Monday, March 12, 2012

Dead Tease by Victoria Houston

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.

Victoria Houston's website is

Dead Tease by Victoria Houston. Tyrus Books. 2012. ISBN 978140533112 (paperback), 181p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author's publicist sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Harvee said...

I like the setting and will try out the Loon Lake mysteries, a new one for me. Thanks for the review.

Kay said...

Another new series for me. I'm not much of a fisherman but I'm up for anything in a well written mystery. Love the cover too. Looks relaxing.

Sorry I didn't see you in AZ, Lesa, but we had a good time. Very nice weather and I went to 5 events at the PP! Had to mail my books home!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm not familiar with this series...I'll look it up. I always enjoy police procedurals. There's something about the organization and structure of them that's very comforting to me!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Harvee. Always nice to introduce readers to a series they don't know.

Lesa said...

Sorry to have missed you, Kay. I'm so glad the weather was good for you, though. Even if you had to mail your books home, it probably wasn't as expensive as your husband's golfing. (Or maybe it was. I'm sure Poisoned Pen loves you!)

Lesa said...

I'm with you, Elizabeth. I like the organization, the structure, and the police departments involved in this type of mystery.

Pat R. said...

I've read all of this series with the exception of this new one. Characters that are like meeting with old friends.

SandyG265 said...

I've read the rest of this series and am waiting to get Dead Tease from the library.

Lesa said...

Pat and Sandy,

Thanks for the notes to other readers know you enjoy this series!

Karen C said...

I like police procedurals, too. Another new series for me as well!

Lesa said...

Yes! Don't stop reading my blog, Karen, just because those books are piling up!

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