Crimes Past: A Cold Case Gets Steaming Hot—and a Giveaway!

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:

Gnarly’s Facebook Page:
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:
Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

“Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline
along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue.  And you
have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys
are until the end.” – Every Free Chance Book Reviews

I love cold cases—not of beer—but murder. Murder mystery lovers can’t resist a cold case mystery, a crime that doesn’t get solved until years later.

A television show “Cold Case Files” ran on A&E channel for years, during which they investigated mysteries that had gone cold, only to be solved years later. There was also a successful crime drama called “Cold Case”, in which the detective worked on cold case mysteries.

I love cold case mysteries so much that I recently released a new series that revolves around cold case, The Chris Matheson Cold Cases Mystery Series. A retired FBI agent, Chris and his friends, fellow law enforcement retirees who call themselves the Geezer Squad, investigate those cases that keep them up at night.

Such is the premise for the latest Mac Faraday Mystery, Crimes Past, scheduled for release Monday, October 16. (available now for pre-order!)

In this thirteenth installment of the Mac Faraday mysteries, Mac dives into the case that keeps him up at night—the double homicide of two detectives on their wedding night. A detective with the major cases squad, Mac is the lead investigator on the case—only to have it go cold.

Seventeen years later, the daughter of one of the victims is getting married. Retired from the police force and now owner of a 5-star resort, Mac offers her to hold her wedding at the Spencer Inn, an event that brings together his suspects.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac has one weekend to light a fire under the cold case. He is desperate enough to even entertain a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends is the killer.

When Lou Gannon is brutally slain, Mac Faraday must accept the harsh reality that one of his friends is a cold-blooded murderer.

What is it that draws mystery lovers to cold cases? I can only speak for myself. The unsolved case—a crime committed in the past―the puzzle that no one had been able to put together―presents a unique challenge. No one was able to solve it while the clues were hot, and memories were fresh. Only a brilliant detective would be able to solve such a case.

Yet, things happen with the passage of time: Relationships shift. Former alliances are broken. Guilt over not doing the right thing takes its toll.

As the Geezer Squad explains to Chris Matheson in Ice, there are advantages to allowing a mystery to go cold:

“If you let them get cold enough, then they turn into ice. Most folks think that once a case turns ice cold that it’ll be impossible to solve it. But all it takes to melt ice is for someone to put a little bit of heat under it.”

Such is the case in Crimes Past. The gathering of murder suspects for what appears to be a joyous occasion lights a flame under the cold case that sets off an explosion, as seen in this excerpt:

“Yes, both Jean and I were waiting at the main entrance with everyone else when the limo pulled up,” Underwood said.

“Who else was there?”

“Sanchez and his first wife, Clarissa.” Underwood paused to think. “Derringer. Captain Jeffries. Lou.” He shook his head. “Lou was drunk as always. He fell into Trevor and dumped his drink all over the front of his shirt.”

Mac slowly nodded his head. “I remember us finding that shirt in the bridal suite. When I interviewed Lou, he claimed someone pushed him.”

“He said. The guy is a screw up.” Underwood gestured toward the elevator where Lou Gannon was lighting up a cigarette while waiting for the car. “I can see he heeded your warning about smoking inside the Inn.”

Mac saw the hotel manager behind the reception desk. His eyes were bugging at the sight of Lou Gannon boarding the elevator with the lit cigarette.

“I’ll get him.” Mac ran across the lobby. “Jeff, what room is he in?”

“Fourth floor,” Jeff said. “Room four-thirteen.”

Mac shoved open the doors to the stairwell and ran up the stairs. He felt his blood temperature rising to the boiling point with each step. Why does Lou have to always be so difficult? It’s not just Inn policy, but the law. We didn’t make him take up that filthy unhealthy habit. So why torture us?

By the time Mac burst forth onto the fourth floor, he saw Lou stepping into his room. Mac sprinted down the corridor and stuck out his arm to block the door when it swung shut after Lou walked in.

Cigarette hanging from his lips, Lou spun around when Mac stepped inside. “What the hell do you want?”

“That!” Mac pointed at the lit cigarette. “I told you, Lou. You can’t smoke in the hotel. You can’t smoke in these rooms. It’s against the law.”

“Well, we already know I’m a criminal.”

“You’re going to be a criminal out on the streets if you don’t put that out.” Mac swung his hand to grab the cigarette from his mouth but missed when Lou ducked. “I’m serious, Lou!” Mac lunged after the little man, who giggled at his failed attempts to snag the cigarette. “You’re contaminating this room with smoke.” Mac backed him toward the bathroom door. “If you don’t put that out then we’re going to have to close down this room and replace all of the carpeting, curtains, and furniture before we can book it again.”

“All right! All right!” Lou took another long drag on the cigarette. “I gotta go wee anyway.” Keeping the cigarette out of Mac’s reach, he went into the bathroom. “Let me finish this while I’m toasting the porcelain god. I’ll put it out when I’m through and then we’ll be done.”

Before Mac could object, Lou slammed the door in his face and locked it. “I’m not leaving, Gannon!”

“You never quit do you, Faraday.”

Mac heard Lou peeing on the other side of the door. “I was talking to someone about the night Brie and Trevor were killed.”

“I’m sure you were.”

“Do you remember spilling your drink on Trevor’s tux?” Mac could still hear Lou inside the bathroom.

“What are you afraid of, Faraday? That your reputation of brilliance is going to fade? So you expect me to give you the name of the killer so you can do the big reveal at the wedding reception.”

“If you know who did it, Gannon—”

“I didn’t trip, dammit,” Lou said. “I was pushed.”

The peeing stopped.

“Are you sure? Who pushed you, Gannon?”

“That’s for me—not you—to reveal at the main event.”

A swoosh filled the confines of the bathroom.

The force of the explosion knocked Mac into the wall behind him. The wind knocked out of him, his legs buckled, and he slumped to the floor.

As you can see in the excerpt above, it doesn’t take much for a cold case to heat up. Sometimes, a simple gathering of the witnesses and suspects, and a comparing of notes, is all that’s needed. In Crimes Past, the ice around the cold case doesn’t just melt—it explodes!


It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a late colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every avenue for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends is the killer.

When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends is a cold-blooded murderer.

 Pre-order here.


To enter the drawing for two ebooks
by Lauren Carr, Ice and Crimes Past
(advance reading copy), just leave a

comment below about why you think
cold cases are so fascinating. The
name will be drawn on

Monday evening, October 8th.