Twelve to Murder: Lauren Carr
Gnarly was nice enough to leave Mac and Archie to their own devices while he and his latest main dog squeeze had some romping and fun time on their own. You would think Mac would take advantage of this great opportunity but not Mac. When the romance sizzled and the conversation got just a little steamy Archie suggested that it was about time to set a date and move things along in another direction. But, whether it is fear, past experience or just not ready, Mac blew it. Archie learned right then and there that something had better give and she needed to make a decision before things really take a downward spiral. Before they could continue their discussion Mac was called away by his stepbrother, the police chief, to assist in a double homicide investigation.
Archie and Janice Stillman were murdered in their home. The killer managed to circumvent the alarm or had key in order to enter without being heard or setting it off. Janice killed first and then Archie the killer’s name if it is the killer was written out in blood. Lenny Frost a has been comedian and a client of Janice, was named as the killer but did he really do it. Entering the crime scene it was evident that Mac was upset and being astute and knowing his brother’s personality David tried questioning him only to have him evade the issue. But, some things cannot be hidden and eventually he came clean. Questions asked, discussions had but nothing is solved as the situation concerning the murders escalades. Derrick Stillman is a person of interest claiming he was on a hot date when his parents were killed. Evidence and alibis do not seem to match what he recounts and the police are holding him for questioning. But, is he really guilty or is he being framed as the FBI joins the investigation claiming the club that Derrick runs is a front for drugs. Someone within the club is profiting from selling drugs and the evidence they have points to Derrick. Derrick however claims that he was with a young lady all night one that for some reason the police and FBI claim does not exist.
Lenny Frost was Janice’s client and has serious issues with drugs and alcohol. Lenny is also delusional and hears voices thinks he sees things and is certain that someone out there is out to get him for the murders. Instead of trying to clear his name he enters a bar and takes 8 people hostage demanding to speak to Mickey Forsythe the only person that can find the real killer. But, Deep Creek Lake is the setting and the murderer Lenny Frost was once a child star and then a teen idol. Thinking that Mac/Mickey will save him from the murder charges taking the hostages and demanding that he find the killer but within twelve hours or at the stroke of midnight, similar to that of Cinderella when the magic created by her fairy godmother disappeared, so will the lives of Mac and anyone left in the bar end. But, not everyone in the bar is really a hostage and someone close to the scene just might be in on the murders and a very clever con artist. As one hostage pretends to have a seizure knowing what is hidden in her bag but not aware that Mac is on to her. Half-brother, Spencer police chief David O’Callaghan and his team hook up Mac with tons of communication devices hoping to hear what is happening in the bar and staying in touch in case he is in danger. With the help of Archie’s investigative talents information comes to light about the one hostage that the EMT’s take to the hospital but somehow escapes.
Twelve to Murder is Lauren Carr at the best as the killers come face to face with the Chief of Police of this small town, the hostages spend time with Lenny boozing it up and not wanting to leave the pub because the football game is on and why miss it. Added in they demand steak dinners from Mac delivered from Spencer Inn and some added romance between the grumpy pub owner Carl, his bar maid Ethel and the end result is hilarious. But, humor aside there is a murderer out there and although you think you know who might be the guilty party think again.
Lenny Frost is crazy and should be in rehab but for some reason even when they take him into custody he just might skate. Derrick Stillman remembers nothing about his night with suspect Sela Wallace just what did she slip him? Is Derrick involved in the drug operation in his club? Who wrote Lenny’s name in blood to point the finger at him? But, things start to take a strange turn as Mac begins to analyze things from where they began calling in a favor from a friend. But, nothing is quite so hilarious as the havoc caused by our favorite German Shepherd who enjoyed his time being held hostage, pigging out on food and drink and the end result was worse than bad hangover or food poisoning. Just what happened to him you will have to read for yourself and who took pity on him you just won’t believe. As the plot continues to thicken and suspects are almost hauled in.
Zachary Harris and Sela Wallace are brother and sister. Harris claimed to have evidence that the Stillman’s were behind Lenny’s kidnapping. Wait until you learn what happens to him. Sela is his sister and although she took down the police chief she was no match for him in the end. But, as the plot unfolds there are many layers that have to be peeled back before the final the real murderer is unveiled. Lenny Frost is smart, a great actor and believes his own stories. Janice Stillman was said to be the catalyst behind his kidnapping but was she? What changed when Derrick Stillman declared that his parents were innocent and his mother wrote the name of the killer in her own blood? Zachary Harris and Sela Wallace: just what was their role in the murders, kidnapping. A video that would reveal it all or so it seems. A killer so clever he had so many fooled. Who was framed and who did the framing? Why did Lenny take those people in the pub hostage? What did he see on the screen when he entered? Who was Kate Coleman and what was her relationship to both Lenny and Derrick? Where did the million dollars in ransom money go for the kidnapping?
Lenny is full of himself and when Mac, David, Bogie and the rest of the team unite just how will they catch a killer or is Lenny the killer? Trust, deceit, lies, betrayals, hate, jealousy and greed are just some of the issues brought to light in this novel. Who would benefit from the death of the Stillman’s? What is the final count on the bodies? Who is guilty and who is just a victim of circumstances? Author Lauren Carr will reveal that to you the reader only if you read Twelve to Murder and complete it before Lenny’s deadline.
But, let’s not forget Mac is in the let’s say doghouse with Archie for skirting the issue when it comes to commitment and Gnarly is in the same doghouse for cheating on Molly. So, who gets the final bow-wow? Who is forgiven? Will the two dozen white roses which means forgive, let Mac back in Archie’s’ good graces? Read the Epilogue to find out what happens and the big reveal!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer