Guest Post: What’s So Funny About Murder?

Guest Post: What’s So Funny About Murder? By Lauren Carr!

What’s So Funny About Murder?
Join us for this tour from July 5 to July 29, 2022!

Book Details:

Book Series:  The Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries
Category:  Adult fiction, 496 pages
GenreCozy Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:  April 23, 2020
Tour dates:  July 5 to July 29, 2022
Content Rating: This cozy mystery book series is rated G. Suitable for everyone. ​

An excellent blend of mystery and suspense with comic relief and romance…. Lauren has a great way of balancing this without taking away from the story. We have well-developed characters, that you can’t help but feel a connection to. I loved Nikki’s character but also her connections to her hometown, her family and her lost love. – review by Working Mommy Journal
Book Series Description:

Folks in the small town of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

After years of chasing mysteries around the globe, Nikki Bryant returns home to Pine Grove to take over managing WKPG-TV and reconnects with her first love, Ryan Spaulding, the chief of the state police crime lab.

It doesn’t take long for Nikki and her family to realize that you can’t keep this ace reporter and her boxer dog Elmo behind a desk–especially when a mystery is afoot.

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Meet Nikki Bryant! 

Book Details:

Book TitleKiller Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  232 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   April 23, 2020
Content Rating: This cozy mystery book series is rated G. Suitable for everyone. ​

I love this cozy mystery! It is full of suspense, action packed, fast pace with that small town feeling. I love the characters, I have to admit, I fell in love with Elmo on the spot! I loved Nikki’s spunk and determination. She keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire book! And I usually try to pick up all if the clues and figure out whodunnit but this story kept taking twist and turns that I was surprised. This is just the type of cozy mystery I love to read. – 5-Star Review at Splashes of Joy 

Book Description:

​Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.

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Nikki Bryant’s Next Case Takes Her to

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Wrong Side of Murder (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  274 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   July 21, 2022
Content RatingThis cozy mystery book series is rated G. Suitable for everyone. ​

The Wrong Side of Murder is another wonderful cozy mystery by author Lauren Carr. It has all the elements that draw me in – an intelligent female lead, an equally smart boyfriend who partners to help her, a complicated plot where clues are slowly revealed, people who aren’t what they seem to be, comedic moments to balance the darker ones, and several quirky pets full of personality.

It’s a wonderful book to escape into at the end of the day. And get ready to read into the wee hours as, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop reading until the mystery is revealed.  – Marilyn R. Wilson, Olio by Marilyn

Book Description:

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.
Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?
After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.
Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

Available on:

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

Guest Post: What’s So Funny About Murder?

Warning: Before you declare me morbid and warped, let me explain. No, I do not believe murder is funny, but, I do have a firm belief that laughter is a great reliever of stress and when used correctly in a murder mystery, can make for an entertaining read.

They say that often we do not choose who we become, but rather, who we become chooses us. I don’t know who they are and, that being the case, I’m not sure if they speak with any authority. But, in my case, there appears to be some truth in that.

I did not set out to write humorous murder mysteries. I simply set out to write murder mysteries.

When I first started penning murder mysteries, I envisioned myself as Elizabeth George or Agatha Christie—creating complex cases with witty detectives chasing the clues and bringing the dastardly killers to justice. 

After my first two books met with some moderate success, I went in search of a new publisher for a variety of reasons. Then, for a full year, I suffered from writer’s block.

Then, I made a decision. A writer, I could not stop writing. I had to write. But, I was going to write what I wanted to write and I was going to have fun doing it—whether my books sold or not. After rejecting two offers from traditional publishers, I choose to self-publish.

Within six months, It’s Murder, My Son, the first Mac Faraday Mystery was released and became my most successful book. It went to number one on Amazon in mysteries.

To my surprise, not only do my readers enjoy the complex nature of my mysteries, but they really enjoy the humor. Some have commented on how my books will make them laugh out loud.

Luckily, they aren’t laughing out loud at how ridiculous my writing is … at least, I don’t think so.

Upon reflection, I have determined that when I made the decision to write for myself, not literary agents or publishers or even reviewers, but for myself, and vowed to have fun while doing it—I released my natural sense of humor to have fun.

The humor in the each one of my books (The Wrong Side of Murder is number 30!) stem from the common, and silly, way in which we humans have come to live.

Take for example this scene from The Wrong Side of Murder


Elmo’s bark was followed by the clatter of paws across the hardwood floor above, where Nikki was folding her and Ryan’s laundry. She looked up at the laundry room ceiling to follow the pitter-patter down the hallway to the kitchen.

“Get out of here!” Trudy ordered the feuding animals out of the kitchen where she was preparing for a luncheon the next day. 

As long as she was there, she had whipped up her famous chicken and dumplings. The smell of tender dumplings and juicy chicken filled the house. It was enough to make Nikki search for more clothes to launder so that she could hang out at the main house until dinner. Trudy would surely insist that she stay. The delicious aroma would certainly lure Ryan over from his apartment.

 The animals did an about-face. The prey turned into predators when Lucy and Ethel launched an attack on Elmo. Nikki followed the scampering paws to the stairs leading down to the family room. She turned around to see Elmo race across the room toward her and scoot under the table to hide. 

With a sigh, Nikki turned to fold a pile of Ryan’s boxers. “I know they start it, but sometimes it is best to just turn the other cheek.”

She froze. Her mother’s tone was one she had not heard in years. It was her you-are-in-some-deep-doo-doo tone.
“Nicole Lynn Bryant!” Kathleen bit out while marching from the stairs toward the laundry room.

Oh, man! She’s using my entire name. That’s never good!

She prayed Trudy would take pity on her and sneak chicken and dumplings to her after she was sent to her room without dinner.

Kathleen’s hands were on her hips by the time she hit the doorway. She wore a long spring dress. She had swept her blond hair up into a messy bun with pink dangling earrings. She drew her mouth into a straight line. She narrowed her blue eyes into slits.

Backing up into the corner under the table, Elmo whimpered.

“Bad day?” Nikki asked.

Kathleen held up a hand to reveal her cell phone. “I just got off the phone with Amber Bigelow.”

Nikki’s face screwed up with puzzlement. “Who?”

Her daughter’s failure to recognize the name annoyed Kathleen more. She marched further into the room. “Amber Bigelow of LifeStyles Spa and Salon. The business owner who we’re hosting a big luncheon for two dozen people on Monday. I just had to talk her out of canceling because of you and your suspicious mind.”

“What did I do?”

“You accused her husband of murder.”

Nikki blinked. It took a moment to connect the dots. “That’s right. She’s married to Gerald Bigelow.”

“And you accused him of murder.”

“I never accused him of murder. I questioned him about insurance fraud.”

“Because his Porsche got stolen. Innocent people are victims of crime every day. He had never had a car stolen before or since. What made you jump to the conclusion that Gerald Bigelow of all people, would put in a false claim for the theft of a Porsche over twenty years ago?”

“Because they stole his Porsche out of a well-lit parking lot with security cameras, while all the other thefts during that period happened in places that lacked security.”

Kathleen’s hands landed on her hips again. “Did it ever occur to you that maybe the auto theft ring didn’t steal his Porsche? There’s more than one car thief out there. Maybe a less discriminating thief took it.”

“From a well-lit parking lot with security cameras all over the place without getting caught?”

“He got lucky! Did you ever think of that?”

“As a matter of fact, I did consider that.” Nikki turned back to folding Ryan’s shorts.

“Good!” Kathleen held out her phone to her daughter. “Now you can call the Bigelows and apologize.”

Nikki ignored the phone. “I can’t.”

Kathleen’s voice went up an octave. “Why not?”

“Because I’ve located a member of the auto theft ring and she told me they did steal Gerald Bigelow’s Porsche.” Nikki dropped a pair of blue shorts into the clothes basket.

“Which proves Gerald did not commit fraud. So, you can drop this whole thing.” Kathleen thrust out the phone to her. “Call Amber and apologize.”

“No can do.”

“Yes can do.”

“No, I can’t.”

“As your mother, I am ordering you to drop this entire investigation and apologize to the Bigelows.”

Elmo’s eyes were wide as he stuck his head out from under the table to gaze up at the two of them.

Nikki laughed. “Mom, I’m thirty-six years old. What are you going to do to me if I don’t?”

Ryan was on his way out the door to go to the main house for Trudy’s chicken and dumplings when he met Nikki, her arms filled with laundry, on the steps leading up to his apartment. “Mom sent me to my room without dinner.”

He held the door open for her. Elmo raced inside. As Nikki passed through the doorway, Ryan looked longingly across the courtyard to the back door of the Victorian home. Looking smug, Lucy and Ethel sat on the porch railing.

He was torn. It would be rude for him to go over to the main house for dinner while Nikki was being grounded. But Trudy’s chicken and dumplings were the best. “Couldn’t you have picked a fight on a night that Dad was cooking his authentic Hungarian goulash?”

Get my point? I’m not funny. Humans are.

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