A Death in Door County

Berkley. (Monster Hunter, Bk. 1). Sept. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780593441572. $27. M
Cryptozoologist Morgan Carter owns an eclectic bookshop in Door County, WI, where she sells old books, shrunken heads, crystal balls, and other oddities. Her reputation as an expert on cryptids, legendary and extinct creatures, reaches the chief of police, Jon Flanders, and he approaches Morgan to consult on a bizarre case. Two men have recently been killed and were seemingly crushed by what appears to be a giant animal bite. The corpses were found near Porte des Morts, or Death’s Door, where the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan merge and can be treacherous. While skeptical himself, Jon wants Morgan to rule out some sort of Great Lakes Loch Ness Monster. They begin working together, and soon their chemistry is undeniable. When a violent attack at the bookshop occurs, an unspeakable tragedy from Morgan’s past comes into play as suspicion surrounds her role in these mysterious deaths.
VERDICT Full of fascinating history and lore, as well as the underwater geography of these fearsome waterways, this new mystery from “Mattie Winston” series author Ryan is a tour de force featuring a plucky and imminently likable sleuth. A deliciously clever and entertaining puzzle, highly recommended.
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