Dead on Ice: A Lovers In Crime Mystery by Lauren Carr

This was a quick and satisfying read. I received it from NetGalley and am glad to see that I’ve gotten in on the first installment of a new series.

 The series features Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton and Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates who had met on a previous case in another book. 

Normally, I would avoid like all plagues anything with “Lovers in Crime” in the title. I prefer hard-boiled mysteries and I usually don’t really want to know much about the detective’s personal life. (See Raymond Chandler.) However, this book doesn’t dwell on the main characters’ personal relationship.

The story revolves around the discovery of the body of Cherry Pickens, a well-known porn star, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. It turns out that Cherry is a hometown girl, and everyone in town, it seems, is connected with her.  

 The trail to the solution follows back to 1978 when eighteen-year-old Angie disappeared following an evening at the local roller skating rink. When that mystery is solved, the murderer is revealed.

Truthfully, there are so many people involved that I was confused at first as to who was who, but I finally caught on. Everyone has their own secrets. Trying to unravel the truth from the twisted lies that have remained hidden for so long leads the investigators on quite an interesting chase.

 Mysteries that originate in the past have always appealed to me. Ross McDonald’s mysteries have that element.

I am interested to see where the series goes next. My experience with this book leads me to check out Lauren Carr’s other books.

My one reservation, and it is a minor, probably a petty one, is that Carr finds it necessary to explain, in an entire paragraph, her reference to a character as a “Mrs. Robinson.” Hasn’t that reference to Anne Bancroft’s role in “The Graduate” become a standard reference to an older woman who puts the moves on a younger man? Or is it that I was a senior in high school when that movie was released and I am very familiar with it and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” song from the soundtrack. Oh, well.

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Filed under Literary Genres, Mystery

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