Where the Dead Sleep

Poisoned Pen. (Ben Packard, Bk. 2). Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781728247922. $27.99. M
Moehling’s second installment in the “Ben Packard” series (following And There He Kept Her) takes readers back to Sandy Lake, MN, as acting sheriff Ben Packard investigates the murder of a local. Bill Sandersen was known around town as someone who chased after a fast buck and left debts and broken hearts behind him. Packard soon finds that no one in Sandy Lake has a clear motive for his murder. When another tragedy strikes, Packard is faced with the difficult decision of whether to become Sandy Lake’s permanent sheriff. This title has all the elements of a good mystery: a puzzling crime, dark secrets, fast-paced writing, and deadpan humor. Moehling offers readers not only a vivid image of a small Minnesota town but also fully rounded and authentic characters. Packard is a refreshing protagonist who is deeply relatable.
VERDICT Riveting and a real page-turner; fans of C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett novels or Craig Johnson’s “Longmire” series will feel at home.
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