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5+ stars for Haunted Water: A McLaren Mystery by @JoHiestand #britishmystery #mystery #bookreview

Title: Haunted Water: A McLaren Mystery

Author: Jo A. Hiestand

Genre: British Mystery, Mystery

Book Blurb:

Cameron Rutter drowned two months ago in a lake on a Cheshire moor. Some say a morgen—a spirit who drags men to a watery grave—was responsible. Others say it was the phantom Grey Lady. The police say Gareth Gynne was the guilty one. Whoever—or whatever—killed Cameron needs to be sorted out. And ex-police detective Michael McLaren is asked to do just that.

McLaren’s not keen on delving into the mystery. The accused is the nephew of McLaren’s nemesis, Charlie Harvester. And if there’s one thing McLaren doesn’t want to do is to associate with another Harvester, no matter what generation he is.

Suspects and motives for the murder rise to the surface like air bubbles in the haunted lake. Perhaps the flesh-and-blood killer was a villager opposed to Cameron’s crusade to keep the moor in its pristine state, rather than develop it for the tourist trade. Others say someone Cameron had arrested came back to kill him in a vindictive attack.

Or was the morgen really responsible?

Can McLaren discover the killer, or will he too become a victim of the haunted water?

My Review:

A body of water with a dark legend could bode evil for the living...and perhaps because of the living. A gripping mystery that takes the reader deep into the myths of Welsh folklore. Former Detective McLaren is called on to aid the relative of a deceased nemesis. An unexpected story comes from this simple storyline.

This is probably my favorite McLaren mystery that I've read in a long time. The descriptions are evocative, and you can really see the landscape. The characters are well developed with depth and richness. The action scenes are gripping. The mystery keeps the reader guessing right to the end.

A multi-layered story that does all a reader needs to keep them intrigued. A brilliant standalone read. This book is also a must-read for any fan of the excellent McLaren mystery series. The ending of this book makes the reader clamour for the next chapter in this story. This author has set herself a difficult task...this series is simply too well done to end.

My Rating: 5+ stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

Jo A. Hiestand grew up on regular doses of music, books, and Girl Scout camping. She gravitated toward writing in her post-high school years and finally did something sensible about it, graduating from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. She writes two British mystery series—of which two books have garnered the prestigious N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ‘Best Mystery Novel’ two years straight. She also writes two Missouri-based mystery series that are grounded in places associated with her camping haunts. The camping is a thing of the past, for the most part, but the music stayed with her in the form of playing guitar and harpsichord, and singing in a folk group. Jo carves jack o’ lanterns badly; sings loudly; and loves barbecue sauce and ice cream (separately, not together), kilts (especially if men wear them), clouds and stormy skies, and the music of G.F. Handel. You can usually find her pulling mystery plots out of scenery—whether from photographs or the real thing.

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Reviewed by: Mr. N


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