Note: This book works fine as a stand alone even though it is an intersection among 3 of Lauren Carr’s murder mystery series.
I’ve listened to many Lauren Carr novels and the Mac Faraday stories are my favorites. Still, I looked forward to seeing all of the main characters for the 3 intersecting series come together. The start was a bit slow for me and I think this was because Carr was introducing her characters for those that are unfamiliar with one or more of her series. The men are off fishing and the ladies are attending a murder mystery convention and awards ceremony. After 3 hours, I really wanted to spend all my time with the guys. There is so much about how the ladies look (pretty, gorgeous, voluptuous, luscious, beautiful, etc.) and then plenty about fashion (shoes, dresses, handbags, etc). I especially found all that very boring mostly because I know these ladies are so much more than their looks and clothing. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this novel if you’re just venturing into Carr’s novels. These characters show much better in other novels being more rounded and interesting.
There are basically two plots going on for the majority of the book. The guys are dealing with the Mud men (father and his sons) in a logging community. The Muds are bullies and there’s an old fatal car accident that has affected several people in area deeply. The ladies are on the track of the Black Diamond, an assassin for hire that some of them have run into before. There’s more than meets the eye with this lady! Our ladies have to learn how to play nice with some FBI while keeping it under wraps.
I really liked Gnarly’s addiction to cheese puffs and the trouble that leads to. There’s also Monique the tarantula who belongs to Jessica. I loved that suite’s butler had no trouble with setting Monique up in her own little bug house.
I liked both mysteries though I felt it took a little too long to get them to dovetail and bring all the main characters to play under one roof. This novel wasn’t as concise as much of Carr’s works and, once again, I think this is because she brought so many main characters into the story. All together, it’s a good tale for those that have read some of Carr’s other works, especially if you’ve dabbled in all 3 series. 3.5/5 stars.
The Narration: Anita Alger and Mike Alger tag team the narration for this book. Mike makes a good Mac Faraday and he does a pretty good job with all the male voices. Sometimes his female character voices sound feminine and sometimes they don’t. Anita had several regional accents for the ladies which I liked as it kept them distinct. Her male character voices often did not sound like men. I especially didn’t like the voice for Liam, a grown man with delusions of grandeur; he sounded like a 10 year old. The recording quality was good. 3/5 stars.