These are a bunch of stories by Minnesota authors (where else do you find loons but Minnesota?). It is a structured story set up: the authors had to put in some reference to a pink ballet sipper and lutefisk or something else like that, so that all the stories had a sort of, tenuous, connection. They were all very interesting. There was the one of the cop who was having fun with a farm wife, who needed the fun. The odd one from Le Seuer, Mn., where she missed 'Wednesday night bingo at the Lutheran Church!' Who ever heard of bingo in a Lutheran church?
great read!! Dec 7, 2007
This anthology is a great read! I love mysteries of all kinds. This book of short stories is good for reading while traveling or while sitting waiting for an app't since most stories are just a few pp in length. The stories vary greatly in subject. I look forward to reading more from these authors.
Loons and nothing but Loons Jan 7, 2007
While writers of the southwest in particular write of the broiling heat of summer, writers of a Minnesota background seem to write about the brutal cold of the winter. That brutal cold of the winter is certainly a factor in a number of stories here but not in all of them. The stories do share a number of clues that had to be encompassed in each story. I'm not going to ruin the clue list by explaining it here but it's a good one. So too are the stories in this anthology.
Carl Brookins who, among other things, wrote the excellent comedic mystery novel "The Case Of The Greedy Lawyers" which I have reviewed here and elsewhere contributes "A Winter's Tale." For the recluse, the snowstorm is bad enough but he really doesn't need to find the lost traveler nearly dead in his barn.
For Kaye Brock, her past is known by all in "Take Me Out" by Lori L. Lake. Being an ex-con has its burdens as does living up to expectations of others.
Then, there is David Housewright's tale "A Domestic Matter". Jack is convinced his wife wants him dead. Reporter Dan Thorn doesn't believe his old friend at first and then follows the reporter's credo to take lots of notes as it's going to be important later.
This anthology also features stories by M.D. Lake, Mary Logue, William Kent Krueger, Judith Guest, Monica Ferris, K. J. Erickson, Ellen Hart, Deborah Woodworth, Kerri Miller, and Pat Dennis. In each of the thirteen stories, some of the clues are the same and yet each author goes in very different directions. While the stories share clues, they also share the fact that almost all of them are highly atmospheric noir style reads. Maybe it's the cold. Maybe it's the short daylight hours. But this is a dark read that should be savored in front of a roaring fireplace. Just make sure you can keep an eye on your surroundings while you are reading.
Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2006
Some luscious Loons, a few clunker Cormorants May 21, 2006
Anthologies are like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get. In this box of chocolate loons and a cormorant or two from the Land of Sky Blue Waters, the reader gets, as Garrison Keillor would say, the "pretty good" ( (Pat Dennis and David Housewright,) the OK (Wm Kent Krueger staying on terra mudda he knows,) and Judith Guest's ever-present Edina angst (resulting in another "Hunh?' Moment for this reader.) Each of the contributing Minnesota mystery writers tells a tale with 4 of 8 shared elements. Can you guess the common currents? (If not, peek at the list in the back.) If you can relate to M.D. Lake's assessment `of whose residents `fine dining' brought up memories of lutefisk suppers in the church basement" then bring this book up to the cabin with you . /TundraVision, this site Reviewer
A satisfyingly intriguing, varied collection Apr 21, 2006
Thirteen tales of mystery come from Minnesota's best crime writers: while some will be familiar names, such as Ellen Hart and Judith Guest, others will be newcomers to mystery fans outside of the region. These come from a local writer's club which promotes their publications and unites the contributors in an enjoyable pursuit: each received a set of eight clues to serve as a pool, and they were asked to include at least four of these clues in their story. The creative results are wonderfully intriguing and varied.