Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Thorny Rose Mysteries #3

Murder by Perfection

Rate this book
Beware! Perfection has a dark side!

Frustrated with their busy schedules, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday attempt to find togetherness by scheduling a weekly date night. The last thing Jessica expected for her date night was a couple's gourmet cooking course at the Stepford Kitchen Studio, owned by Chef Natalie Stepford--the embodiment of feminine perfection.

When Natalie ends up dead and Murphy goes missing, the Thorny Rose detectives must peel back the layers of Natalie Stepford's flawless life to discover that perfection has a very sinister dark side.

374 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 31, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Lauren Carr

56 books365 followers
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!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, 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.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
122 (64%)
4 stars
51 (27%)
3 stars
10 (5%)
2 stars
4 (2%)
1 star
1 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
Profile Image for Sherry Fundin.
1,769 reviews115 followers
October 14, 2018
Lauren Carr is one of my go to authors when I want a mystery that’s just right. Not too cozy and not too dark, but filled with suspense, humor and a critter or two or three…

I love being back with familiar friends and the pets who love them. Lauren Carr;s characters, both human and canine, are rich in personality and she gets right to the action. the hook is set early and I love that, even though I know when I open the cover I am in for hours of entertainment, laughter, danger and worry.

Right off the bat I greet Newman. He’s a Basset mix and a couch potato, who pouts when he doesn’t like what’s on TV and doesn’t have the remote to change it. Sometimes it’s the stock report and sometimes it could be a movie, like Jurassic Park or zombies. He has good taste.

“You have a couch potato who pranks people by playing possum and another who’s a compulsive liar..”

A great description for the critters in this household. Gotta love ’em!

Jessica and Murphy are still in the honeymoon phase of their marriage, but, like a lot of us, they are busy with the necessities of life and don’t have enough time to spend together. Adds that bit of realism that makes the story read like true crime.

Technology plays a big part in this series and I would love to have a butler like Nigel and all the toys that are available to them.

We have secrets, murders, Phantoms, and more…

In fact, we have multiple murders and a long list of suspects. But don’t worry, we still have plenty of time for some laughter and lovin’.

Thanks Lauren, for another chance to get lost in a twist and turn mystery that leads me down one path, only to find I took a wrong turn somewhere. Keep ’em coming.

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Murder by Perfection by Lauren Carr.

See more at fundinmental
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,523 reviews76 followers
February 28, 2020
Thank you IRead and the author for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Murder By Perfection
A Thorny Rose Mystery #3
By: Lauren Carr

*REVIEW* ☆☆☆☆☆
Lauren Carr has become one of my favorite authors. I know her books will be intriguing entertaining and compelling. Murder By Perfection is the story of Murphy and Jessica and third in the Thorny Rose Mystery Series. Murphy and Jessica have overwhelming schedules and are missing quality time. A much needed date night ends in disaster with a murder, and Murphy goes missing. It's a mystery that branches off to various areas such as police procedure, cold cases, humor, suspense, thriller, drama-basically it's a great balance of many elements that make this an excellent read. The characters are likeable, intelligent, authentic and feel like old friends. The story is not predictable or boring, rather, it's an addictive guessing game that is hard to put down. I read it quickly because I had to know what happens next! I enjoyed this story immensely and recommend it, especially if you are looking for a new author. Lauren Carr has written numerous books, and I have liked each one I've read so far. Overall, a great mystery!
Profile Image for Laura Thomas.
1,311 reviews78 followers
November 1, 2018
It had been a while since I visited these character’s but I quickly found my footing on who was who, both human and other. One year into their marriage, Jessica and Murphy have hit a bump in the road. It’s push me pull me with so many things consuming all of their time. The murder of Murphy’s friend is sure to take even more of his time. But, a bone is tossed and they can work this case together. They just need to join a cooking class and warn the person instructing it that they’re in danger. She may be a clue to get the case moving again. If they can keep her alive.

Having read many of Lauren’s books, I knew there would be more than one mystery to solve. There was also character growth, loads of laughs and some fun critter antics, including a cocky rooster.

And Nigel. I’d forgot all about Nigel. He’s the A.I. that keeps the smart house in order and things running smoothly. He’s also a huge help with solving cases as he has a font of information at his fingertips, kind of. He may be artificial, but he’s still got a personality. A charming one, in fact.

There’s more than one mystery, as I mentioned at the beginning. And a kidnapping that had me all twisted inside. As the investigation deepens, more character’s are involved, more suspects join the list and the suspense builds. You’ll need your thinking cap and an assistant to figure this one out. It’s not an obvious resolution.

Character driven stories are my favorite. I don’t have to love them, I just need to be to relate to them. And Lauren gives me character’s from all walks of life. And her critters. They hop, skip and jump throughout the book. Each one has their own personality with quirks that keep you laughing and loving them. I’m not talking about just cats and dogs either.

Once again, Lauren managed to immerse me in her story quickly. And while I couldn’t wait to see how things concluded, I also tried to savor all of the little bits in between.

Murder, kidnapping, mystery, romance and laugh out loud moments are what this is all about. Never a dull moment and another excellent story from Lauren.

I received a complimentary copy. My review is voluntarily given.
Profile Image for Jeff Klages.
20 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2018
They Just Get Better!

I thought this was one of her best yet. Her Characters just keep getting into deep dodo & what a wonderful read on how they get out of it. I just love each & every one of them. Please keep all the intermingling of all the different characters in this unique family. I just can't tell you how much I love her writing, and the telling of the story's. All I have to say is Just grab one of her books & get ready to smile, laugh, cry, & enjoy the next couple of hours of Reading. Thank you Lauren Carr your one of the best author's.......
Profile Image for books are love.
3,131 reviews24 followers
November 1, 2018
First and foremost if you pick this book up and haven’t read the others in the series it is okay. I did that and understood it perfectly. Yes the main characters go from each book but you don’t need previous books to understand and follow this one.

Here Murphy gets embroiled in a dangerous game of murder with many suspects and alot of reveals and twists along the way. He and Jessica are trying to find a way to make it through the tough schedules they have. Jessica it seems is taking a wee bit advantage of her amazing husband Murphy. At the end you can see she realizes this but at the beginning it is a thorn in their side.

Murphy is a great guy. He is kind, smart, generous and earned where he is with hard work and determination. He has a twin brother JJ that is a sweet guy. He is just as amazing as his brother and his bumbling to Poppy was adorable. There two were my favorite characters.

The dogs in the story are a hoot and so is Tristan, Jessica’s brother. He cracks me up with how he teases the dogs to his dry sense of humour. But when it comes to being a brother and his work he is protective, loyal and works hard.

Jessica was busy and sometimes forgot about others. She wasn’t a bad person just in her own world and would forget that others existed. She didn’t start the book off with a bang in getting you on board with her. She loves her husband dearly you can tell she just gets caught up in her own world. When they set up date night I thought that was sweet, little do we know it would turn into a stressful time and keep the book going with danger, intrigue who done it and twists and turns into the mystery along the way.

How? We start the book with a murder. A murder that was precipitated for what we think is because of what the good doctor wanted to reveal. Is this the case? This will have you guessing throughout the story as more murders occur and more secrets and reveals come out. The first murder leads Murphy to go on a date with his wife where they cook and that leads to frustrations coming out. From there we have cooling down that leads to finding out what is happening in the first murder maybe and missing people. This leads to more death and secrets coming out. Not everything is as it seems in so many families and couples lives as we come to find out in this intriguing and alluring tale that dangles so much in front of you and gives you just enough to guess but never enough to truly know if you are right. It has you continue to read for you are so drawn into the story you have to know how and why. You need to know who is doing all this and what is there motive. You even want to know if JJ finally gets Polly for from the first time he is introduced in the story you can tell he loves Polly.

We do see a great plot with several sub plots masterfully written in the book. We see characters fight for what they believe in and answers come about. Answers that will surprise you and also keep you drawn in the story wondering what will happen next and why and who is killing whom.

I loved the ending and think it is a great way to segue into whatever comes next for this group of characters.
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,500 reviews16 followers
October 10, 2018
I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several books by Lauren Carr including Kill and Run  and A Fine Year for Murder in which Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are the main characters so I was looking forward to listening to this book. Thorny Rose Mysteries contain some of the same characters as the  Mac Faraday Mysteries. Mac Faraday is Jessica’s father so reading these mysteries are like a continuation of those. They all fit together and are fun to read.

I like Lauren Carr’s writing style. It’s easy to follow and she doesn’t get bogged down with lengthy descriptions. The dialogue is especially enjoyable. There are quite a few characters in this book, as in the other Thorny Rose Mysteries but they’re easy to keep track of because I know so many of them from previous books. If I were a new reader, I'd probably have to keep a list of them in order to not get confused.

Murphy and Jessica have only been married about a year but now that she's in school, they're having a rough time trying to find together time. When Murphy is picking up pizza for dinner one night, he runs into an old buddy and they decide to meet the next morning because his friend wants to talk to him about something. Just as Murphy gets to the park, his friend is shot and killed. Suddenly, he and Jessica are embroiled in mystery and murder. And then Murphy disappears. Will they find him in time?

The narrator does a good job narrating the story.  He has a good voice for narrating and does a good job with clarity and pace.

Murder by Perfection is a page turner and is another fine whodunit that will keep you guessing and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery. It will also stand alone without reading the previous books, but I suggest reading the books in order.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,076 reviews182 followers
October 20, 2018
I have listened to a bunch of audio books from this author. This author has a really good narrator who does great audio work. Therefore, I really like "listening" to books from this author versus "reading" them myself. This is my favorite series from Lauren Carr. It features couple Murphy and Jessica. They keep things entertaining but at the same time, they are very relatable. Murphy may be high ranking in the NCIS but when it comes to Jessica; he will fight "rush hour" traffic to get pizza for dinner.

Murphy runs into Commander Ross Caldwell. He has not seen him in a while. Caldwell says that he has some very important information. Murphy stumbles upon Caldwell's dead body the next day. He was murdered. What is Natalie Stepford's connection to Caldwell? Before Murphy and Jessica can figure it out; Natalie is murdered. Things are really heating up in the kitchen.

I enjoyed this book. It had a really good storyline with some twists. There were many characters introduced in the story but I had no troubles keeping them straight. One person that put a smile on my face is Boris. Boris is Murphy's boss. He had a tough exterior but he would say things out of the blue at times that had me smiling and laughing a few times. Murphy and Jessica #togetherforever.
483 reviews10 followers
October 8, 2018

Lauren is an extremely talented writer, who has the ability to draw you into a story, invest in the characters and never want to put the book down. I have loved all of her work but this story is by far one of her best.

This was a very intense, suspenseful novel with a plot line that I could never have dreamed of. There were multiple layers to the original murder and I never saw each turn coming. What starts off with a murder leads them to on the outside a perfect woman - Natalie. She has been molded into the "Barbie" image of a woman by at first glance her own choice but throughout the novel you begin to wonder when you learn more about her secret life, her seemingly perfect husband and job. She turns out to be one of the keys to this intense plot! Then you tie in a family that also looks perfect on the outside with drugs, mental health and marital problems and voila - an ending you could not have dreamed of happening.

This was a well written, though out novel. The characters have grown and developed so much throughout the series but the best part is you could read this novel on its own without struggling to follow along. This is a definite must read novel for all fans of her writing and those who love a good murder mystery with some humour.
6 reviews
June 2, 2018
A Real Who Done It

I love all of Lauren Carr's books. Murder By Perfection was especially good as it had so much going on all at once. The twists and turns had me working hard to keep up. Looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for Misty.
499 reviews247 followers
May 22, 2020
Murder by Perfection by Lauren Carr was another very well written mystery book by this author. I have now read many of Lauren Carr's books and have become something of a fan of her books. This was was just as interesting as all of her other mystery novels. I loved that it was an addition to the Thorny Rose Mystery Series. I enjoyed not only the plot, but also the characters themselves and the fact that this was a great mystery without the gore elements that many adult mystery books now use in bulk.
Profile Image for Michele bookloverforever.
7,662 reviews39 followers
April 4, 2022
Murder By Perfection (A Thorny Rose Mystery)

Lots of danger, action, tragedy. 4 murders, a kidnapping, mental health crises, suicide....scary, complicated..who done it? Read this and find out for yourself. Re-read in april, 2022.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,744 reviews35 followers
October 30, 2018
Note: While this is Book 3 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

I’ve been a fan of Lauren Carr’s works for several years now. Sinking into this book was like joining an old friend for a lengthy cup of tea. I enjoy the writing style and characters equally. There’s also a twist or three and there’s usually more than one mystery to solve.

Jessica and Murphy are trying to balance her schooling and his career with their personal lives. And that’s how they get pulled into a minor investigation that involves a couples’s cooking class. Natalie Stepford is a well known cook and quite the looker too.

Of course, we get a body or two and the investigations into each are off and running. Then Murphy turns up missing. So the timeline jumps around a little in regards to Murphy and that through me a bit more than once. Still, I loved it that Murphy, this very capable man with lots of combat training and other special skills gained from his time in the super secret Phantoms, is the one that goes missing and it’s up to his wife and family to save him.

Newman was a source of amusement, a mix dog of some sort that rules over the TV, changing the station if the show doesn’t suit him. I also found the electronic butler Nigel fun, as people are sometimes started by his disembodied voice.

This tale had a few more cliches than normal for Carr’s works. On one hand, that made it easy to follow along and just enjoy the characters. On the other hand, it did make some things predictable. Despite this, I had a lot of fun with the story.

Murphy’s twin brother gets called in to help lay down a ruse that will bring the culprits to light even as other members of the family continue to pursue their investigations. I didn’t really like that Jessica had to use her feminine wiles, playing a woman in emotional distress, as her part of the ruse. First, she hasn’t acted like that at all, and secondly, she has plenty more to offer as a character.

The action is well balanced with humor and I also liked the flirtations between Murphy and Jessica as they do their best to fit in some sexytimes with their busy schedules. The end leaves us on a very satisfying note. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Mike Alger has narrated several of Carr’s books and listening to his narrations is like listening to an old friend at this point. I love his voices for the men. He manages to make all the related men sound like relatives while also giving them their own unique voices. He makes a perfect Murphy. His female voices are usually feminine but there’s less range there and sometimes more then one woman will sound like the other. His pacing is perfect and there’s no issues with the recording. 4.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Kristine Hall.
822 reviews42 followers
October 8, 2018
AUDIO BOOK REVIEW. MURDER BY PERFECTION is the third book in the Thorny Rose Mysteries, but it’s my first book in the series. The book does stand alone, but I suspect I would have been able to better keep up if I had read any of the prior books. But who am I kidding? Author Lauren Carr is a master at writing multiple story lines, including a giant cast of characters, and so much murder and mayhem that it’s nearly impossible to solve the mysteries. I tried! I failed! Ha!

Speaking of the characters -- with so many characters, I had to take notes to keep track of them -- not ideal when listening to an audio book, and I found that I had to frequently re-play sections when I wasn’t paying close attention. I might have fared better if I’d have been reading with my eyes instead of my ears; however, the characters are richly described and most have some aspect to their personality to make each memorable. And OH! There are characters to love and loathe and everything in between, and some of them have juicy secrets. There’s some seriously great drama going on.
“Any grown-up knows that when you look underneath the covers, things are never what they seem.”

I fear that jumping into the series with MURDER BY PERFECTION may mean some spoilers when (not if) I go back and start with book one. Even so, that’s a risk I am willing to take because I like these characters and the intricate webs Carr weaves within her story. MURDER BY PERFECTION kept teasing me along and guessing with who did what, to whom, and why!

ABOUT THE NARRATION: I first heard Mike Alger when he narrated one of Lauren Carr’s other books, Ice, and I thought his narration was perfect. In MURDER BY PERFECTION, I am not as big a fan. Though some of the male characters were excellent, some were not. And females – particularly when emotional – sounded silly, bordering on laughable. Alger’s pacing and delivery were great, but then around three hours in, he slowed down, so I had to speed-up the audio to 1.25x. I didn’t like the echo-effect that was used for scenes when a character was thinking. It felt cheesy, and then there were some timing issues where the narrator talked-over an echo sequence and words were clipped. I know how good Alger can perform, so seeing his name as narrator won’t deter me from giving him another try.

Thank you to iRead Book Tours and the author for providing me an audio download in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. This full review and other special features coming 10/8/18 on Hall Ways Blog.
Profile Image for Angela Thompson.
393 reviews10 followers
February 7, 2020
Lauren Carr offers readers fun engaging mysteries. I love Lauren's writing style, her characters, and her mystery development. While there are some predictable moments in Murder by Perfection, there are enough twists and turns to keep readers engaged and interested in solving the mysteries through to the end. The storyline is never dull and is well organized with fun dialogue and great characters. Murder by Perfection is rated PG because there are (obviously) murders and flirty innuendo--but, overall the novel is fairly clean for readers who like adult mystery novels without a lot of sex and violence.

Don't Be Intimidated by the Large Cast of Characters. The author incorporates a lot of characters into her stories--whether via direct roles or mentions. Murder by Perfection is no exception and builds on the ever-growing cast of characters from the author's previous novels and series. While the novels of The Thorny Rose Mystery series are stand-alone--there are a lot of characters to organize in your reader's mind. Having said that, the author does a nice job giving readers the details and background of the characters necessary to understand the character's relationships and roles within the current novel. Expect to grow attached to each and every character--from a dog to the main characters. They all have something to offer the story.

Would I recommend Murder by Perfection by Lauren Carr? If you enjoy grown-up mysteries (that are still PG in content) with fun and engaging characters and a storyline that twists and turns just enough to keep you glued to the pages--I cannot recommend this novel (and the series) enough. There are a lot of characters--but, their humor, dialogue, and interactions always pull the stories together and keeps me interested in the resolution. I do think readers who have read Carr's earlier novels and related series will have an easier time organizing the characters and appreciating some of the relationships and backgrounds more. I would certainly recommend this novel along with the other books of this series.

I received a copy of this novel from the author or publisher for use in a blog review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lelia Taylor.
872 reviews16 followers
May 25, 2020
4.5 stars

Murphy and Jessica lead hectic lives but he’s more than willing when an old Navy friend asks to meet him, hinting that he wants to talk about something shady. Just as Murphy is arriving, he hears a gunshot and finds Commander Ross Caldwell dead in his car. NCIS is quick to respond and Murphy, even though he’s a witness, is soon deep into the investigation but no one can foresee what they will begin to unearth, beginning with the disappearance of the HHS representative Ross was planning to see.

Various bits of information lead them in several directions including to what may be criminal activities in a private clinic but it’s the kidnapping of Murphy that brings the extended Faraday-Thornton family into the mix and Jessica’s brother, Tristan, along with JJ, Murphy’s twin brother, become particularly important to the entire investigation. Jessica carries out her part, somewhat haphazardly, in the ransom negotiations but it’s the brothers who play critical roles. Before all is said and done, a tangle of leads unravel more than one sinister plot with plenty of paths for the investigators—and readers—to follow.

As can be expected by anyone familiar with Lauren Carr’s work, the suspense and tension are lightened by side moments with pets like Newman, a Basset hound mix who brings new meaning to the sobriquet “couch potato” and who has learned how to operate the remote to watch his favorite tv shows. Adding to the fun is Nigel, an AI created by the techno-geek Tristan; Nigel runs the Faraday-Thornton mansion and is a whiz with research. Nigel has become my latest fantasy, not to mention the mansion and all the nifty toys the very wealthy couple enjoy. There’s also a hilarious scene involving JJ and some phone calls that had me chortling out loud 🤣

Having come to love Mike Alger’s narration in other books by Ms. Carr, I was very glad to hear him again and, while I wasn’t so thrilled with a couple of enhancements, for lack of a better word, they didn’t detract in any way from my enjoyment of the audio version of this book.
Profile Image for Jessica Bronder.
2,014 reviews22 followers
October 29, 2018
Jessica Faraday has been going to school to be a doctor. Her husband Murphy Thornton is in the Navy. Both are finding that they are having a hard time having some quality time together. Jessica suggests Date Night and they are about ready for a steamy night in when Murphy gets a new case. A former officer has had a lead relating to Chef Natalie Stepford but is killed before anyone can figure out what was going on.

Murphy suggests date night happen at Natalie’s kitchen studio. There the couple finds that Natalie is drop dead gorgeous and has several couples in attendance. But after the class Natalie is discovered dead. Murphy and Jessica learn that there is a lot more to Natalie than just her cooking class and blog. But then Murphy is kidnapped putting Jessica into a panic. We still don’t know the connection to Sex Kitty and time is running out to save Murphy and catch the murderer.

This is another great mystery from Lauren Carr. Things are getting strained between Jessica and Murphy but date night should save the day, well until a murder happens. I loved the whole Sex Kitty side of the story with the great twist of Murphy being kidnapped. I didn’t expect how that ended. But to find out why the retired officer was killed, so sad. I don’t want to give too much away, you just have to read/listen to this book.

And speaking of listening to this book, Mike Alger does an amazing job at narrating this book. I have come to think of him as part of Lauren’s books and can’t wait to hear him narrate the next book.

This is a killer, Ha, series and one I recommend for any mystery lover. I adore Lauren Carr’s books and can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on the next one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen and share this book.
Profile Image for Teresa.
977 reviews11 followers
October 22, 2018
Another Win for Lauren Carr. Murder by Perfection was a great read. In is book 3 in the Thorny Rose Mystery Series. Which is a spin off of her Mac Faraday series. Mac's daughter Jessica and her husband Murphy Thornton are the stars of this series. I have to admit Lauren Carr always fills her books with so much going on you never have a chance to get bored and every book is different and never gets stale. I also love how her books are clean reads. I mean this book has murder, kidnapping, a sex kitten, but it is not graphic or filled with sexual content or even strong language.

In the book Murphy and Jessica feel like they are loosing touch with each other and decide on a weekly date night to get closer together. This is a great idea. My husband and I do this every Thursday night and have for 12 years now.

There are a couple of mysteries in this book. One morning Murphy is out running and hears a gun shot. He finds Ross Caldwell slumped in his car. Murphy of course call the police and is immediately stuck in the investigation to find out who killed him.

Anther mystery in the book is Natalie Stepford. She runs a couples gourmet cooking class. When she ends up dead, they all must figure out why. While investigation Murphy ends up missing. In order to find Murphy they must find out all of Natalie's dirty little secrets.

If you like, multifaceted mysteries and Lauren Carr this is a must read. I actually listened to the audiobook. Mike Alger does an awesome job with the narration as he has done with so many of Lauren's other books I have listened to. Between Lauren's writing skills and Mike's narration there is never a blah moment in the book.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Profile Image for Meagan Myhren-Bennett.
Author 12 books22 followers
May 27, 2020
Murder by Perfection
Thorny Rose Mystery #3
By Lauren Carr
Read by Mike Alger

For Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday marriage is not easy with their schedules conflicting. But they are determined to take time out for them - but when Murphy is given an assignment on "date night" Jessica is less than thrilled. Who wants to take part in a couple's cooking class instead of having a romantic date at home? But a murder investigation is riding on what Murphy can uncover.

But Murphy goes missing and the gourmet cooking instructor is brutally murdered. With time ticking down Murphy's father Joshua and his twin brother JJ soon join Jessica and Tristan as they comb through clues. Is Murphy's disappearance related to the murder he was investigating? And even more troubling who could take down a Phantom?

This is one who-dun-it that will leave you wondering just who did what to whom. This is the first that I've read anything in which JJ was more than a mention and some of the scenes with him are quite entertaining. And one just can't help but be amused whenever Nigel is in a scene - the Thornton/Faraday "butler".

This is not a cozy mystery or a gentle read and is most definitely in the PG category for violence and suggestive scenes. But if your taste in books runs towards mystery, suspense, and murder you will devour this book! There are suspects aplenty and a few characters that one just can't help disliking. The narration is well presented by Mike Alger. There is no drag and it progresses at a good pace for the 8-1/2 hour reading, good for a long commute or just eye-resting listening enjoyment.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Leila.
560 reviews8 followers
February 6, 2020
Another amazing read by Lauren Carr! I love reading her books!

All of her books can be read as a stand alone without feeling like you are lost, but they all, in some way or another, tie into each other.

Murder by Perfection focuses on Murphy and Jessica, but also has a cast of characters that we have met in other books – Tristan, Jessica’s brother; Joshua, Murphy’s dad; JJ, Murphy’s twin; Poppy, JJ’s ranch hand slash horse trainer who we reunite with again in other reads. There is also mention of Mac and Archie – Jessica and Tristan’s dad and step-mother. I love being able to catch up with other characters (and be “introduced” to characters when they first came into the story, but I met them at a later point!)

Murder in Perfection was a great read with more than one “who done it” going on at once (as per usual with Lauren Carr’s books). It had me on the edge of my seat as our hero, Murphy, was kidnapped.

There were a lot of different characters and background with this one that created a bigger net of who could be behind each act. And as per usual with a Lauren Carr read; I had a hunch about only one suspect and wasn’t even all that confident until it was revealed to us. I have yet to confidently pick out the real criminal in any of her mysteries which make them must read favorites of mine.

Lauren’s mysteries intertwine law enforcement, military, legal into amazing mysteries that capture your attention.

If you enjoy a good mystery that leaves you guessing with characters that you cannot help but fall in love with; anything by Lauren Carr is a great option and Murder by Perfection is a great place to start! (Trust me, you won’t be lost!)
1,588 reviews
October 26, 2018
Murder by Perfection brings us back to Jessica’s and Murphy’s lives and how they are dealing with their first year of marriage while both pursuing their career goals. Their ups and downs were just like other couples, always striving to put their marriage first, unfortunately demands from outside on their time make making time for each other difficult. Spats and fights ensue, and angry words are left between them. Then the unthinkable happens and all are left with an urgency to make things right.

This was another tense read, but I think more so as the family is really pulling together to see that a tragedy does not end up falling into their laps as they all race against time to set things to right. I really liked seeing the familial love of father and son, brother and brother, and husband and wife. Again there is a lot going on in this story, many moving parts that author Carr expertly handles to make a tight story of thrilling suspense and mystery. The main story plot gave me the creeps as always anything like that does. As per usual we have the irresistible dogs and a fast becoming favorite AI character- Nigel the butler.

There is some mature content and a little bit of language, again if you like shows like Castle, you will enjoy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

5,343 reviews
October 8, 2018
Murder by Perfection is the first introduction for me to Lauren Carr’s writing. And it is, also, the third installment from the Thorny Rose Mysteries series. I feel this book can be read as a stand alone as I did not feel as though I was missing any information that may have been addressed in the previous books
In Murder by Perfection, I was introduced to a cute couple, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday, who struggle to find time together and far away from work responsibilities. Just when they finally make plans for a night on the town alone, work gets in the way one more time. Their night on the town turns in to a couple’s gourmet cooking class with Natalie Stepford. Situations quickly take a turn when Natalie is dead and Murphy disappears. I found the plot to be fast paced and at times some laugh out loud humor. The suspense and mystery made me want to know what was going to happen next and guessing the unpredictable “who done it” question. There are some twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the excitement, action, and adventure involved.
I am giving Murder by Perfection a well deserved five plus stars. I would love to go back and read the previous books from the Thorny Rose Mysteries series. As well as, any other books written by Lauren Carr. I will definitely be looking for more by her in the future.
I highly recommend Murder by Perfection.
I received this book from the author. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Profile Image for Marilyn Wilson.
Author 3 books53 followers
October 29, 2018
Lauren Carr is a master of the light murder mystery. Each contain a strong couple as the central characters. Both the male and female roles are great role models - smart, loyal, talented and always interested in the truth. And as the author is a huge dog lover, there are always several incredible pets, each with their own unique personality. No matter how serious the threat they are facing, the author manages to work in a little humour to keep the tale from getting too dark.

Murder by Perfection is book 3 in Carr's Thorny Rose Mystery Series. The main characters - Murphy and Jessica - fell in love at first sight and married quickly. This 3rd story sees them struggling to try to find balance in their daily lives as well as enough free time to spend together. After a quarrel one evening, Murphy takes off on his motorcycle to calm down - and disappears! He has been kidnapped. Why - no one knows for sure. Friends, family and the government come together to search for answers. Can he be found in time?

Another great title by one of my favourite authors. Murder by Perfection is a wonderful read and a perfect to escape from the challenges of a busy day. Danger, intrigue, humor and love all take their turn in this tale which will keep you reading into the wee hours.
Profile Image for Brent Soderstrum.
1,413 reviews18 followers
November 1, 2022
This is the third book from the Thorny Rose series featuring Murphy Thornton and his new wife, Jessica Farraday.

This is another complex mystery with a lot of moving parts that come together at the end. It sometimes will seem rushed as it comes together but it leaves you thinking and trying to put it all together in your mind to make sure all avenues are accounted for.

There are lots of dead bodies but two main ones that end up being tied together but not by the killer but by the consequences that lead to their connections. Murphy Thornton is to meet Commander Ross Caldwell who plans on telling Murphy about a medical clinic that is doing bad things. The second death is that of Natalie Stepford, who has visited the plastic surgeon so often that she has become a near-perfect beauty. Right before she leaves her old life for her new life she is brutally killed by someone who cuts up her perfect face. There are other deaths too but those are the main ones that Murphy and Jessica, with help from their family, try to solve.

Twists and turns which I love. There is also a lot happening and it won't be all tied to one killer which is unique for a murder mystery.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
577 reviews21 followers
October 6, 2018
Lauren Carr has done it again. If you have read one of her books, you know that you have been hooked from that first one you read. You will want more. If you have not read Lauren Carr books you are truly missing out on some really good murders and murder mystery. She write so well that you will not be able to stop with one chapter.

Murder by Perfection is no different. We see that Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are doing in there lives. Things looks like they are still enjoying there bliss but it starting to warn off as they both have busy schedules. Can they fix it? Will they be able to find time for themselves?

Things really start to get interesting once Murphy runs into an old buddy of his from his time at the academy. His buddy starts talking to him about making it work to keep his marriage work. Though his buddy and Captain want to talk to Murphy alone about something important?

By the time, Murphy get to the park, there a crime and he a witness to his navy buddy crime. We go for a ride with murder galore. Murphy goes missing? Who want him gone and took him. Jessica get a ransom and also bring in the Thornton family like, JJ Thornton, Joshua Thornton, NCIS Team and a few others. We even see Tristan Faraday involved.

Lauren Carr brings in drugs, kidnapping and so much more. I loved just about everything. You are keep guessing until the end. How is it all connected? What does Natalie Shepherd's life got to do with Murphy?
Profile Image for Laura.
3,183 reviews316 followers
October 14, 2018
I love the way Lauren Carr thinks and writes. Reading her books is always a joy and an adventure. LISTENING to one takes the experience up a notch. Mike Alger narrates this series to perfection. From the voice of the "smart house" to the attitudes of the dogs to each of the many individual characters, this book is amazing to listen to.
The plot, as always, will take you through a range of emotions. As often as you are on the edge of your seat, you will find reasons to smile. Sensuous and dangerous, Carr writes characters that are well developed and individual. Male readers/listeners will be as intrigued by the characterizations as the dangerous intrigue.
This is a mystery you have to pay attention to as the details are masterfully encased in the narrative.
Profile Image for Jessica.
506 reviews1 follower
November 2, 2018
This cover is beyond gorgeous and the story is even better

Ms. Lauren Carr, knock my senses again with her new book Murder by Perfection. She could be perfectly mingling our minds in her twisted story and characters. This book never disappoint me just like her other stories.

Success is nothing when you are not satisfied of your status. There are people that are willing to do bad things to get something from someone. This book will keep you entertained until the last page. It is sweet to read stories of one of your favorite couples update. As always, reading mystery books intrigues me especially from one of your favorite author. It never gets old. I loved this story and how the characters brings justice. It is a must read.
Profile Image for Truly Trendy PR.
234 reviews2 followers
September 23, 2018
Murder by Perfection is a mystery novel that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are well-developed with interesting backstories that slowly come to light to help add to the suspense. Carr has written a captivating mystery that will make you smile and laugh all while trying to solve the mystery at hand. Murder by Perfection is a remarkable read that is perfect for anyone who loves a good mystery.
Profile Image for Seaside Book.
43 reviews5 followers
October 11, 2018
Murder by Perfection was a great thriller with sex, drugs, black market organ transplants, secret lives, kidnapping, crazy guys, an elite US Navy team, and family pulling together to solve the murder. Toss all that together with a plot that twists and turns and you have a great mystery/thriller!

Check out my review:
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.