DEAD INSIDER by Victoria Houston, is one of several in the Loon Lake Mysteries series. Ms. Houston gives the reader enough background for each character and the relationships they have to one another so that a first time reader of the series could pick up the latest in the series without getting confused.

She was awakened by a rustling in the kitchen and checked the time on her alarm clock. Oh man, it was only ten fifteen. She lay listening. Damn mice. Kaye must have forgotten to put out traps. Oh, that’s right, Kaye isn’t helping me any more. Who’s that new guy Lauren hired? Did he forget to put out traps? More rustling. Okay, maybe she could shoo ’em out the kitchen door. Better than letting the critters find their way into her bedroom. She threw back the coverlet, reached for her robe and staggered down the hall towards the kitchen. Her head did not feel good—one too many bourbons. Jane blinked against the glare of the kitchen lights: the mouse seemed tall as a person, its head in shadow. She blinked again. Double vision didn’t help. The mouse swung and a jet plane hit her temple.

When Jane Erricson, a Senate candidate, is found murdered in her hometown at Loon Lake, Chief of Police Lew Ferris and the on-call coroner Dr. Paul Osborne are thrust into a media circus while trying to figure out the killer. To make matters more complicated, Osborne’s daughter and boyfriend have come for a visit and unknowingly get involved in the murder investigation.

Overall, the book was an interesting read…

While most of Houston’s characters are engaging and entertaining, especially fly-fisherman Ray Pradt as the Loon Lake expert fly-fisherman and guide, Osborne’s daughter Molly was involved but lacked depth and true storyline, and her uptight city boyfriend Kent “call me Kenton” came across as a whining social elitist. His reactions to events seemed lack-luster at first, and over-the-top the more he became involved in the investigation. One thing that really bothered me was the fact that the introduction of Jane was so very brief prior to her murder, but it could be that this was simply to allow the reader to view the events that were to unfold as if we were part of the investigation as well.

Despite the complaints about characterization, what truly enjoyed about this story was the out-of-nowhere clever plot twist, which I did not see coming. Every event had its reason, and in the end, was wrapped up neatly so the author could move along to the next book in the series.

Overall, the book was an interesting read, though I wish I had been able to read the rest of the previous books in the series, which may have given me a better sense of some of the supporting characters like Molly.

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About the Reviewer

Aimee Krenz
Aimee adores the written word. Her parents fostered a love for reading and writing in her from a very young age and her passion for books continues to this day. Aimee has been blogging and writing in numerous places since 2006, both for herself and for publishing companies. In 2009, she created Nathan Fillion FANS, a fansite for actor and Geek God Nathan Fillion. Her affiliation with the site led to a partnership with his foundation, Kids Need To Read, to help raise money and awareness for underfunded schools, libraries, and other literacy foundations struggling to provide age appropriate reading material to children in need. Over the last three years, Fillion FANS has raised over $5000 for the organization, and she hopes to continue to help raise more in the future. In addition to running the fansite, blogging, and posting book reviews, Aimee is also pursuing her dream of becoming a published novelist. She holds an Associate’s degree in Psychology and is working towards her Bachelor’s degree in English.