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Dead Angler (A Loon Lake Mystery, #1)
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Dead Angler

(A Loon Lake Mystery #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,392 ratings  ·  143 reviews
In Wisconsin's Northwoods, fishing is a way of life -- and when the muskies are biting, life couldn't be better. But when Doc Osborne catches more than he bargained for, he winds up in the middle of a murder mystery -- and only Chief of Police Lew Ferris can get him out of it.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Berkley
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,392 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Bobby Underwood
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a warm and friendly cozy-leaning mystery which takes place in Loon Lake, Wisconsin. Those who love to fish, either "dancing the fly" or musky fishing, will certainly have fun reading this very good mystery with lots of Wisconsin atmosphere. While it is not necessary to be much of a fisherman to like this series, enthusiasts will probably enjoy it more than others.

Loon Lake is the kind of town where the local MacDonald's isn't just a place to meet in the morning for coffee, but a clearing
Sep 08, 2016 rated it liked it
First Sentence: Dr. Osborne struggled for balance in the waist-high waters of the roiling Prairie River

Retired dentist and widower Doc Osborn decides to rekindle his love of fly fishing with the help of fishing instructor, and town sheriff, “Lew” Ferris. What they don’t expect to find is the body of a well-dressed woman who has had all her dental fillings removed. Enlisting Doc, and his friend Roy, to help, Lew is determined to find the killer.

Houston perfectly describes fly fishing and the natu
Jul 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
More Local Flavor Than a Friday Night Fish Fry
This is the first story I’ve read by Northwoods author, Victoria Houston. Reading it while surrounded by the settings she so colorfully and accurately describes added to my enjoyment of the experience. It’s a themed murder mystery that anyone with a remote interest in fishing—particularly fly-fishing—will savor for the knowledgeable references to the sport and those who participate in it.

The main characters are very well drawn and highly likable. Osb
Marilyn Groneng
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It will never make it to the New York Times Best Seller List but it is just a FUN summer read! In fact, I am reading the entire series. My fishing family is getting quite impressed by my new-found fishing knowledge!
May 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
I got this for free on my Kindle. The writing is terrible and the story is dumb. Even in a small town, the chief of police wouldn't let a retired dentist walk on to a murder investigation and act as medical examiner. Are you kidding me? I'd love to be the lawyer acting for the defence on this one. And please, can she write LOON LAKE a few thousand more times? I'm not sure that I quite understood that this was in LOON LAKE, and that LOON LAKE was a small town, and LOON LAKE, LOON LAKE, LOON LAKE. ...more
Feb 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Add this to my burgeoning list of "hobby" mysteries. Houston's been writing these fly-fishing mysteries for a decade now: what took me so long? Female police chief for small resort town, retired, recovering-alcoholic dentist, and free-wheeling grave digger: what a team! I enjoyed the camaraderie, the fishing details, and the little touches that added depth. Much the same mood as a Diane Mott Davidson--but people are fishing instead of cooking. Very boomerish!
Dr. Paul Osborne is a dentist in Loon Lake, Wisconsin, a small town that supports itself on the spending habits of tourists who love to fish and on the wages from a paper mill. Taking early retirement from his practice, Osborne had intended to spend his golden years occupied with his most enjoyable hobbies, hunting and fishing. It had not been his intention to become, without warning, a widower. And after his wife’s death, steeped in grief, he became a flaming alcoholic.

Now the grief that sent h
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun to read muder mystery set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I enjoyed reading about the location, because the author captured it so well.

A little predictable but not the whole plot.

Recommended to me by Jane.
I'll probably come back to this author.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable series.

Kindle Unlimited, listen & read
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was slow to start. I even put it down, read two other books and then picked it back up again, since it was... there....
I have to admit: It was not the books fault! I had the wrong attitude when I first picked it up. Once I found the books "voice" it all fell into place and I started loving every minute of it. I could not put it down.

I could hear the Minnesota accent of the characters. It made them more "real" , more believable, sweeter.

I do have to say there were rather lots of mistak
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
First book in the series; first book read by the author. I will be honest and say this was a book I could not finish. Found the characters irritating, the swearing as well as the time in a bar/strip club was unnecessary. Glimmer of hope in the forensics/dental information. Please write more about fishing or an actual mystery.
Moonlight Reader
Wisconsin! Done with the North Woods - sadly!
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! I live in WI and it made me feel like I am in the book and these characters are my neighbors. I have friends, family and neighbors that talk like that and think.
Judy Goodnight
I heard the author do a presentation about her mystery series several years ago at a local book festival. Then I picked up the Kindle edition of this story a year or so ago when it was a freebie. I finally read it when it was chosen for a summer mystery book group.

It was an enjoyable read. The small town Wisconsin setting seemed quite authentic from the older guys hanging out at McDonald's at breakfast time to the just-out-of-town strip club. I'd be interested in knowing whether there still are
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2018
I wanted to read this book, even though mystery is not a genre I usually read, because it was set in Wisconsin. I have always wanted to live in a small Wisconsin town, so reading about it seems like the next best thing. I do not like to fish, although I don't mind reading about it (A River Runs Through It was and EXCELLENT story), but I kind of took offense to the book's portrayal of women as either money grubbing bitches or make-less fisherwomen. It seems to me that books written by female auth ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lot about fishing, so a little different from the usual setting.

Retired dentist, Paul Osborne, lost his wife 18 months ago and turned to alcohol. He turned his life around and is finding life worth living again, especially as we see that in later years his wife was not exactly a paragon.

Paul discovers that the local sheriff, Lew Ferris, loves fishing just as much as he does. She deputizes him when she needs his dental expertise with a corpse they discover while fishing. Paul discovers that de
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Retired dentist and the town's female Chief of Police are fishing when they find a body. Well-written although no huge surprises concerning the murder. I almost gave up on this book because the main characters were not what I was expecting and they were hard to visualize. Another big problem for me is that I am not at all interested in fishing or hunting and the book goes on and on about fishing. Too many characters to keep track of. Was not interested in the personal struggles of some of the ex ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh. Full of unlikely situations and coincidences.

Plus, how can a dentist be a forensic pathologist? I know, I know--he only looks at the teeth. But later in the book he pronounces a cause of death for someone as if he were the M.E. Things like that bother me.

And don't get me started on the shoddy police tactics of the female sheriff/dentist's love interest, who, for instance, takes time off to fish while telling the main suspect that she'll "be around in the morning" to investigate the possibl
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the plot and characters in the book. However, it really needed to be proofread! It drove me crazy to see the word "musky" instead of "muskie", which is the nickname for a muskellunge (a fish found in Northern waters). Also, there were many times when words such as "the" or "a" were skipped. I'll probably read the next in the series because I did like the characters.
Weird that a vegan even tried this book, I know...but I believe people are more than their actions...loved the descriptions of nature and had some funny bits, but I really did not like the overall story...or the ending...hard to say more without giving anything away....not that I recommend reading it....
Anne Egbert
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
It is so annoying when proof readers and editors let sloppy work get by. It always distracts from the story. And even worse, for this book, the story was not riveting. It was ok, but I sure will not be in a hurry to read any more of the series.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting read. I liked it well enough to want to read book 2 in the series. Good characters...sort of an ongoing story with the characters so that I want to see what happens to the people in the next book. It's been a couple of months since I read it. A quick read.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dead Angler, Loon Lake mystery Book 1

Great mystery, loved the additions about fly fishing. Great characters, loved watching them build as you got to know them.
Katie Haasch
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fast easy read. I’m definitely reading this series.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a surprise...a book about fishing? It was very interesting, an awesome mystery, and great characters. I’ll read more in the series...I recommend it!
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would not normally have chosen a book with a fishing theme, but this one fits the clues in a Good Reads Cozy Mystery challenge, and I really enjoyed the characters.
Eileen Lynx
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top notch!!! I hope to visit the north woods sometime soon.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most excellent 5 star read! this is my new favorite series...:)
Robin Helman
May 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
I usually judge a book by how easy/hard it is to put down. Not only was this book easy to put down, but it was easy to not pick back up. I was hoping for more from it.
Mary Weddig
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay read! Too much relationship angst coming out of Osbourn character. Fishing stuff is nice, as is northern Wisconsin setting.
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