Jun 122019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am pleased to share the latest book in this long-running Wisconsin series!


Dead Big Dawg (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
19th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 11, 2019)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598835
ISBN-13: 978-1440598838
Kindle ASIN: B01MRACFUA

When the bodies of a wealthy Chicago industrialist and his wife are discovered in their summer home at the same time that a local lawyer disappears, life becomes complicated for Loon Lake Chief of Police Lew Ferris.

Relying on the forensic dental expertise of her close friend and acting coroner, Doc Osborne, Lew soon finds the investigations are even more complicated than she thought when a rarely used computer belonging to a local sawmill operation is taken over by foreign hackers. Add to that the family issues facing both Lew and Doc, and this Northwoods summer becomes both hot and dangerous.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another trip north to Loon Lake and again Doc and Lew have their hands full. First,  with their grandchildren, especially when they disappear and are found a short time later at a neighboring farm. They also find agents from the FBI Cyber Security Team. Russian Hackers have worked their way into the Northwoods unbeknownst to the owners of the farm and the owners of an old computer they use for recordkeeping.

Then, in the middle of the night Chief of Police Lew Ferris is alerted to a double fatality. A businessman and his wife from Illinois in their summer home. At first, thought to be a murder/suicide, Lew doesn’t think so and calls in the “Wausau Boys” and Ray Pradt to work the scene. Together they all will try to figure out what really happened and why.

On the homefront, Doc’s daughter is home for a visit and she has brought along her new boyfriend and runs into a high school classmate.

Wisconsin is a place where many bigwigs from the Chicago area have their summer homes so it was not surprising that a couple from there are our victims this time. The question is was the killer from the area or did trouble follow them over the border.

___

The core characters in this series have become friends after 19 books. I love that the children and grandchildren again are part of the story. That being said, the author gives enough background info to read this or any of the books in this series on its own. The characters are well developed and genuine, some have the quirky traits fans of this genre look for. There are also plenty of suspects to keep readers guessing.

The later books in this series run about 200 pages and Victoria Houston packs them full. She tangles the main plot and subplots together with believable dialogue and wonderful descriptions of the area. What I love best is that the characters always have time to do a little fly-fishing. They find a certain amount of peace on the water and sometimes that is when a crucial clue falls into place.

The Loon Lake Mysteries are comfortable stories with the perfect amount of suspense and drama. Lew, Doc, and Ray are good people and true friends. Strong, smart, people who work and play well together. The romantic relationship between Doc and Lew is what I would call relaxed. They each know what they want and understand each other so well. The younger Ray is a very special guy, still playing the field and that usually works for him. Most people are amazed by the way women just seem to fall for him.  It does bring some great humor to each story.

I have enjoyed each story in this series. Dead Big Dawg was a quick read that was fun and entertaining. I  look forward to my next trip north.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.



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Contest Will End June 26, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Aug 172018
 

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Dead Spider (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
17th in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 23, 2017)
Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1440598800
ISBN-13: 978-1440598807
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-10: 1507204566
ISBN-13: 978-1507204566
Kindle ASIN: B01MYCJ8LL

In the next installment of the Loon Lake Mystery series, Lewellyn Ferris and Doc Osborne must solve a murder that shatters the picturesque Wisconsin lake town community at the height of summer.

On a lovely Sunday afternoon in late June, the annual Loon Lake Youth Fishing Tournament is coming to a close. People are happy, kids are full of ice cream, and teenagers are setting off firecrackers so loud that no one hears the gunshot.

But when the crowd thins out, an attractive young wife makes a grisly discovery: A single bullet to the head has killed her much older husband—the richest man in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, as the murder investigation gets underway, Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris’s good friend and deputy coroner, “Doc” Osborne, is alarmed to hear that his oldest grandchild, fifteen-year-old Beth, has been caught in a drug sting.

And Loon Lake’s idyllic summer is further shattered when numerous elderly patients in the local nursing home discover they have been robbed.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Chuck Pfeiffer owns Pfeiffer’s Fishing, Golf, and Shooting Sports and is said to be the richest man in Wisconsin. He is the primary sponsor of the Loon Lake Youth Fishing Tournament. The final judging is underway and some fool is lighting off fireworks. As Doc Osbourne, his daughter and granddaughter are leaving they hear screams and rush back to find a man dead. Doc places a call to Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris, “Lewellyn, the richest man in Wisconsin just took a bullet to the brain.”

I have enjoyed all of my virtual trips to Loon Lake and this one was no different. No matter how busy Lew is trying to solve crimes she always finds time to get in the water for a little fly fishing with Doc. Sometimes they are joined by one or more other characters. The solitude she finds there shows the author’s love of fishing and being on the lake. My grandfather loved to fish and took me with him several times and every time I open one of these books memories of him just flood my mind.

The murder this time happened in a crowd of people, but no one seemed to see anything. Thankfully everyone including the people in the Pfeiffer tent were filming the day on cameras or their phones. Of course, no one actually caught the murder while it was happening, or did they? Lew calls in an expert to help them go through the tapes and really tune in to what they are seeing and it started to bring some suspects to light.

Doc also had another crime on his mind and that one takes a scary and horrific turn. It kept me right on the edge of my seat.

Ms. Houston drew me right into this story. After 17 books in the series, I am invested in these characters and care about what happens to them. She gave me a mystery that held my attention. I realized the killer just a little before Lew and Osbourne but the final reveal wasn’t what I hoped or imagined, but it was understandable.

Set in my home state I love reading the descriptions of the area and the mentions of familiar places. I think it is time to take a real live trip to loon lake instead of these virtual ones 🙂

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving my paperback review copy away!
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End August 31, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Nov 242017
 

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I am really trying to get caught up on this series.


Dead Loudmouth (A Loon Lake Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
16th in the Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (June 1, 2016)
Paperback: 206 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440568442
Kindle ASIN: B01ENYMB64

 

 

It’s a bright summer morning in Loon Lake when Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris is called to the scene of a horrific accident that occurred in the dead of night at a local gentleman’s club. The club is owned by one of the victims, a member of the private Deer Creek Fishing and Hunting Preserve and the scion of a wealthy Wisconsin family. When the county coroner is unavailable due to a car accident, Chief Ferris deputizes her close friend and fellow fly-fisherman, retired dentist “Doc” Osborne, to step in.

Osborne’s discovery of mysterious footprints confirms Chief Ferris’s suspicions: this is no accident; it’s murder. Leaning on Doc Osborne for his forensic and interrogation skills, Lew also hopes to enlist the help of Ray Pradt, fishing guide and expert tracker. But Ray’s time is limited as he is coaching the University of Wisconsin’s fishing team in a muskie fishing tournament. Things get complicated when Doc Osborne’s granddaughter disappears on the first day of the tournament. Sunny June days turn dark as a desperate search ensues.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have enjoyed this series from the beginning.

This time Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris is called to a gentleman’s club for two dead bodies. With the regular coroner is involved in a car accident on the way to the scene, Lew calls in “Doc” Osborne to look over the situation to determine if it was a freak accident or murder that left two people dead. She also calls in expert tracker, Ray Pradt, to advise on the case. Ray only has about an hour to scan the scene as he is coaching a team from the University of Wisconsin in a fishing tournament. He has even enlisted “Doc”‘s 11 year-old granddaughter to help with the tackle and food.

Lew is busy investigating the two deaths when she gets a frantic call that “Doc”‘s granddaughter is missing and so is one of Ray’s kayaks. Never a dull moment in Loon Lake which leaves very little time for fly fishing.

Ms. Houston’s love for fishing and the great outdoors again sings throughout story. The details unfold effortlessly and bring the rivers and forests to life. It would be so relaxing and calm if it wasn’t for those darn dead people. 🙂 She described the scene in the gentleman’s club as well, painting a picture of death I don’t think I will soon forget. A truly crazy way to die.

The main characters have become like friends over the series. For some reason I had in my head that Ray was older but that is neither here nor there. The are wonderfully real with every day issues in addition to the main plot. I liked getting to know Mason, Dr. Osborne’s granddaughter and that at just 11 years old she loves to fish with her grandpa, just like I did when I was that age. It was so easy to picture her in those waders. She has a harrowing experience that could change the way she feels but with the family she has to support her she seems to be alright.

The plot was crisp, with many suspects, due to some illegal shenanigans happening at the club. I was kept guessing right up until the end. Time passes quickly and so does the turning of the pages. It clearly portrays a small town that needs to call in a crime lab from a larger town to help them work the case. Of course the guy loves to fly fish so he is happy to help them out.

Another terrific escape from this author, just a few actual hours from home.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my copy!
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 8, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

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Nov 182016
 

9WbGnJTR
On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I missed when they were first
released that have been screaming at me from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Did a little rearranging on my bookshelves last week and was so excited I found this book I read it before I read the book for yesterday’s post. 🙂

dead-insider
Dead Insider (Loon Lake Mystery)
13th in Series
Mystery
Setting – Wisconsin
Tyrus Books (June 18, 2013)
Paperback: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440533563
E-Book ASIN: B00CA9DKE2
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

In the midst of a catastrophic August rainstorm, a grisly discovery shatters the serenity of a summer evening in northern Wisconsin. Moving quickly to prevent a panic among tourists, Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris enlists the forensic and interrogation skills of her close friend and fellow fly fisherman, the retired dentist “Doc” Osborne. Within hours of launching their investigation, they find themselves faced with a national media circus as Loon Lake becomes the focus of a murderous scenario that links the murder to the race for the U.S. Senate by a woman who is heir to a Northwoods fortune and other, less savory, family traditions.

In the meantime, Doc Osborne’s eldest daughter, Mallory, enters into a relationship that may put her life at risk–unless her father and Chief Ferris can find the killer stalking the residents of Loon Lake.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Reading this after the crazy political season we just experienced seemed fitting.

It is raining cats and dogs in Look Lake. Roads and fields are flooding and while blocking vehicles from traveling through the water something awful is found floating now a new rainfall river. The findings lead to a woman running for the U.S. Senate. Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris has her hands full. Thankfully her friends and officers are there to help her pull all the pieces of this terrible murder investigation together.

Fly fisherwoman Lew Ferris has caught a huge case and relies on the resources available to her to solve it. I had my main suspect but the twisted plot made the conclusion and the motive totally surprising.  What followed was a tragic tale that left me almost visibly shaking. The pain felt by the killer’s mother just broke my heart.

Ms. Houston dug deep for this one. The laid back community of Loon Lake was not only rocked by the flooding but a terrible murder. People came together to help with the case and handle the media because tourism in the bread and butter of this community. I felt a plethora of emotions as the story continued. How could something so awful happen in this little town?

I enjoy these characters and admire the soothing calm they find standing in a lake or river casting their line time and time again. Sometimes never catching a thing. It’s in those places Lew and Doc can order their thoughts and break away from the stress and trauma of the case. I can see their faces so clearly. My grandfather was a fisherman and his perfect place to relax was in his little boat out on the water with a fishing pole in his hands. He never had the stress of a murder to solve but his life wasn’t easy. I loved going out in his boat with him. Some days we caught a lot of fish and some days we just caught some sun and had good conversation, me the youngster not even in my teens and him sharing his life’s stories with me. The look on his face was just peaceful out on the water. Times I will never forget. The stories in this series touch my heart because of my relationship with him. Doc Osbourne’s thinking and temperament remind me so much of the wonderful fisherman in my life. Lew is a strong woman in a top position and she takes her job seriously. Together they make a great team.

Sadly, these little vacations north to Loon Lake are way too short. I hope to return again soon. Not so much for the mysteries, although those are good, but for the serenity outside of the drama. Both grab a hold and don’t let go.

perfect 2016

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
I am giving away my signed copy!
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End December 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

This book was from my private collection.

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Nov 142015
 

dead teaseDead Tease
(Loon Lake Mystery)

12th in Series
Mystery
Setting – Wisconsin
Tyrus Books (March 17, 2012)
Hardcover: 208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1440533129
Trade Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1440533112
E-Book – ASIN: B007L7LNMO
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

A hot August afternoon and Midwest Clinic CEO John McNeil has been working late. Working on his latest conquest, that is. Jen Williams is twenty-six, in charge of graphics for the hospital’s PR division—and quite attractive in a healthy, athletic kind of way. She is quick to laugh and a little too quick to fall for guys. She is no virgin. And she is one of three women—including his wife—intimately familiar with McNeil.

When Jen’s youthful body is found with a single stab wound through the heart, suspicion falls on both McNeil’s wife, who insists she is being stalked, and the striking hospital physician with whom he had just ended an affair. Pressure to find the killer falls on Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn “Lew” Ferris and Dr. Paul “Doc” Osborne, the retired dentist and forensic dental expert whom she has deputized to help with the investigation—when they are not taking a break for fishing and other personal pursuits. When the mayor demands Lew take early retirement—and Doc has to babysit his teenage granddaughter who won’t stop texting—the frustrations mount.

Desperate for a few hours off—and persuaded by Ray Pradt (a fishing guide who wears a stuffed trout on his head, so they should have known better)—to try fly fishing from kayaks, Doc and Lew find themselves in life-and-death straits on the river. This leads to an unexpected and macabre discovery that just may break the case.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Time to travel north and escape to Loon Lake. This time Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn “Lew” Ferris assisted by Dr. Paul “Doc” Osborne is investigating the death of a young woman. She was found stabbed through the heart outside her home. Lew and Doc start out at her work place and the CEO John McNeil. A man with secrets is always a good suspect.

I have enjoyed this series from the start. I love these characters. When the mayor started pushing about retirement Lew and the reason why he was doing it made me want to scream. But Lew took a little time to reflect and then she found a way to stop the mayor in his tracks and I had a huge smile on my face.

The mystery was good but not great. I did figure it out a little early but it was fun to follow Lew and Doc and their process.

As always the descriptions of the area, Northern Wisconsin, shined.

We were treated to a little humor as fishing guide Ray Pradt tries to make kayak fly fishing a realty. Oh my, Doc and Lew were his guinea pigs and it was so funny except it could have had dire consequences. Knowing they are the main characters I knew it would turn out alright.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

This book was from my private collection. 

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

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Dec 302014
 

dead deceiverDead Deceiver
(Loon Lake Mystery)

Mystery
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Tyrus Books; Reprint edition (May 30, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1440582226
E-Book File Size: 889 KB
ASIN: B005307N5W
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

It’s late January in Loon Lake and bodies abound…

While the town of Loon Lake is hosting an International Ice Fishing Festival, Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris and her limited team are busy with the usual headaches and then some. Meanwhile, Doc Osborne is busy studying fly-casting videos in an effort to impress Lew come spring.

But a panicked call from Rob Beltner leads to a sad discovery: his wife, Kathy, is dead of a gunshot wound. Lew barely begins to investigate the shooting before she’s sidetracked by the imposing figure of Patience Schumacher, president of Wheedon Technical College. Patience is certain she’s being stalked, and as Lew investigates, the uncanny coincidences accumulate like snow on the frozen, deadly surface of Loon Lake…

Dollycas’s Thoughts
This has been one of my favorites series but the last one, Dead Renegade was not the author’s best and I left this one on the shelf. When I needed just one more book to complete by Wisconsin Author/Setting I picked it up and I so glad I did. I don’t know much about fly fishing but I sure do like reading about it. My grandfather was quite a fisherman and stories like this bring forth great memories.

I love Lew, Doc Osborne, and Ray Pradt. In this installment they are fighting the elements of a Wisconsin winter to find who killed a woman out snowshoeing. When she fails to return home her husband calls the police and they start a search that ends with the worst possible outcome.

I like the relaxed relationship between Lew and Osbourne. They are comfortable with each other and the lives they are leading. Lew’s daughter returns to Loon Lake to talk things over with her mom. Her marriage is falling apart and she needs advice and a little perspective as she moves toward a divorce.

There is also a fishing tournament taking place and a reality show is casting and Ray hopes he is chosen for the show.

Houston is back and while there is not as much fishing in this installment due to it be set in winter the mystery is more of what I expect from this author. The characters are still growing and the were a few suspenseful moments as the plot and subplot converged and the killer was revealed.

The funny thing is that is now December in Wisconsin and we don’t have any snow. We had a very green Christmas and as I type this it is 45 degrees outside. Reading about the snowy countrysides was great for me and required no shoveling on my part.

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more bout Victoria Houston visit her webpage here.

*This book was from my private collection.

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