cover image Death Washes Ashore: A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery

Death Washes Ashore: A Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery

Patricia Skalka. Univ. of Wisconsin, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-299-32820-7

After a major storm sweeps through Wisconsin’s Door County, Sheriff Dave Cubiak is summoned to a debris-strewn beach on Lake Michigan, where a rotting rowboat hides the corpse of a man clad in chain mail like a medieval knight, in Skalka’s competent sixth series mystery (after 2019’s Death by the Bay). Learning that the victim didn’t drown, but was killed by a blow to the head, the sheriff soon identifies him as Scott Henley, arrogant owner of Door Camelot, a new local site for “larping”: live-action role-playing. It turns out that Henley was surrounded by people with motives to kill him, including the neighboring farmer who objected to the larpers’ loud revelry, the “Guinevere” whom King Arthur/Henley rudely dumped, and the son of a man he ruined in a real estate scam. Finding the murderer is complicated by the close-knit neighborhood, since one serious suspect is the godfather of one of the sheriff’s assistants and another used to babysit for the Cubiaks. The local color is the book’s main attraction. Those happy to settle in with an undemanding, by-the-numbers mystery will be satisfied. (Apr.)