Saturday, September 08, 2018

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

Although I had heard of Margaret Mizushima's previous books in the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series, I hadn't read any of them. Burning Ridge, the fourth book, is an excellent introduction, even for those of us who haven't read the earlier ones.

Deputy Mattie Cobb is only beginning to trust her feelings for Timber Creek, Colorado veterinarian Cole Walker and his daughters. Mattie's childhood was traumatic, and she spent most of it in foster homes. With her past, there's a reason she worries about Cole's daughters when their dog finds a boot with a human foot in it. However, her job is to assist with the investigation, along with her K-9 partner, Robo. Robo does find the remains of a body, a man who was burned in a shallow pit in the national forest west of Timber Creek. And, she recognizes the name on the man's tattoo. Although she hasn't seen her brother, Willie, in twenty-five years, after they went to separate foster homes, she'd just been talking to his partner. Willie went missing, and the names on the victim's neck match Willie's partner's name and that of her young son.

Along with the rest of the small Timber Creek sheriff's department and officers from other departments, Mattie and Robo continue to dig for clues. Robo is the one who uncovers additional clues, but when one of the clues points once more to Mattie's birth family, she backs out of the formal investigation. It's too late, though. Someone targets Mattie and Robo. When Mattie disappears, Cole moves in to help track the missing woman, who would never leave her dog behind.

As I said, I hadn't read the earlier books. However, I enjoyed the way Mattie and Cole were both essential to the story. And, it's interesting to pick up recent novels that are showcasing K-9 working dogs. Mizushima's latest book, with its emphasis on the investigation and the atmospheric setting, reminded me of Nevada Barr's books. Whether you like police procedurals, working dogs, suspense, or the personal glimpses into the lives of sleuths, you might want to pick up Burning Ridge. You can easily start with the fourth in this series.

Margaret Mizushima's website is

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima. Crooked Lane Books, 2018. ISBN 9781683317784 (hardcover), 288p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

As mentioned previously, I read and really enjoyed her first Mattie Cobb book. Looking forward to catching up with the series.

SandyG265 said...

I’ve read all of the previous books in this series and enjoyed them. I’ve had this one on hold at the library for a while.

Glen Davis said...

I read the first book in the series. Didn't think it was anything special. Maybe the series improved.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It was great seeing Lesa get the David Thompson Award at Bouchercon.

Well deserved!

Gram said...


Carol N Wong said...

I read the first book in the series and loved it. Also, Congratulations!