Title: Bogged Down (A Vashon Island Mystery)
Author: Charlotte Stuart
Genre: Mystery/Cozy/Amateur female sleuth
An ancient bog hidden away in a forest is the perfect backdrop for murder…
BOGGED DOWN is a mystery set on Vashon Island, a place that has been described as Mayberry-meets-Burning Man. Its motto: Keep Vashon Weird.
Lavender (Lew) Lewis moved there because it is only a twenty-minute ferry ride from Seattle, yet light years away in tempo and character. She grew up on a commune in Alaska, joined the army at 17, does woods parktour for exercise and HR investigations to earn a living. Life in her waterfront cabin with her two food-obsessed cats is predictable and relatively stress free. Until she leads a tour group into an ancient bog on the island and discovers a body.
Lew Lewis is filling in as a tour guide for a group of tourists visiting Vashon Island. The bog walking tour is pretty popular but rather unexciting. That is, until someone points out a human hand floating above the water. Lew isn’t sure if it’s just a hand or attached to a body. She asks one of the tourists to call the authorities. With the help of Deputy Grimes, they discover it is indeed a body and one they know well. Is it politically motivated or just an accident? Working closely with the authorities, Lew starts investigating. As the suspect list grows, so does the threats against Lew. Will Lew capture the culprit before it’s too late?
Bogged Down takes the reader to a lush, beautiful island for a mystery unlike any I have read before. I guess I never thought how difficult it is to bury a body in a bog. Charlotte Stuart’s descriptive narration plunges the reader into the story so that it feels like you are actually on Vashon Island and interacting with the quirky residents. Lew is a fantastic character and I liked her immensely. The plot moves at a good pace with plenty of clues and even a few misleading clues to keep the reader invested. The mystery itself is tricky to solve with such a large list of suspects which I found so pleasurable. Brilliantly written with quirky characters makes this a must-read for all mystery readers. Another gem from Charlotte Stuart and one I highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart, PhD, has taught college courses in communication, gone commercial salmon fishing in Alaska, and was a management consultant in the business world. Her current passion is for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching herons, eagles, seals and other sea life from her Vashon Island home office.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N