Killer in the Band Strikes the Right Note! Giveaway and Guest Post from Lauren Carr!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this post and giveaway, free of charge,from iRread Book tours, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own. 

Let's get Wednesday off to a Rockin' Start, with a NEW book from one of our fav authors!

killer in the band cover


Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.

The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.


Now how about a Guest Post from Lauren?


Murder in the Family
The Family Element in Murder Mysteries
By Lauren Carr

“I really like the family element.” I consider that to be one of the greatest compliments that I had ever received from a publisher. It was a rejection letter, but hey, I enjoyed the comment.

It proved that there’s an audience out there who, like me, see the value of family. It seems to make your characters whole … even in a murder mystery. For me to not include the concept of family into my murder mysteries would be like my protagonists not having a pet. But that’s another blog post.
Some readers may assume that murder mysteries which revolve around a detective whose got a functional family scream “Cozy!” Thus, writers yearning to be taken more seriously feel the need to either make their protagonist a member of a dysfunctional family or a lone wolf with no one to turn to when the going gets tough.

Being a huge fan of murder mysteries that forces the reader to race to keep up with the clues to find the killer, I’m personally tempted to throw the book across the room when the author takes me down a drama-filled side road where the detective to hashing out decades of pent-up anger over his mother flushing his goldfish down the toilet when he was six-years old. Or sorting out a love-triangle of his own making with his ex-wife in a fight that could make a daytime talk show look like a Hallmark holiday special.

There’s also another reason mystery writers have kept family matters out of their murders. It’s difficult to explain how your protagonist is on a stakeout a two o’clock in the morning when they have to get their three children up for school at six.

Let’s face it. Families do take a lot of time and responsibility. It isn’t enough to say your chief detective is an ace crime fighter and has a wonderful family. You have to make it believable.
You have to show your detective striving to make it work—just like it does in real life.

Back in the late 1990s, when I originally created the character of Joshua Thornton, the male half of the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, he was the widowed father of seven children. Two were quite young. Then, I realized that such young children could be quite restrictive in how active Joshua could be in solving murder cases. So I cut it down to five children, with the youngest being ten years old. That youngest child Donny is now an eighteen-year- old on his way to college in the Lovers in Crime Mystery.

Maybe it’s the rebel in me, but I firmly believe that you can have an intelligent detective, with a loving family, who is able to solve gripping murder cases.

In the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, the Thornton family has proven me to be correct.

When I first introduced Joshua Thornton in A Small Case of Murder, he is still mourning the death of his wife. The wounds of loss still fresh, he moves his five children back to his home to Chester, West Virginia. Soon afterwards, he become the county prosecutor and falls in love again with Pennsylvania State homicide detective Cameron Gates, who he marries.

As with any family, the change in dynamics brings tension.

In Killer in the Band, Joshua’s eldest son, J.J., returns home to shake things up a bit for the Thornton family. A recent law school graduate, he’s expected to carry on the family tradition of law and order. His father has high expectations for his son. But, J.J. has some surprises in store for his father. To Joshua’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm and Orchards, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.
J.J.’s homecoming and the rekindled romance brings long buried familial tensions to the surface—not the least of which being J.J.'s dislike for his stepmother Cameron, a conflict that lingers in the background of Killer in the Band.

It would have been very easy for me, as a writer, to have my protagonists embark on a drama-filled adventure with the mystery falling into the background. But, as a mystery writer, I never let myself forget that I write murder mysteries.

The tension between Cameron and J.J. becomes the big white elephant in their investigation when Suellen Russell asks for Cameron’s help in solving the murder of her rock group’s lead singer. Suddenly, the two are thrown together and forced to work out their differences while investigating the murder.

Do they resolve all of their differences? Well, it would be wrong of me to put spoilers into this guest post. You’re going to have to read Killer in the Band to find out for yourself. But I will leave you with this—

While my characters aren’t all hugs and kisses (living the Brady Bunch happy family life-style) I strive to keep the drama to a minimum. After all, the series is called Lovers in Crime Mysteries for a reason.

Thanks Lauren!

Buy the Book:

lauren carr

About the Author:

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 on her Website, on Twitter  and on  Facebook too!, for more info on her books!


Come back November 14 for my review of this book, and another chance at the great giveaway- which you can enter today, right here!

flashing Win

Win a Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB

(Open internationally) Winner will be person to use #LoversInCrime most often)


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to your wonderful website to discuss my favorite thing: mystery writing. Here's wishing each of your followers luck in the giveaway! See you next time!

  2. Hey, I have been "on" this giveaway ever since it started. I have typed #LoversinCrime so many times that I am absolutely sick of it! :) I mostly have put it out on twitter @BG19561818 and some on facebook, pinterest and instagram. I know everyone who sees that is sick of it too but I want to win!

    1. you are a MODEL of an entrant :)
      good luck- hope you do win with all that effort!


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