Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cancelled Vows by Lauren Carr : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Cancelled Vows

AUTHOR: Lauren Carr

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0692578087

GENRE: Fiction / Thriller


FORMAT: Digital

SERIES / STANDALONE: Mac Faraday Mystery #11

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura Fabiani of iRead tours for this review copy!


Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can walk down the aisle—divorce his first wife!

Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend—and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a road block, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time!


The cover is one of the most fitting images for a book and its story. The horrific wedding cake with a police crime scene tape reflects very well on the story. The summary, if anything, provided more intrigue. Having already been introduced to the writer's other works, I had an idea of what to expect. The book was a thrilling ride overall.


David O Callaghan is about to get married. But he cannot because bigamy is not allowed by the law. It would be helpful if David remembers getting married, but he does not have any memory of saying 'I do'. But eventually, David finds the name of his 'wife' and goes to New York to formally divorce her so he can marry Chelsea. For her part, Chelsea refuses to talk to David after feeling that what he had done is cheating. All through the book, I tried really hard to be sympathetic towards David but his uncertainty over everything starting from his memory of being married to not be clear about which women he loved enough to make a commitment, the character lost the respect and didn't make me root for him when he was on a 'run from the law'.

To annul the wedding that no one remembered had taken place (and the reader in me wondered even after the book was finished. Weddings were really so easy? Seriously? The proper wedding David wanted to have with Chelsea could be stopped by a casual wedding no one - not even the bride and groom - knew about?) David and his half brother, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday go to New York. There they meet David's 'wife' and while David falters in his resolve to get his divorce papers signed, saying 'he cannot cut contacts with all of his past friends' (yeah, right) and makes me infinitely irritated in the process, Mac Faraday is stubborn in his goal of getting the divorce over and done with so he could witness the wedding for which he was chosen as the best man.

The twist in the tale comes at that place in New York where the short trip to get some papers signed turns into a shocker when the corpse of a famous missing writer is found in a respectable office, hidden beneath layer of plaster in the wall. From there, the race intensifies and the book proves how and why it is a good thriller. The 'race against time' as Mac Faraday tries to get David to his wedding on time is interesting and there is not one dull moment all through. The reason why Gnarly had to accompany Mac and David in flight is a laugh worthy, well thought out and made me snigger in amusement. The Dog stole my heart in the first few scenes, starting with making Mac Faraday almost pull out his hair in frustration and then constantly whining to get to the heart of the mystery behind the wall.

I liked the language, the dry humour and the scene placement all through the book. The characters were well written and the suspense was maintained without resorting to amateurish tricks. The book was thrilling enough to hold my attention so much that I finished it in two sittings. Overall, a great book for mystery buffs. If you are a fan of Carr's writing, you will definitely enjoy this one!

  • Gnarly stole my heart within the first few pages.
  • The introduction of the character of Ali Hudson - something in those simple words told me the dramatic twists that will come thereafter in the book.
  • The book maintaining the suspense well and having engrossing writing.
  • The book could have had tighter editing
  • The uncertainty and immaturity over David's character is sometimes irking - mostly about his inability to make his mind considering something as important as marriage and who he loves.

Go for this one if you are a Mac Faraday fan! Or if you love Lauren Carr. A great book on the whole.

RATING: 4.0/5


Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder, and Blast from the Past have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. The Murders at Astaire Castle is the fifth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The next installment in the Mac Faraday series, The Lady Who Cried Murder will be released in October of this year.

Released September 2012, Dead on Ice introduced a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime, Real Murder, series will be out in 2014.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback, Digital

PRICE $0.98 for Kindle, $17.00 for Paperback


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