Monday, March 12, 2012
Dead Tease by Victoria Houston
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 www.victoriahouston.com.
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.