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A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose…
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A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery Book 2) (edition 2017)

by Lauren Carr (Author)

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431,664,912 (4.17)None
Member:sherry69
Title:A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery Book 2)
Authors:Lauren Carr (Author)
Info:Acorn Book Services (2017), 374 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:lauren carr, cozy mystery, critters, suspense, thriller, read in 2017, 4 star review

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A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery Book 2) by Lauren Carr

Recently added byDabOfDarkness, sherry69, LAWonder10

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

Jessica Faraday is still having nightmares and unfortunately she’s acting out in her sleep and striking her new husband, Murphy Thornton. She needs answers as to why she does this. When their journalist friend Dallas Walker calls with some interesting news about the Pine Bridge Massacre, which occurred over a decade ago, Jessica starts to wonder if maybe she’s suppressed a memory from that night when her family was visiting the area. Now Murphy and Jessica return to Jessica’s family winery to hunt for clues. What they find stirs up Jessica’s memories.

I liked this book more than I did Book 1, Kill and Run. There were fewer family members to get mixed up and not much jurisdictional squabbling to keep straight. I was able to focus on getting to know Murphy and Jessica. In Book 1, Murphy had a definite role while Jessica was a minor character. Here, we get to meet her family and learn some history of the area as well. While I did feel that Jessica spent an inordinate amount of time frozen, crying, or freaking out, she eventually is able to struggle free of that and actually do something. She ends on a strong, healthy note by the end of this book.

The mystery is layered, which I loved. There are layers of motive from back then when a family was murdered. Then a few more layers have been added on over the years as blackmail and cover-ups come into play. I also liked this little side mystery involving some minor characters in the story.

Now about Murphy. He’s a Phantom, which is some sort of military special ops super secret silliness. This was brought up in Book 1 but didn’t really factor in, so I could ignore it. Now it gets more play here and I’m on the fence about it. He’s a trained, killing weapon, so you better not startle him… or drop hot tea on his pants. That seemed a little overdone to me. On the other hand, he’s a really great guy to have around in a pinch. I did like the straw trick.

Jessica’s recovered memories are sprinkled throughout the tale and sometimes they act as a deus ex machina to move the plot along. Not all the time, since the duo (and eventually Dallas as well) continue to find other clues. Jessica’s recovered memories were sometimes used well and sometimes I felt they were a little too convenient for the plot. Still, I was kept entertained by the uncovering of not only the previous crime but also of subsequent crimes.

What I really liked about this book is that it brought up some things about spousal abuse, like assumptions other people make. Jessica is having these horrible nightmares and she unknowingly acts out in her sleep, injuring Murphy more than once. In turn, he occasionally acts back without wanting to hurt her but just to stop her from seriously damaging him. In short, they both have marks but people only react to Jessica’s injuries (which I think is very realistic) without asking for details or checking Murphy for injuries. I liked how the story incorporated this nuance of culture.

I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours.

The Narration: C. J. McAllister did a better job with this book. I was luke warm on his performance for Book 1 but I feel he really improved for this book. He definitely sounded engaged and his female voices were better. Though his voice for Jessica often sounded like he was talking with tight pursed lips, especially during the romantic scenes – and that put an odd image in my head. That could just be me. I liked his big Texan accent for Dallas. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Apr 16, 2017 |
A Fine Year For Murder by Lauren Carr is part of an ongoing mystery series that has many recurring characters, both human and animal, that I have grown to love.

These Thorny Rose mysteries stand alone, but you won’t want to miss any of them.

Jessica kicks, punches and scratches her new husband during her nightmares.

She is haunted…until Dallas Walker, an investigative journalist, helps her discover what has been causing her nightmares and refuses to allow her rest until she has the answers.

Nigel is a virtual butler. I love how Lauren Carr keeps her characters and their lives up to date, allowing them to grow and develop along with the world around them.

Newman is a lazy basset hound that likes to eat in the recliner while binge watching TV. LOL But he is not the only critter that has a special and humorous relationship with his human counterparts.

Mysteries, murder, danger, and memories that threatens their lives keeps the action and suspense at a high level and even when the answers are found, it left me wanting more.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of A Fine Year For Murder by Lauren Carr. ( )
  sherry69 | Mar 16, 2017 |
In Lauren Carr's usual manner, this steadily moving mystery is laced with intimacy of couples in love. Although never explicit, there are tender sexual situations between these couples . It brings together genuine romance as well as horrifying tragedy.
The whole Faraday/Thornton families are inadvertently brought together in this exciting new sequel!
In this sequel, the Thornton's have a new, humorous, member of the family - Nigel, the SMART House robotic monitor. He aids Tristin in helping the Thornton's discover needed information.
Jessica's nightmares, since her recent wedding, are totally out of control, interrupting their marital bliss! Murphy is more frequently finding it can be unsafe sleeping with his wife. A recent occurrence has brought up forgotten memories. Will Jessica remember enough before it is too late?
The story smoothly flows and builds, until the very end, keeping the reader guessing the whole time!
The Book Cover and Title are (as always) a great fit. The scenes a portrayed in a way the reader can almost feel he/she is there.
This deems a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was provided for review. I am under no obligation to post a positive review. This is my honest review. ( )
  LAWonder10 | Mar 9, 2017 |
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