Friday, September 2, 2016

Candidate for Murder by Lauren Carr : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Candidate for Murder: A Mac Faraday Mystery

AUTHOR: Lauren Carr


GENRE: Adult Fiction


FORMAT: Digital / Kindle

SERIES / STANDALONE: A Mac Faraday Mystery Book 12

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura of iRead Book Tours for this review copy!


It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!


I have previously read the works of this author and loved them. That she loves dogs and considers them part of a family (which pet lover doesn't?) is evident in the way she writes about them. I have read books from the Mac Faraday series and have liked the writing style of the author. Gnarly has always been a part of the series, and has a curious history. I loved the way he was characterised but did not expect an entire book almost dedicated to him as the central character. This should be fun!

The cover of the book is simple and to the point. The podium sets the mood for the story while the doggy paw print tells us that amidst all that hue and cry, it is Gnarly who is going to steal the limelight!


When you begin reading books from a series, or even those books having same characters in different settings, you kind of get used to them. You know who are the good ones, and who are otherwise. It is easy to pick favorites and follow their journey through the latest installment of a series you are a fan of. But what if that central character is not a human? Would you root for a dog the same way you would do for its master? Candidate for Murder would probably make you do that!

We have all heard stories about dogs and cats becoming Mayors of lesser known villages and towns and are often amused when the townsfolk say they are happy with their chosen mayor. The news is promptly forgotten or dismissed amidst laughs. But beneath all that, there might be a reason why certain towns choose pets / animals over people to represent them as the mayor. Most often, it is because the candidates in the fray are not deserving of the post they are contesting for and have finally made a whole bunch of people decide that a dog would do a better job of representing the town. But even dogs are not immune to the dirty politics once they become part of the competition. They are considered fair game for mudslinging and people suddenly are hyper aware to find faults with even the life of a dog or its history so they could demean the potential candidate and make his candidature useless.

This is what happens to Gnarly, who, by a definitive stroke of luck (or a poorly executed joke) suddenly finds himself amidst heavy politics as a candidate for Mayor. But he quickly becomes a murder suspect when things turn against him as his political rivals, enraged by his sudden overwhelming popularity, dig deeper to find more and more dirt on him! The very premise of the story is funny, and brings an instant smile on the reader's face. Trying to balance serious issues like a small town being taken over by a sudden influx of city dwellers, rampant corruption in the scene of politics etc and blending them into a story that is a perfect blend of humour and suspense is not an easy task. Carr does it brilliantly and the book brings the whole of her usual characters set into action, uncovering a lot of things from years past.

To those who have not read previous books, though this can be read as a standalone, some chapters might seem like they are jumping without proper character introductions and might therefore be confusing much. But if you get past that, the story is a real page turner. Someone native to the actual political scene in the US of A would probably be able to discern the concealed jibes at the actual scenario. But from an outsider's perspective, the story is a general theme applicable anywhere where there is dirty politics and corrupt minds. The writing is a bit too focused on Gnarly, but I did enjoy it because I focused, instead on what the story represented than what it actuallly said.

Brilliant work by Carr, and one of the most laugh worthy books that also manages to make one think!


For once, what if the funny headline you read came true? This book analyses that!

RATING: 4.5/5


Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.


PRICE 0.98 for Kindle, $17.36 for Paperback


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Reader's Muse, for such a glowing review of CANDIDATE FOR MURDER. I am so glad that you enjoyed the latest Mac Faraday Mystery and I'm sure your followers will enjoy it as well!


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