Tales About Characters with Tails

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:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@gmail.net
Website: http://mysterylady.net/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lauren.carr.984991
Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
Acorn Book Services Facebook Page:
Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

“Charley was my favorite character in this book.”
“I love the antics of Gnarly.”
“Irving is a hoot.”
“Sterling, the retired German Shepherd police dog turned card shark, is a new favorite.”
“Twists, turns, and a tarantula named Monique.”

These are actual comments made by both readers and reviewers about characters in my murder mystery series. Surprisingly, these characters all have one thing in common.

They all have tails. Well, maybe not the tarantula. Do tarantulas have tails? I need to check on that.

As the writer of four mystery series, I feel like a proud mother when readers and reviewers fall in love with my characters. Yes, they do love the human characters, too, but there is a special fondness for the fur-covered ones, too. Yes, tarantulas do have fur. That I do know.

From the very beginning, all of my books have had animals. However, in my first two books, the pets were only in the background—little more than window dressing.

For several drafts of It’s Murder, My Son, the first Mac Faraday Mystery, Gnarly was much the same. He didn’t spring into the canine kleptomaniac that he is now until one of the final drafts of the book.

How did that happen? Gnarly is based on my Australian shepherd Ziggy, who came into our lives while I was writing It’s Murder, My Son. Like the Gnarly in the book, Ziggy was precocious and totally loveable in his badness. So much so, that I had to include him in my book. In order to make him a dishonorably discharged army canine I made him a German shepherd and changed his name to Gnarly, which means “extreme.”

Don’t think I make their antics up! Readers are always telling me stories, because I am a writer. And, since I love animals and often have animals in my books, many readers and fans love to pass on their animal stories. In the Mac Faraday mysteries, Gnarly sleeps under Mac’s bed, which is where Ziggy slept. One reader told me that she thought only her dog did that until she read It’s Murder, My Son.

I guess it was only a matter of time before I set a mystery on a farm filled with wacky critters.

Much of the mystery in my new release, The Root of Murder is set at Russell Ridge Farm and Orchards, which is based on a number of farms located in and around the Ohio Valley. Like Joshua Thornton, I come from a long line of farmers and grew up on a farm. So much of that lifestyle is based on my own life. Since this Lovers in Crime Mystery includes a farm setting, I had a license to include a pack of furry characters!

Charley the Rooster comes from one of my readers! Yep, his name is really Charley. He was given to the reader’s niece as a chick at Easter and grew so big that they couldn’t keep him at their suburban home, so they sent him to live with relatives who lived in a small town in southern West Virginia. I’m sure you heard of the neighborhood dog who chases everyone and who everyone is afraid of. Well, that became Charley the Rooster. One day a store keeper decided he’d had it with Charley and went after him with a broom. The fight between the store owner and Charley spilled out into the middle of the street in this small town where the editor of the local newspaper snapped a picture of it. The next day, Charley and the store owner ended up on the front page of the newspaper.

When I heard that, there was no way I couldn’t put Charley in my book.

Then there is Ollie, the orphaned lamb who thinks he’s a dog. I was inspired for the little character by an Internet story of a baby lamb adopted by someone who lived in an apartment in New York City. As with any pup, she took the lamb for walks and housebroke him, not unlike a dog. Eventually, the lamb became too big for the apartment, so she had to rehome him at a farm.

As a writer, I started thinking and twisting the story around. I introduced Ollie as a baby in Murder by Perfection, where J.J. and Poppy adopted the newborn lamb after his mother dies in childbirth. While they do live on a farm, they don’t raise sheep. Therefore, Ollie is only exposed to the dogs living at the farm. By The Root of Murder, Ollie believes he is a dog, right down to going in and out of the house via a doggie door.

He has also become Charley’s partner in crime when it comes to creating havoc at the farm!

Poppy’s Appaloosa, Gulliver, is based on a horse who I saw in a YouTube video who would let himself out of his stall and then let all the other horses loose, except for one—a mare who happened to be his mother! Seeing this video, I cracked up and called a friend of mine who has a horse farm to ask about it. She said Houdini horses are really not that uncommon but suggested that this one must have some mommy issues since he doesn’t free his mother.

Do you have a “critter story?” Feel free to visit my website (https://mysterylady.net/) and fill out the contact form. Who knows? Your critter could make it into a Lauren Carr mystery.


Homicide Detective Cameron Gates learned long ago that there is no such thing as a typical murder case. Each mystery is special in its own right—especially for the family of the victim.

The homicide of a successful executive, husband, and father seems open and shut when the murder weapon is found in his estranged son-in-law’s possession. The circumstantial evidence is so damning that when J.J. Thornton agrees to act as the defendant’s public defender, he assumes his first murder case will be a loss. Only the report of a missing husband proves that this case is not as open and shut as it seems.

Strap on your seat belts for a wild ride in this mystery rooted in decades of deception that sprouts into murder.

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