cover image Lake of Tears

Lake of Tears

Mary Logue. F + W Media/Tyrus, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4405-7151-0

In Logue’s halfhearted ninth Claire Watkins mystery (after 2010’s Frozen Stiff), deputy Claire temporarily steps into the role of sheriff of Fort St. Antoine, Wis., just as her college-bound teen daughter, Meg, chooses 26-year-old Andrew Stickler as her new boyfriend. Only later does Meg realize that Andrew, who recently served as a soldier in Afghanistan, is employed by her mother as a deputy—and is a suspect in the murder case Claire is working. Glimpses into the deranged mind of Andrew’s war buddy, Doug Nelson, may heighten the suspense, but fail to frighten as they should. Likewise, the conflict between Meg and Claire over Meg’s relationship with Andrew generates little heat, while the victim whose skeleton is found in the ashes of the town’s traditional boat bonfire, its equivalent of the Burning Man festival, is vaguely unsympathetic, leaving the reader few emotional hooks to grab as the story goes through its procedural motions. (Jan.)