Love and Murder

Lauren Carr gave up her career of writing mysteries for television and stage to try her hand at writing novels. She wrote A Small Case of Murder while staying at home with her young son. Her first book, A Small Case of Murder, was named finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Old Love Dies Hard is Lauren’s fourth book. She learned to love mysteries as a child when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime.  She resides in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Lauren has a brand new website—

and a brand new blog—

From the Writer’s Studio

All of her books are available for free lending if you are a Kindle owner and an amazon prime member. They are all part of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library at

Lauren‘s newest book, Shades of Murder, will be out this spring.

Love and Murder.

How is it that love and murder seem to go hand in hand when it comes to murder mysteries?

Think about it. We pick up a mystery because we want to read about murder and mayhem. Yet, somewhere, someplace, whether it be in the forefront of the plot or in the background, there’s an interweaving of romance.

Nancy Drew had Ned hanging around.

Perry Mason had Della Street at his beck and call—at least I think so. You could never really tell. That was one of the things that kept readers coming back. Are they or aren’t they?

Mystery fans fell in love with Elizabeth George’s Inspector Thomas Lynley and his late wife Helen. When George killed Helen off, I was as mad at Elizabeth George as if she pulled the trigger. (Actually, as the writer, didn’t she pull the trigger?)

Romance is not only found in murder mysteries. On the other side of the bookshelf, in the romance genre, mystery often plays a big role in romance novels. I remember not being able to put down Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, one of literature’s greatest romance novels, which is filled with mystery surrounding the death of Rebecca, the first Mrs. DeWinter.

Even mysteries with unattached detectives, some who want nothing to do with love, or who are never successful at it, usually seem to have a couple of characters who have been struck with cupid’s arrow somewhere in the plot. It is not uncommon for the protagonist to be dragged into the mystery to save the couple’s union. Does anybody know how often the hard-boiled detective has been hired by the wife of a murder suspect to clear her husband or boyfriend’s name?

“Love is for suckers and fools,” the detective will grumble before going off to solve the case, only because he wants to bring a smile to the poor lady’s pretty face.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’m all for love and romance, especially when it means a big box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Clearly, I’m not alone. I mean as far as love and romance in murder mysteries. Stay focused. We’re not talking about chocolate; we’re talking about love and murder. The chocolate will come later.

Love has a big part in murder mysteries. Mystery writers, including myself, seem to always write it in and readers love to scoop it up. I’ve had more than one reader asking when Mac Faraday and Archie Monday, his love interest, are going to get together in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. Read Shades of Murder when it is released this Spring to find out.

Why does love play such a big role in murder mysteries?

Well, the answer can be found in the definition of the two emotions.

Love:  The definition of Love as defined by Google is “an intense feeling of deep affection.”

Murder: Also according to Google: “The unlawful, premeditated killing of another human being.” While Google doesn’t go on to say it, it can go without saying that this act is brought about by an intense feeling, but not of affection, the feeling that is opposite of love: hatred.

In my opinion the mixture of these two emotions, so extreme from each other, is akin to a literary sweet and sour mix. In one chapter, we have the plot surrounding the intense act of murder, only be complemented by the sweet love scenes.

The taste of a good romance in a mystery can take the edge off the gruesomeness of a killer plot, which is a good thing. I have found that books with no romance or tender emotion between characters to be depressing and leave a feeling of hopelessness—which is another genre.

Personally, I prefer a little love mixed in with my murder and mayhem.

Now we can break into the box of chocolate. Happy Valentine’s Day!