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Available in June, 2014
It's mid-July in Loon Lake, and Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris has her hands full with the discovery of the skeletal remains of a missing bank executive and the murder of graduate student. To complicate matters, both victims were discovered on a hidden river deep in the national forest--a place that just so happens to be a dangerous wolf rendezvous site.
Lew recruits her close friend and fellow flyfisherman, retired dentist "Doc" Osborne, for his forensic and interrogation skills. But Doc has his own set of problems to worry about: his grandson is hospitalized with a grave illness, and now Lew seems to be getting too interested in the father of the murdered student--a well-to-do widower who is teaching her the Japanese art of tenkara flyfishing.
During an August flood, pieces of Wisconsin candidate for U.S. Senate Jane Ericsson’s dismembered body are found wrapped in butcher paper traveling down a swollen waterway near Loon Lake, Wisconsin. With the assistance of her close friend, retired dentist Dr. Paul (Doc) Osborne, Loon Lake Police Chief Lewellyn (Lew) Ferris investigates as a media circus descends around them. Suspects include an environmentalist who was trying to bribe Ericsson and a longtime friend with whom Ericsson had a recent falling out. Soon another dead victim is found. With Ericsson’s campaign manager acting oddly and a large amount of money missing from the deceased’s campaign fund, Ferris and Osborne have numerous avenues to pursue before they identify the killer.
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.
It’s late January in Loon Lake and bodies abound: a woman on snowshoes has been discovered wedged under a wooden bridge on a cross-country ski trail. A day later, Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris interviews a couple who alleges that the wife, a former nun, is being stalked. Meanwhile, Loon Lake is hosting an International Ice Fishing Festival with problems.
DEAD RENEGADE, the 10th book in the Loon Lake fishing mystery series, is now available.
“Houston wants to make you dash for rod and reel.”
DEAD HOT SHOT
"Victoria Houston's love for her Wisconsin setting - and her wonderful characters - is evident on every page of her fine series. Loon Lake is a great get-away, even if it does keep me up at night." Laura Lippman, author of What the Dead Know
Murder never takes a holiday... or so Loon Lake learns one wintry Thanksgiving Day. Chief of Police Lew Ferris, short-handed thanks to an AWOL coroner, never even gets the turkey stuffed before the bodies start to surface. By the end of the day, credit card theft and dysfunctional families have so muddied the waters that not even expert tracker and dedicated fishing guide, Ray Pradt, can hope to fish the final day of muskie season. And while retired dentist, Doc Osbornse, had counted on sitting by the fire with Lew (out of uniform) and planning a fly fishing trip to Wyoming--the unexpected arrival of Gina Palmer, former investigative reporter turned forensics database expert, ramps up the action with her pursuit of a Canadian link to the theft of merchandise from stores across the upper Midwest. Dead Hot Shot , ninth in the Loon Lake Mystery series, is a heady mix of murder, mayhem and fishing in the northwoods of Wisconsin.Purchase Dead Hot Shot
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URL: http://www.victoriahouston.com -- Last updated: April 2014