When I finished DEAD LIL' HUSTLER by Victoria Houston last month, I made a check of her website to see if I had missed any of her books and found that I had not read DEAD TEASE. Within a couple days of placing an online request through WPLC (Wisconsin Public Library Consortium) I had notice that the book was ready to download on my Nook. Like the other Loon Lake mysteries,
Police Chief Lewellyn "Lew" Ferris calls on Dr. Paul "Doc" Osborne to help solve an unsolved crime, a task made more difficult by the remoteness of their small Northern Wisconsin town, its small police force and even smaller budget. Jennifer Williams, graphic artist for Midwest Medical Clinic, is found dead outside her condo. John McNeill, CEO of the clinic, knows he has had nothing to do with the young woman's death, but is anxious that others may know about his recent affair with Jen. He is also troubled that his wife keeps insisting that someone is lurking outside their lakeside home, always when he is away. Could what he has been calling her imagination be an actual threat?
Over the multiple Loon Lake books, Houston has successfully built up both Lew and Paul's characters, giving credibility to their deepening relationship despite an obvious difference in age. In this volume, we get a peak into Paul's old life -- a tenuous balancing act of work, pleasing his wife, and fitting into the social culture of Loon Lake's well to do. Also, we see a new side of Paul as a caring, but slightly overwhelmed, grandfather of a teenage girl.
While some Houston mysteries may be a little short on tension and suspense, I was never sure of the villain until the very last scene of DEAD TEASE. Well done, Houston. And Chief Ferris and Dr. Osborne definitely deserve some fishing time on the water.