cover image Dead Big Dawg: A Loon Lake Mystery

Dead Big Dawg: A Loon Lake Mystery

Victoria Houston. Gallery, $16.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4405-9883-8

Houston’s straightforward 19th mystery featuring Loon Lake, Wis., police chief Lewellyn “Lew” Ferris (after 2018’s Dead Firefly) opens with the fatal shooting of retired criminal defense lawyer and fervent bird watcher Lillian Curran while observing a great horned owl. This crime is quickly overshadowed when John Powers and his wife, Margo, are found murdered in their vacation home. The Powers’ business empire is so important that big city media descend on Loon Lake to cover the story. Then another person dies, leading Lew to ponder whether the murders could be connected. She’s assisted by her second-in-command, Todd Donovan, and by her physician neighbor, Paul Osbourn, the town’s acting coroner, and together they zero in on the obvious villain. Meanwhile, Lew and company reminisce at length about their childhood and youth, sharing stories of high school rivalries, bridge club snubs, and marriages gone wrong. Fans will enjoy catching up with old friends, but those seeking thrills, chills, or intriguing mysteries will be disappointed. [em]Agent: Nell Pierce, Sterling Lord Literistic. (June) [/em]