Blast From the Past:
Gnarly is back in another great novel by author Lauren Carr. This time he’s going to really have to earn his keep by making sure that his favorite person besides Mac Faraday is kept save. But, before we can tell you why his services are needed and definitely necessary he suggested that I fill you in on some important facts. Before coming to live with Mac in Spencer Manor Archie, Mac’ girlfriend, saw something that would change her life, bring her to this small town where Mac lives and into the witness protection program because of something she witnessed 12 years ago. Murder is serious and when Kendra Douglas, AKA Archie Monday, witnessed a murder she stood up and testified against a leading mob boss named Tommy Cruze. But, there’s much more. Changing her identity, her total appearance and being relocated should have kept her safe but then our story would not have as many twists, turns and serious happenings. So, what happens when poor Gnarly is supposed to go for his dog grooming session with the most sought after groomer, Misty, well you guessed it two killers decide to take on Archie never expecting what most would say a truly surprising ending. With her special pink gun with its pearlized handle, Archie takes out the two killers but poor Gnarly never made his appointment with Misty.
With the entire Spencer Police Department on hand, plus a federal Marshall named Randi Finnegan what happens is right out of an episode of CSI or LA LAW. In the program for over 12 years, with David O’Callaghan the police chief and his assistant the only ones knowing why she was there, Archie became the personal assistant to murder/mystery writer Robin Spencer until she died. But, things are about to heat up as Mac learns the truth about her, another attempt on her life is made but you guessed it Gnarly, our favorite and definitely not to be trifled with German Shepherd saves more than must the day.
Randi Finnegan who is in charge of Archie wants to move her to another location but Archie stands strong and refuses. So, the only solution is to move an army of men and of course Randi into Spencer Manor to protect her. But, just who ratted out her whereabouts and what was the final fate of the snitch you guessed it. No one lives to talk about a mobster and lose ends often get tied up but not in a very pleasant way.
Mac owns a five star Inn called the Spencer Inn and with the help of the head of security, Hector and the local police he should have enough manpower to protect Archie. Stir crazy happens to the best of us when we feel cooped up. So, when Archie decides to go out for a walk flanked by Mac, David, several others and of course Gnarly, what happens is well you read it to find out.
Mac leaves for a while and wants to walk Gnarly finding himself at a place called the Dockside Café owned by a woman named Leah who has a daughter named Sari. But not everything is what it seems and this Café turns into a more than must a murder scene when Tommy Cruze our mobster, is murdered by who did it remains to be seen. Yet, everyone thinks and knows his prime target is Archie. With the snitch brutally murdered, the owner of the café is in the protection program too, just who is behind what happened to the killers and what about the paid assassin?
The plot thickens as some might say as Mac is now enlisted to help solve the murder of the owner of a B&B. With the husband claiming Mac as his alibi, Gnarly as a witness just how did this man’s wife wind up falling down a flight of stairs? Added in is the murder or poisoning of Tommy Cruze, the couple who was fighting or planted at the scene and just who the target really was as we learn more about the Café owner, her connection to the mob and the entire town as we begin to wonder if the entire town of Spencer is connected to the mob. The events become intertwined, poor Gnarly misses another appointment, and once again author Lauren Carr keeps everyone in suspense until the final curtain is lifted on the killer.
With Tommy Cruze dead, or poisoned, his lawyer not divulging anything, Mac’s half brother the police chief in an oil and vinegar relationship with Randi, the department keeping her safe just what is next? So, what about Mary Catherine Skeltner? Why would her husband kill the poor woman who was dying of cancer but at that moment in remission. Why does he claim it was an accident but at the same time has a weird grin on his face. Will Mac buy the story or will he prove he’s still a great detective and find the clues to convict this man? What about Tommy Cruze and the hit men killed? Could Mary Catherine’s death and his become intertwined? Are they related?
But, protection can go just so far and when things begin to gel for Mac in one way they come apart for Archie and Randi in another. Learning just who was behind the murder of Tommy Cruze and the real reason he was poisoned you won’t believe. Just who planted the poison creamers and who was the intended target? Why was Mary Catherine killed and how does this tie into another murder? Author Lauren Carr ties the past with the present but not only for Archie for others too.
As Randi and Archie become targets of a killer and Mac and David face off with another killer just who gets away, who finally wins, and who learns the true meaning of family, love, understanding and begins to have faith in himself. Author Lauren Carr once again brings to life Mac Faraday, Archie Monday and the entire cast of characters living in the town of Spencer. So, will Gnarly get her day at the spa? Will the killers be foiled? What happens at the end will definitely surprise the reader and of course endear you to my favorite German shepherd in the world Gnarly. Never allowing anyone to take center stage away from him I promised not to chastise him for his antics, like clogging up the toilet and making Mac drop his coffee. To learn what else he does and to find out just who wins, loses and who was really running the mob you have to read this for yourself.
Once again author Lauren Carr pens a novel that will keep you guessing until the very end and hopefully bring back Mac, Archie, David and maybe even Randi in her next novel. Okay Gnarly: Since you and Sari seem to bond over vanilla ice cream cones: We will give you FIVE VANILLA CONES WRAPPED IN GOLD FOIL.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer