Lauren Carr

Joshua Thornton Mysteries


Fans of Lauren Carr Mysteries, who have followed Lauren's mysteries from the beginning most likely recall that Joshua Thornton was not always half of Lovers in Crime. He started out as Lauren's chief protagonist in her debut novel, A Small Case of Murder, which was named finalist for the the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the mystery category).

Even though the Joshua Thornton Mysteries (A Small Case of Murderand A Reunion to Die For) have received critical acclaim from reviewers, readers should be aware that Lauren wrote them many years ago--at a different time in her life. They are heavier and contain a different tone with less humor than her newer books.

For those fan who would like to read Joshua's story--before Cameron Gates crashed into his life--here they are:

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Everyone in the small town is convinced that the new chief of detectives will surely end the crime wave. After all, Seth Williams made headlines uncovering the evidence needed to solve a triple homicide. Joshua is not so sure when the detective almost gets an innocent woman killed.


Suddenly, Gail’s murder reveals that years before she had named Joshua as the father of her baby. Such news could ruin his reputation and political career.

Now, Joshua finds his name at the top of the list of suspects.

County Prosecutor Joshua Thornton and Homicide Detective Cameron Gates strike out to explore the mysteries of both murder and love!


"If you're looking for a mystery with an abundance of comedy, Dead on Ice will more than meet your expectations. I've come to expect great characters and intricate plotting from Lauren Carr, and "Dead on Ice" is up to her lofty standards." - David Kinchen, Huntingon Post

"Carr sends us off on a highly enticing adventure as we attempt to figure out the truth behind not only Cherry Picken’s identity, but also her murder. There are so many intriguing characters in this novel that the finger pointing really never ceases, not until Carr reveals the truth, which floored me. This is a great murder mystery novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I think all adult readers will enjoy it as well." Reviewer: Shana Benedict, ABookVacation


In her new series, Lauren Carr teams up her first literary detective with a new and exciting partner. Homicide Detective Cameron Gates has a spunky personality that’s a perfect complement to Joshua Thornton’s logical and responsible nature.

“Readers of my first series kept asking when I would bring back Joshua Thornton,” Carr explained. “However, they are going to find that single father Joshua Thornton is not in the same place since we left him in A Reunion to Die For. His children are grown. He’s more independent, and he’s ready for some romance and adventure. That’s where Cameron Gates comes in.”




A Small Case of Murder 

"A Small Case of Murder is a GRAND case of murder. Following a style, reminiscent of that of Lisa Scottoline, and David Rosenfelt, Lauren Carr in her debut novel A Small Case of Murder, delivers a powerful and strong detective- legal thriller that has all the makings of a Hollywood movie." New Mystery Reader

"Carr weaves an extraordinary story that is gripping and crafted at the highest level to entertain the reader with its touch familial centerpiece amidst evil and chaos." Midwest Book Reviews


A Small Case of Murder is set in the quaint West Virginia town of Chester, where everyone knows everyone, and there is never a secret that someone doesn’t know. In such an intimate town, how many suspicious deaths can be left unquestioned?

Following his wife’s death, Joshua Thornton leaves a promising career in the U. S. Navy’s JAG division to move across country with his five children into his ancestral home. While clearing out the attic they find a letter written to their grandmother postmarked 34 years ago. 

In the letter Lulu Jefferson wrote “…Remember that dead body we found in the Bosley barn?...I saw him today…I went to talk to the reverend and there was his picture on the wall.” What dead body? His interest piqued, Joshua asks about Lulu and finds that in 1970 she died on the same day that she penned the letter implicating the pastor in an unreported murder. There is much more to this story than a 34-year-old letter. It’s a 34-year-old mystery! 

Today, a double murder has the whole town under a microscope. The state attorney general appoints Joshua special prosecutor to solve the crimes. In a small town where gossip flies as swiftly as a spring breeze it is impossible to know who to trust. Asking simple questions about events long ago could prove to be deadly for Joshua and his family. 

Solving the Mysteries of Love and Murder

A Reunion to Die For 

“I’m writing a book about Tricia.” 

…“Tricia?” As soon as the question slipped from his lips, Joshua recalled. “Tricia Wheeler.”

“Of course…It’s about time someone investigated it.”

Prosecutor Joshua Thornton becomes the prime suspect in the murder of Gail Reynolds in this second installment of the Joshua Thornton Mysteries. Gail returns to Chester to investigate a classmate’s death, only to spark a murder spree in which she becomes one of the victims.

International Best-Selling Mystery Author 

Mac Faraday Mysteries, Lovers in Crime Mysteries, The Thorny Rose Mysteries, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries