Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{July 3, 2012}   {Review} Shades of Murder by Lauren Carr

From Goodreads: Question: What do you get the man with everything?

Answer: When that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him cold case to solve.

In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune.  This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it. Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found. Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case. A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer.

The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him. Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way. Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!


This was a rollercoaster of a ride!  I’ve read the other two Mac Faraday murder mysteries, and I’ve got to say, Carr does a phenomenal job writing enticing murder mysteries that keep the reader guessing throughout.  Like her other novels, I wasn’t able to come close to guessing the culprit until it was spelled out for me by Faraday himself.  And what an awesome mystery!  There were so many twists and turns, I had a great time trying to figure it all out. 

Gnarly, Faraday’s cleptomatic German shepherd, and Archie Monday, Faraday’s sarcastic and witty lover, make for great comedy while the mystery surrounding a murdered artist, a lost painting, the body of a Jane Doe, and an eccentric family begins to unfold.  Of course, as you can already tell, I really enjoyed this novel.  Carr has such a way with words, and her ability to spin a story is amazing.  If you’re looking for a great murder mystery, then look no further—Carr’s novels are the way to go.  Four stars.

Acorn Book Services has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read a copy of this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.


et cetera
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