After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
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Jessica and Murphy are the major characters in this mystery. Jessica has suppressed memories from when she was 10 that trigger nightmares whenever there is a brutal murder of a young woman. It is serendipitous that Dallas has been asked by a small town sheriff to consider the cold case of a brutally murdered family more than a decade ago in her job as investigative reporter. As Dallas shares this new project, Jessica's nightmares escalate and all three prepare to investigate and make the nightmares cease with the identification of the murder or murderers.
The tale is well-told and there are twists and turns, including the older woman with long white hair who may or may not be a ghost - except Jessica, Murphy, and Dallas don't believe in ghosts. Add to that the assistance of Nigel and Tristan from a distance, computer hacking, southern small town politics, and more than a bit of corruption, and the story moves along a quick pace. I have to say at least one of the outcomes was unexpected. Although Archie convinces Mac Faraday to take a back seat and let Murphy take the lead, this is every bit as good as others in the series. It will be interesting to see all the ways the series progresses with Murphy, Jessica, Dallas, and David (not to mention Gnarly, Spencer/Candi and the other dogs) and the virtual friends Nigel has established.
I should (again) note that I am a fan of this series. Although the series is extensive, A FINE YEAR FOR A MURDER can easily be read as a stand-alone.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook