Guest Post: Doris Matheson-Not Your Average Geezer

Doris Matheson—Not Your Average Geezer

By Lauren Carr

My favorite part of being a writer is finding new characters and exploring their minds and backgrounds to figure out what makes them tick. I enjoy presenting the character to the readers as a whole, and then, through the story, I slowly peel back the layers to show the reader what is underneath—who that character really is.

Admittedly, I knew while writing Ice, the first installment in the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, that some readers may think I was pushing the envelope with Doris Matheson, who is not your average grandmother. 

At sixty-six, Doris Matheson exuded a timeless beauty. Wrinkles add character, not age. Her thick blond hair framed her lovely face. The widow of a West Virginia State Police captain, she volunteered much of her time to her church’s mission work and animal welfare causes. As if having a full-time job as director at the library and volunteer work was not enough, Doris also taught yoga and swam three miles, four times a week.

After her husband passes away, Chris, also recently widowed moved home with his daughters to help her care for the family farm.

No, Doris is not a hipster, who dances to the disco, rides around on a motorcycle, or chases men. Rather, she is a strong, compassionate woman whose tuna casserole can be considered a weapon.

While going through the edits for Ice, I felt a sense of recognition when reading the mother-and-son exchanges. It wasn’t until I was proofreading it that it hit me. 

Doris Matheson is my mother!

I had no idea while creating the character of Chris’s sixty-five-year-old mother, a spunky, take-charge library director, that I had based her on my own late mother, who passed away last year. To tell you the truth, I don’t know if it was by accident or my subconscious at work. 

Like Doris, my mother was an avid reader, particularly of murder mysteries. Actually, to tell you the truth, if the book didn’t have a dead body in it, my mother wasn’t interested. She went to school in a one-room schoolhouse. Even though she didn’t attend college, she had common sense and wasn’t shy about sharing it with her children. 

A beautiful blonde, my mother was also a farm girl, who was a regular at all of the libraries in our small town. One librarian told me that behind her back, everyone called her “that beautiful lady.” She was truly a lady, who conducted herself with class. A widow, she had more dates than I did when I was in high school. 

But my mother was no push-over. My husband recalls when we bought our first car together as a married couple, we took my mother along to broker the deal. Since my mother worked for General Motors, she and her family had an employee discount. Finding the best deal in her area, Jack and I traveled to Ohio and sat in silence while Mom haggled with the salesman. Through each issue, the salesman would relent with a groan and “Oh, Beryl.” She even made sure we left that dealership with a full tank of gas.

I recognized that strength of character in Doris in this scene in which Chris has called her down to the sheriff’s department when he is taken in for questioning about a shooting:

The interrogation room door flew open. The deputy’s eyes were wide when she said, “Bad news, Bell.”

“Matheson’s lawyer’s here,” the deputy sheriff said with a sigh.

“Worse. His mother.”

Rodney’s eyes were as wide as the deputy’s when he looked across the table at Chris. “You called your mother?”

Chris grinned.

“And she brought Sheriff Bassett with her,” the deputy said before running down the hallway to get as far from the imminent battle as possible.

“I’m sure this is all a big misunderstanding, Doris.” Sheriff Grant Bassett held the door open for Doris, clad in a black leather coat, gloves, and tall fashion boots, to step into the room. “We’ll get everything straightened out, and you and Christopher will be on your way ASAP.”  

While Doris appeared polished, Sheriff Bassett’s shirt was wrinkled and haphazardly buttoned. His hair stood straight on end as if he had been in such a hurry that he didn’t bother combing it.

Rodney jumped out of his chair as if he were greeting the governor. “Ms. Matheson, what a pleasure to see you.”

“Is it really, Rodney?” With the precision of a leader inspecting her troops, she looked him up and down while removing her leather gloves. “A pleasure to be seeing me, I mean.” 

She shot a glance over to Chris, who was enjoying the beads of sweat forming on Rodney’s forehead. Her gray eyes narrowed upon seeing that Chris was handcuffed to the table. “Are you serious? You have Christopher handcuffed?”

“Really, Bell? Seriously?” The sheriff hopped toward the table as if to remove the handcuffs himself. “What were you thinking?”

“Well …” Rodney swallowed.

“Well what?” Doris demanded an answer.

“Don’t just stand there, Bell! Uncuff Matheson!” When Rodney didn’t move fast enough, Sheriff Bassett raised his voice. “Now!”

Rodney spun around to remove the cuffs from Chris’s wrists. Rodney’s fingers trembled so much that he had difficulty getting the key into the lock. Seeing a bead of sweat roll down the side of the deputy sheriff’s face, Chris asked, “Is it just you or is it getting hot in here?”

Rodney shot a glare into Chris’s eyes before yanking the cuffs from his wrists. “Go home, Matheson.”

Readers will find that Doris’s power is not due to wealth or political position. After all, she is only the director of a small library. Rather, she has earned the respect of those around her through intelligence, compassion, and strength.

Yep, that’s my mom. I can’t wait for you to meet her. You’re gonna love her.

Welcome to the iReads Book Tour for Chris Crossed Murder

 

 

 

Book Details:

Book Title Chris Crossed Murder (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +) 
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   Feb 22, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!
 

 
“Carr is a master at creating unique, complex plots and colorful characters, both evident in her latest cold case mystery featuring  Chris Matheson and the geezer squad. The plot is twisted, the mystery unique and the ending a surprise. A must-read!” – Review of CHRIS CROSSED MURDER (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, Book Four) by Marilyn R. Wilson, Author, Speaker, Book Reviewer

“Lauren Carr is among my favorite mystery writers. She knows how to write a fun tale while keeping readers engaged. …I would give Chris Crossed Murder one hundred stars if I could. I believe readers who enjoy reading well-written and clean cozy mysteries will most definitely want to read it. I have no doubt they will enjoy it as much as I did. The fifth installment from A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery series is on my radar for when it releases.” – Review of CHRIS CROSSED MURDER (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, Book Four) by Amy Campbell, Locks Hooks and Books
 

 
Book Description:
It proves to be a Christmas to remember when the Matheson family receives the horrendous news that Chris Matheson’s body has been found in the woods near an international airport.

Everyone is stunned—especially Chris Matheson.

The mystery deepens when they discover the victim has Chris’s federal agent badge and appears to have been investigating one of his old cases.

The Geezer Squad’s latest case is not only a whodunit but who-got-dun. Is this a case of mistaken identity? Was Chris the intended victim? If not, then they must identify the murder victim to find his killer.

With Christmas days away, join the Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad as they race to piece together the clues to their most puzzling case yet.
Buy the Book:
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add to goodreads

Check Out The Rest of The Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries: 

Book Details:

Book Title: ICE  (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #1) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  364 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  February 26, 2018
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

 

 
“Lauren spins an amazing web of lies, murder and love that will have you on the edge of your seat…I love the way Lauren spun this novel – I could not put the book down! I had to know what happened to Sandy and her unborn child and how this disappearance was tied into a string of other murders. I never saw the end coming but it was perfect and suited the novel. A definite must read novel!” 5-Star Review by Carla at Working Mommy Journal
 

 
Book Description:
When Sandy Lipton and her unborn child disappeared, the court of public opinion found young Chris Matheson guilty. Decades later, the retired FBI agent returns home to discover that the cloud of suspicion cast over him and his family has never lifted. 

With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris Matheson starts chipping away at the ice on this cold case to uncover what had happened to Sandy and her baby and the clues are getting hot!

Book Details:

Book Title: Winter Frost  (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult fiction,  332 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  January 22, 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

 

 
“Filled with twists and turns, Winter Frost reads perfectly well as a stand-alone, although it is part of a series. The author creates tension and suspense throughout by keeping the reader guessing; she keeps readers engaged with well fleshed out characters and a dash of humor. Sterling, the retired German Shepherd police dog turned card shark, is a new favorite. As the story flows, the truth unfolds, layer by layer, leading to a satisfying conclusion.

“Winter Frost was an entertaining, at times humorous read with suspense, some surprises, and even cute animals in the mix.” Review of Winter Frost by The iRead Review
 

 
Book Description:
It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas. 

Nothing is as it seems. 

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?

Book Details:

Book Title The Last Thing She Said (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery #3) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  386 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   July 22, 2019
Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

 

 
“Too many twists and turns to easily share about this book. Nevertheless, Carr has pulled off another “hit” that kept me reading in one setting until the clues were so well together that the villain fell into our laps…or Chris’s, LOL Carr has put a lot into the book beyond the mysteries this time…Characters enjoyed chocotinis, visited book stores…and even blundered into getting engaged (the ring had been purchased 4 months ago)… But, for me, a special thank you for the political spoof at a time when politics at the national level is devastating, gave me a laugh and lightened the load of it all!” – Review by Glenda Bixler, Book Reader’s Heaven
 

 
Book Description:
“I’m working on the greatest mystery ever,” was the last thing noted mystery novelist Mercedes Livingston said to seven-year-old Chris Matheson before walking out of Hill House Hotel never to be seen again.

For decades, the writer’s fate remained a puzzling mystery until an autographed novel and a letter put a grown-up Chris Matheson on the trail of a cunning killer. With the help of a team of fellow retired law enforcement officers, each a specialist in their own field of investigation, Chris puts a flame to this cold case to uncover what had really happened that night Mercedes Livingston walked out of Hill House Hotel. Watch out! The clues are getting hot!

Meet the Author:

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. 

The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

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 two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: website ~ blog ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ twitter ~ pinterest
 

Celebrating the Release of Chris Crossed Murder!

 

 

 
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3 Comments

  1. I love the winter season and stories that take place during that time of year. At times cold, dark and stark, a winter scene is the perfect backdrop for a thriller/mystery/suspense story. I love the covers for these books and the synopses have definitely intrigued me. Thank you for sharing your guest post, bio and books’ details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading this series

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