MYSTERY

Tracking Game

Crooked Lane. (Timber Creek K-9, Bk. 5). Nov. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781643851358. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781643851365. M
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Mizushima’s fifth “Timber Creek K-9” mystery (after Burning Ridge) begins with Deputy Mattie Cobb at a dance with her beau, Cole, the local veterinarian. An explosion at the edge of town draws them to a burning van belonging to a local outfitter. His body is pulled from the wreck, but it’s discovered that he died from gunshot wounds. Mattie and her German shepherd partner, Robo, search the scene and find a glove and the murder weapon. The victim is the son-in-law of a prominent ranching family, and no one has anything bad to say about him. Then a second body is found just outside of Timber Creek. While searching the area, Mattie and Robo have an encounter with an unseen big cat. On the personal front, Mattie is trying to deal with her growing feelings for Cole and memories from her difficult past. She and Robo must work quickly to discover the connection between the two victims as well as the mysterious cage found in the burnt-out van.
VERDICT This is a compelling and twisty mystery in a well-described location. Fans of Western mysteries as well as those featuring dogs will enjoy this latest entry in the series.

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