Hanging Falls

by Margaret Mizushima
Crooked Lane Books, September 2020, $26.99

There’s a lot going on in number six of Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. K-9 Deputy Mattie Cobb is both excited and trepidatious about reuniting with her sister and grandmother whom she hasn’t seen since being abducted when she was a child. Plus, she’s been busy carefully navigating the rough waters of her relationship with Angie, the teen daughter of her new love interest, local veterinarian Cole Walker. But that all takes a back seat when she and her canine partner, Robo, locate a murder victim with the word PAY carved into his chest at a local waterfall just outside town.

After a slow start, things really take off in this mild thriller when Mattie learns of the dead man’s connection to a group of suspected polygamists who just moved to the area. And then a second murder occurs, putting her small Colorado community on alert. Mizushima delivers a timely and intense plot with a K-9 murder case that should have readers racing to see whodunit. The Colorado scenery is rugged and beautiful, and the characters are genuine. Longtime readers will be especially happy to learn more about Mattie’s biological family, her troubled past, and her growing relationship with Cole. And even though this case is specific to this read and can be enjoyed by anyone, this is a series best read in order. Fans of Sara Driscoll’s FBI K-9 series or Paula Munier’s Mercy & Elvis mysteries will really enjoy this story.

Debbie Haupt
Teri Duerr
September 2020
Crooked Lane Books