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Carr, Lauren

Carr, Lauren

PERSONAL:

Children: one son.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Harpers Ferry, WV. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Writer.

MEMBER:

Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.

WRITINGS:

A Small Case of Murder (novel), iUniverse (Lincoln, NE), 2004.

A Reunion to Die For: A Joshua Thornton Mystery (novel), Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.

Has also written for television and the stage.

SIDELIGHTS:

Lauren Carr began her career writing mysteries both for television and for the stage, but eventually determined that she was interested in writing novels. Her first book, A Small Case of Murder, was released by vanity press iUniverse. It kicks off a series featuring Joshua Thornton, a widower raising five children alone and living in the small town of Chester, West Virginia. In this debut, a letter from Lulu Jefferson leads Thornton into a case involving a death that had long gone unreported. Lulu's letter implies that the local pastor might in some way be connected to the crime, and after digging more deeply into the holy man's past and his activities, Thornton discovers that he spends his nights in the most unlikely of ways as the town's drug dealer. When the pastor's granddaughter, who had been willing to testify against him, is suddenly murdered in a brutal double homicide, along with Thornton's high school sweetheart Beth Davis, the stakes are raised even higher. Thornton finds himself named the special prosecutor for the case, investigating a web of crimes from fifty years earlier.

Carr returns to Joshua Thornton in her second mystery, A Reunion to Die For: A Joshua Thornton Mystery. The class of 1985, including Thornton, is getting ready for their twentieth reunion. During the fall of the class's senior year, cheerleader Tricia Wheeler was shot and killed, the tragedy haunting her classmates ever since. Now, on the eve of the reunion, prominent members of the class of 1985 are suddenly turning up dead. As county prosecutor as well as a potential target himself, Thornton must get to the bottom of the mystery. Pressures on him increase when a new hire at the sheriff's department decides that Thornton is a likely suspect, rather than a potential victim. Beth Cummings, writing for Armchair Interviews, remarked that "Carr takes us on an enjoyable journey into the working and private life of Joshua Thornton." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews felt that Thornton deserves a better narrative arc, stating: "Josh is a sympathetic fellow, but Carr's overlong sophomore effort … doesn't do him justice." Midwest Book Review contributor Victoria Kennedy, however, praised the book: "The story drew me in with its sense of warmth, humor and complexity." Anne K. Edwards concluded in the New Mystery Reader that "the realistic characters draw the reader into their lives and you'll want to warn them of danger that lurks in the dark."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2007, review of A Reunion to Die For: A Joshua Thornton Mystery.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://reviews.armchairinterviews.com/ (January 17, 2008), Beth Cummings, review of A Reunion to Die For.

Authors Den,http://www.authorsden.com/ (January 17, 2008), "Lauren Carr Fell in Love with Murder When Her Mother Read Perry Mason to Her at Bedtime."

Lauren Carr Home Page,http://www.laurencarr.com (January 17, 2008).

Midwest Book Review,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (January 17, 2008), Victoria Kennedy, review of A Reunion to Die For.

New Mystery Reader,http://www.newmysteryreader.com/ (January 17, 2008), Anne K. Edwards, review of A Reunion to Die For.

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