Hidden in the Pines (A Lew Ferris Mystery)
Mystery/ Small Town Fiction
2nd in Series with this Publisher
21st in Series Overall
Setting – Wisconsin
Crooked Lane Books (January 10, 2023)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1639101470
ISBN-13 : 978-1639101474
Kindle ASIN : B09XM49DQC
Sheriff Lew Ferris knows how to land a sweet brook trout—but can she catch a cold-blooded killer in the thrilling second installment in the Lew Ferris mysteries.
It’s Lew Ferris’s first day as the newly-elected Sheriff of McBride County, and already things are heating up in the Wisconsin Northwoods. The tragic drowning of a teenage girl draws an eerie parallel to the unsolved murder of another teen thirty years earlier, but one of Lew’s new subordinates—Alan Stern, Chief of the Deer Haven Police Department—has ruled it an accidental death by drowning. Neither Lew nor the girl’s family accept the ruling, but Lew is up against a wall of sexism and subterfuge. Not only is Stern belligerent and dismissive of Lew, but he takes the word of the local coroner, Ed Pecore, who Lew believes is completely unqualified for the job.
Adding to Lew’s headaches, an unwelcome interference in the case by a multimillionaire resident reopens a cold case that stretches back decades—and could lead to an anguished relative taking justice into his own hands to avenge a crime the cops never solved. And when Lew’s dear friend, Dr. Paul “Doc” Osborne, finds himself witness to a sophisticated money laundering scheme that could threaten the lives of his daughter and her close friend, Lew finally feels like she’s reached the breaking point.
The fish may be biting in McBride County—but now, Lew is on the line to uncover the long-buried secret that could ensnare a killer once and for all.
Newly elected Sheriff Lew Ferris isn’t going to have a lot of time for flyfishing as she tries to get things in order in McBride County, Wisconsin.
Deer Haven Chief of Police, Alan Stern is livid when he finds out his new boss is looking into a case he had closed and ruled as accidental. The case has been brought to Lew’s attention by the family’s lawyer because the family does not accept the girl’s death was accidental. When Lew sees that Ed Pecore, the county’s embarrassment of a coroner is behind the ruling she agrees to take a second look. The case has a lot of similarities to an unsolved case from 30 years ago.
Meanwhile, Dr. Paul “Doc” Osborne receives some stunning information that could put the lives of his daughter and her friend in danger. He is going to need some help from Lew to keep them safe.
Lew’s first days as Sheriff are going to be filled with mayhem as she juggles it all trying to uncover the truth to finally put a killer behind bars where he belongs.
While this is the second book in the series from Crooked Lane, there were 19 books featuring this cast of characters prior to those. Don’t worry the author will give you enough details to feel quite a home no matter where you jump into the series.
I have enjoyed this series so much. The characters are like old friends. I do love that Lew took the leap and has become the Sheriff of the whole county after being Chief of Police for Loon Lake for years. She is qualified and strong enough to deal with the flack she is going to receive by being a woman in typically man’s position. Her relationship with the man in her life, Doc Osborne is comfortable and realistic. I liked that his daughter had a role in this story. Ray Pradt continues to be a fave. He is truly a man with his own set of rules and talents and is always game for anything.
We do meet a very interesting new character in this story connected to the 30-year-old open case. I hate to say too much but she fits in really well with everyone and I am happy that it looks like she will be sticking around.
The mysteries are very interesting with some nice moments of suspense. The cold case really tugged at my heartstrings. Still being haunted by something that happened so long ago was a huge load to shoulder. I was so happy that by the end of this book, the character finally had some closure.
As always, the author’s descriptions of life in the Wisconsin Northwoods are always a delight. The places, the actions and the dialogues always ring true. The flyfishing excursions always remind me of my grandfather. I can always picture him in his waders, reel in his hand, just around the next curve from where Doc and Lew are. He has been gone a very long time but he was happiest casting out a line just like so many characters in these stories.
Victoria Houston is such a fine storyteller and her love of the Northwoods always shines. I am always able to escape right into her stories. Hidden in the Pines is a terrific addition to this series. I can’t wait for my next visit up north.
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About the Author
Victoria Houston is the author of the Loon Lake mysteries as well as several nonfiction books on family issues. She has been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and on NPR. She lives, writes, and fishes in northern Wisconsin.
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