Don't think that you have to like fly fishing to pick up one of Victoria Houston's Loon Lake mysteries. And, you don't need to start at the beginning of the series, if you can't get earlier books. I do recommend this series, and the new release, Dead Tease, for anyone who enjoys a solid police procedural set in a small community. Houston brings a Wisconsin small community to life, with all the entwined gossip, history, and, eventually, murder.
Jen Williams was the latest of Jim McNeil's conquests. The CEO at Midwest Clinic had a way with women. But, Jen left his office only to arrive home and become a murder victim, stabbed in the heart. And, early on, it's obvious that a woman hired a killer to attack Jen. Now, what woman in Loon Lake might have it in for the pretty graphic designer?
Police Chief Lew Ferris' investigation uncovers a number of lies, people who are trying to hide relationships. She relies on Dr. Paul "Doc" Osborne, a retired dentist and forensic dental expert, for his help as the deputy coroner, but also for his knowledge of the citizens of Loon Lake. Doc's instincts are very good. He might not know when his fourteen-year-old granddaughter is trying to hide something, but he knows when Lew is worried. The mayor has offered Lew early retirement, trying to force her out, a retirement she doesn't want. A quick solution to this murder investigation might make it easier for her to keep her job. And, a quick fly fishing trip might offer her the only relaxation she will get until the case is solved.
Houston's descriptions of the lakes and rivers near Loon Lake bring the community to life. But, it's the painstaking details in the murder investigation that bring the mystery to life. Readers can follow Lew's case step by step, witnessing the amount of work it takes for one case, and the changes in direction as lies are uncovered. Lew treats the victims and their families with respect. This isn't a series that views murder lightly.
Police procedurals are some of my favorite mysteries. I respect the care the author and protagonist put into the cases, the detailed examination and interrogation of witnesses. In some ways, police procedurals are the books that treat the victim with the greatest respect. The victims may have terrible secrets, but they were still human beings, loved by someone. And, Victoria Houston handles that beautifully in Dead Tease, the latest Loon Lake mystery.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
Splish, Splash, Splosh!: David Melling
Book: Splish, Splash, Splosh! Author: David Melling (@DavidMelling1) Pages: 22 Age Range: 2-5 Splish, Splash, Splosh! by David Melling is a medium-sized boar...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.