cover image Death by the Bay: A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery

Death by the Bay: A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery

Patricia Skalka. Univ. of Wisconsin, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-299-32310-3

At the start of Skalka’s convoluted fifth Door County mystery featuring Sheriff Dave Cubiak (after 2018’s Death Rides the Ferry), Cubiak’s regular lunch date with a physician friend at Green Arbor Lodge is interrupted by screams coming from the nearby conference center, where Cubiak finds the 93-year-old director of the Institute for Progressive Medicine, Dr. Leonard Melk, has suddenly died. Melk’s death appears to be natural, but the unhelpful attitudes of the witnesses to his collapse arouse Cubiak’s suspicions. The matter is complicated when Francisca Delgado, a cleaning woman at the lodge, recognizes a photo on the wall as her brother, Miguel, who disappeared years earlier when he was taken away from home by doctors who promised to cure his Down syndrome. Cubiak soon discovers that the institute has an unsavory history of experimentation on handicapped children. A thoughtful, realistic protagonist and an evocative setting serve to offset the overly complex plot and unlikely murder motive. Those familiar with Wisconsin’s Door County will enjoy the regional color. [em](May) [/em]