing the characters to life. He is very talented. I could not help to giggle at some of the scenes while listening to his narration. I love the dynamic duo of Cameron and Joshua. They are so fun together.

I am giving Real Murder a well deserved five plus stars. I would give it one hundred stars if I could. I can not wait to find out what will happen next in the third book from the Lovers in Crime series, Killer in the Band. I highly recommend this one for readers who enjoy a fun, clean, quick, and suspense filled mystery. I do not think they will be disappointed. I loved it!

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

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    5 out of 5 stars

Hold on tight! This is one crazy road trip!

As is always the case with Lauren Carr’s mysteries, readers need to hold on tight and pay attention because the twists and turns and multiple plots in Real Murder add-up to one crazy road trip. Real Murder is the second book in the Lovers in Crime series, but it stands alone just fine and the author does a good job of getting readers up to speed. (Though now I am interested in reading book one, Dead on Ice, when “the lovers” aren’t yet married.)

I jumped into Real Murder without actually reading the book’s description. Having read (with my ears) several other books by Lauren Carr, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. The downside of doing this is that one of my very favorite characters in the book got murdered – not a spoiler since it’s revealed in the book’s description, but the very short time Dolly was in the story, she was brilliant. This just goes to show the level of excellence of the author’s characterization talent. (Side note: I love that Cameron is so real and shows readers that even the most kick-butt women who seem to have their acts together still have self-doubts about their aging bodies and their attractiveness. Even better? She knows the fault in her thinking, has an eff-it attitude, and drowns her sorrow in fudge sundaes. REAL.)

Real Murder is one convoluted story with an incredibly large cast of characters (and of course, a few scene-stealing pets), multiple layers, and a lot of murders that span decades. (I believe the print version may have a list of characters to help keep them straight.) As you read/listen, you think surely there must be a connection between all these people and the new and cold cases; however, Carr misleads and redirects readers from every fully figuring out the answers. Maybe you figure out the killer, but can you figure out the motive? Or maybe you figure out the motive, but can you figure out who had it? Maybe you don’t have a clue about any of it, but the bottom line is that you will be compelled to continue until it’s all spelled-out in a fabulous and fully satisfying conclusion.

ABOUT THE NARRATION: Mike Alger has been the narrator for all of Carr’s books that I’ve listened to, and he does a great job in Real Murder. As is the norm for Alger’s narrations (and most others), I listened at 1.25x. Technically, there weren’t any issues and Alger’s pacing was even. Male characters are more natural sounding than the voices of the females, and Alger nails the voicing of the slimy, shady men so that readers’ ears will perk up and the distrust radar will turn on. The only thing that seemed off was Alger’s pronunciation of “madame.” When in reference to a woman who runs a brothel, I hadn’t heard this pronunciation before, so it caught me off guard every time.

Carr’s mysteries are always engaging and Real Murder is a real escape and enjoyment. I highly recommend this book to readers who love cozy mysteries with quirky but realistic characters that you won't want to let go.

Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for providing me an audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

  • Overall
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  • Lindsay
  • Gastonville, Pa or Cape Coral, FL
  • 08-21-19

It a TearJerker

There a murder or murders that no one want to unsolved. It seem that their a killer that has yet to be answered. It all starts with the discovery of the missing sheriff deputy Mike Gardner and his cruiser in the lake.

There are more mysteries to solve and it all get started once Joshua and Cameron some what gets involved. Joshua on the case with his case and Cameron deals with a case that involes a sweet old lady that is her neighbor and named Dolly. Cameron wants to find closer or answers for a mother that lost her son.

Who killed Ava Tucker and her young man? Are they all connected or not? Why was Mike looking into a local hooker murder and is it a family secret that got him killed? Hunter seem like he want to find his fathers killer. You will be surprised at how it ends.

Laura does a remarkable job of bring her characters to life. You feel the their love for each other. Tracey seem to have found her love in Hunter Gardner. Will they marry and have a happy life together. We see how Cameron and Joshua deals with their marriage issues and their love for each other as well. They seem to work well together.

If you are a mystery fan or murder fan. Then you are missing out on these author books. Lauren Carr books are must read books. She will have you leave satisfied but hungry for more. This book was no different. I love how they are all intertwined.

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

Awesome Book!

I love how Cameron and Joshua interact in this book. This book has humor, great characters, mystery, multiple crimes, and unexpected twists. I really enjoyed the character of Dolly in this book too! I find that Lauren Carr writes awesome police procedurals, if all of the crime shows are anything to go by. I love the banter in the books, the thought process for solving the case and tying details together. Mike Alger did a great performance too. He adds to the enjoyment.

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

Great Book!

I really liked this story. I am starting to get hooked on Lauren Carrs stories.