Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ARC Review: At the Edge of the Woods by Victoria Houston

At the Edge of the Woods

Victoria Houston
Series: Lew Ferris (Book 3)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (April 23, 2024)

Description: Someone is murdering pickleball players in Loon Lake and Sheriff Ferris is on the hunt for their killer in Victoria Houston’s third nail-biting Lew Ferris mystery, perfect for fans of Marc Cameron and Nevada Barr.

When a local pickleball player is shot in the head while practicing at an abandoned tennis court with his partner-slash-lover, Sheriff Lew Ferris suspects that the bullet was a stray shot from hunters in the area. It’s not until a second player–the first victim’s mistress and pickleball partner–is killed that Sheriff Ferris realizes this is no hunting accident. Someone is hunting people, and it’s up to her to find out who.

With the first victim’s crazed widow breathing down Lew’s neck, there’s no room to breathe, let alone to find time to appreciate the beautiful Loon Lake fall and go fishing. Adding to Sheriff Ferris’ difficulties are three pickleball players convinced someone has targeted them, someone who will do anything, even murder, to frighten them away from the courts where they play – but why?

Who is really at risk? The pickleball players, or Lew and the people close to her?

My Thoughts: This is the third book in the Lew Ferris mystery series. I chose it, despite not having read the first two books, because I was interested in the Northern Wisconsin setting. Lew is the sheriff. She was elected after some years as police chief of Loon Lake. And while being a sheriff is her job, her real love is fly fishing. She is an expert and an excellent teacher.

When a local dentist is shot while playing pickleball at a court he built at on old summer camp, Lew has a mystery to solve. She is of the opinion that the gunshot the killed him was an accident since deer season is coming up and lots of hunters are sighting in their guns and some aren't too concerned with safety. But there are a fair number of people who could have wanted the dentist dead including his wife and daughter. 

Lew begins her investigation with lots of help from the local rumor mill. When the dentist's pickleball partner and the woman he planned to marry after divorcing his wife is also killed, Lew doesn't suspect a second accident. 

I liked all the talk about fishing that was woven into the story. I thought the characters were interesting. I didn't really like the abrupt resolution to the mystery and felt that it was overshadowed by other parts of the plot. 

Fans of the series will enjoy this one as well as fans of Northern Wisconsin. 

Favorite Quote:
"Can I tell you what I like about Lewellyn Ferris besides her fishing?

"Careful," said Bruce with a smile in his voice. "I might be too young to hear this..."

"She listens," said Osborne, emphasizing his last word. "She has a good heart. She's kind and she listens. You can't ask for more."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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