"...populated with sympathetic, well-drawn characters... ouston also delivers beautiful descriptions of the bucolic setting, along with plenty of sharply rendered fly-fishing scenes." --Booklist
It's the dead of winter in Loon Lake when a wealthy widow is run down and killed by a logging truck on an icy street. The truck driver insists he saw a man shove the woman into the path of his truck. A lone witness who may have seen the man who shoved the victim is soon found dead--drowned in icy waters where he was ice fishing. Within hours, Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris finds herself dealing with malicious family members related to the dead woman, a cache of grisly paintings, and strange disturbances on the land surrounding the widow's contemporary mansion--all of which point to various people who may have wanted her dead.
Lew recruits her close friend and fellow flyfisherman, retired dentist "Doc" Osborne, for his forensic and interrogation skills. Meanwhile, Ray Pradt, ice fishing guide and expert tracker, helps with the initial investigation even as he threatens to engage in an inappropriate relationship with a key witness. Lew's life and career is further complicated when a young woman calls, convinced that Lew is her birth mother.
In her teens and twenties, mystery author Victoria Houston was the classic hometown girl who couldn't wait to leave her small Wisconsin town. She has not only returned to her hometown of Rhinelander, but she has based her popular Loon Lake mystery series in the region’s fishing culture. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio.
"A pure delight. The characters have an ease accrued over a long series, and I felt comfortable with them right away. Houston has a brisk and enjoyable storytelling style, punctuating her narrative with tales of fly and ice fishing.... Sometimes, I don't require anything more than a good story, well told. Houston delivers this in spades.... There's a suspenseful and exciting piece at the end of the novel.... This is a writer to savor." --Mystery Scene
"[Dead Rapunzel is] Houston's frigid but beautiful winter portrait of Loon Lake." --Kirkus Reviews
"Filled with vivid descriptions of the region's winter landscape and Lew's favorite pastime (fly-fishing), as well as interesting and eccentric characters, this entry is a welcome addition to the series." --Publishers Weekly
"Victoria Houston's Loon Lake mysteries are always a self-indulgent treat for me. The underlying theme of the Loon Lake series so far seems to be threats to the idyll, expressed in big city ambition versus small town kindness, materialism versus naturalism, and thin personality versus depth of character. The overlay of fly-fishing is not just regional embroidery, but a reminder that practice, steadiness, perseverance, and patience are needed to achieve satisfaction, not unlike detective work. There's so much yet to discover beneath the rippling surface." --Bookpleasures
"Like a good air conditioned movie, Dead Rapunzel and Loon Lake in winter make for ideal reading in the dog days of August." --Blogcritics.org