Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Murders At Astaire Castle--Book Review--Giveaway-Author Interview

                                                  There's a giveaway scroll to bottom!
A bit of a switch up...Starting with What I Thought...
They just keep getting better!  
Which is kind of a strange statement since this is book 5 in the series.  
I have really enjoyed meeting Lauren Carr and Mac Faraday and of course Gnarly.  
The first introduction I had to read this series was with the most recent title Candidate For Murder #12.  It was 5 stars!  
The Murders At Astaire Castle is just as good as all the others that I've read.  In some ways I kind of liked it better.  But maybe that is because I've really come to enjoy these characters.  
Lauren Carr has a way of weaving a story and the characters together that keeps the reader interested and wanting to be a part of the story.  
Each book does have a lot of characters.  But it is very easy to keep track.  
Lauren does have a 'caution' at the beginning of this book letting 
the reader know ..."There is some supernatural elements, I would not classify it as paranormal."  

The story takes place around Halloween.  This is a murder 
mystery and there is quite a long list of people that have lost their lives at The Castle.  The story takes place over a few years. 
And gives the reader a 'back story' into David's (Mac's brother) history. 
As is the normal for this series although its a murder mystery it is not graphic.  There are twists and turns and I was kept on the edge of my seat. 
Of course Gnarly is a huge part of the story.  Everyone loves 
Gnarly even though he is a bit of a pest sometimes.  He is the 
ever present protector of his people!  

I loved this 4th installment in the series!  Another 5 stars!

And now a sneak peek . . . 

A little more of what it's about...
Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

Spencer's police chief, David O'Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer's mountaintop - even though he owns the property. It doesn't take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago - and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David's warning, Mac can't resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn't seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet - including a wolf man. No, we're not talking about Gnarly.

Buy the Book:   Amazon  ~  Audible

Author's Bio:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

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: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

The really cool giveaway is below

I got a chance to  interview Lauren . . . 
Thank you so much for allowing the opportunity for us to chat!
I have really enjoyed the Gnarly series!   And I have a million questions!

Let’s get to it. You’ve probably been asked a million times but here…

How did you come up with the idea of Gnarly/Mac and their antics?

The creation of Mac and Gnarly was actually a two-part process.
I wanted to create a series detective who was respectable, a man of honor, but who was also someone who you would want to be friends with—the guy next door—with something extra. That was the start of it.
I had already written my first two books in the Joshua Thornton Mysteries and had an idea for my third book, but that mystery called for a detective, not a lawyer, like Joshua is in my first series.
About the same time, a friend of mine told me about an event that happened in her life. In high school, she had a baby who was put up for adoption. Thirty years later, she gets a phone call from this now grown-up child, who went in search of her birth mother and found her. They have a good relationship now.
The mystery writer in me thought, “What if she, or in the case of my detective, a first-rate detective, finds out that his mother is a murder mystery writer—not just a murder mystery writer, but a legendary murder mystery writer?”
At the same time, another friend told me a story about a man whose wife left him for another man, traded up, so to speak, after maxing out all of his credit cards—leaving him head over heels in debt.
The wheels in my head started turning and it all came together.
Mac Faraday could be your next-door neighbor, who happens to be an exceptional detective. Raised in a middle-class family, Mac Faraday was a hard-working, and sometimes unappreciated, homicide detective. He had devoted his life to his job and family only to have it all taken away through no fault of his own.
A twist of fate gives him the last laugh. On the same day that his divorce becomes final, after his wife had left him and took everything except their bills, he inherits $270 million dollars from his birth mother—Robin Spencer, the American version of Agatha Christie.
Talk about poetic justice! Suddenly, he’s thrust into high society and unbelievable wealth.
However, Mac is strong enough to hold onto his values and not be swayed by all the extravagance surrounding him. If anything, he is confused and amused by the decadence of his neighbor’s lives.

Believe it or not, Gnarly, Mac’s German shepherd was not in the first or even second drafts of It’s Murder, My Son, the first Mac Faraday Mystery.

Gnarly was inspired by my Australian shepherd Ziggy. It was after the first draft of It’s Murder, My Son was written that my then seven year old son went to a football game. During half-time, a woman approached him. She had a puppy in her arms and asked if he would like to hold her puppy. We thought, “What harm can come from holding a puppy?” As soon as he was in Tristan’s arms, she said, “You can keep him. He’s free.” Then she was gone.

Now, I have had dogs my whole life, but Ziggy was different. This puppy would find ways to get into trouble. If you used one means to train him, it would not work a second time because he would figure it out. By the time he was four months old, I had a doggie therapist look at him. She said that he was so exceptionally intelligent that he was very easily bored. So, he would purposely get into trouble out of boredom.

Gnarly was born! In the early drafts, Mac does have a German shepherd, but he has no role except to be there. When I created Gnarly, I actually said I was creating the Anti-Lassie. He’s an anti-hero. If Mac falls into a well, Gnarly will get help, but you may discover afterwards that he pushed Mac in there.

Gnarly also serves another role in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. He is he character with the power to bring Mac down to earth just when he is in danger of getting a little too full of himself. For example, sure, Mac is a multi-millionaire who lives on The Point. But that means nothing to Gnarly. When it’s six o’clock in the morning, it is time for Mac to get out of bed and let him out to secure the perimeter.

 I’ve noticed in most of the books I’ve read you really include a lot of characters.  And I love the detail in the beginning listing the cast and a little about them.  Is this for the reader or do you have trouble keeping up with them sometimes?

The Cast of Characters is strictly for the readers. I write complex mysteries. I love to have my mind challenged and so do my readers. I hate it when I read a mystery and know who the killer is by page forty. I also hate to be able to flip a coin and guess the killer because there are only two suspects. So, a complex mystery must have a few suspects.

This was so cool getting a chance to ask a few questions.  But I know your readers are looking for that giveaway!  Thanks Lauren for chatting!  And now onto the giveaway!

Enter the giveaway here! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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