Bitterroot Lake

Crooked Lane. Apr. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781643855806. $27.99. SUSPENSE
Three-time Agatha Award winner Leslie Budewitz (“Spice Shop” and “Food Lovers’ Village” series) writes under the pen name Beckman for her suspense debut set in Montana. Young widow Sarah McCaskill recently lost her husband and childhood sweetheart to cancer. Her mother, Peggy, urges her to come back to the family-owned Whitetail Lodge on Bitterroot Lake to begin healing. Although the lodge has always been special to Sarah, it was also the site of a crime 25 years ago. That night involved a sexual assault and a devastating car accident that killed one of Sarah’s friends. Lucas, the driver in the accident, should have been convicted but went scot-free and even became a lawyer in their hometown. When Sarah returns to Whitetail Lodge, she encounters friends from her past and learns of a mysterious murder that may be tied to the tragedy 25 years ago. As she and her friends dig into the murder mystery, they uncover the secrets of Whitetail Lodge and the McCaskill family from a century ago.
VERDICT Beckman paints a gorgeous picture of an idyllic small town. With some paranormal aspects, secrets past and present, and a multitude of murder suspects, this suspense debut is sure to attract readers.
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