Murder by logging truck.
Lewellyn Ferris, chief of police in Wisconsin’s lovely Loon Lake, is called to the scene of what at first appears to be a tragic accident. When the driver of the truck that hit and killed Rudd Tomlinson insists that she was pushed into his path and a worker in the Grizzly Bear confirms seeing an old man run by just after the incident, Lew realizes she has a tough case on her hands. Luckily, her boyfriend, retired dentist Doc Osborne, is willing to stand in for the often intoxicated coroner and help Lew and her little force. He had known Rudd’s late husband, Philip, an extremely wealthy man who had suffered through a terrible first marriage and cancer. Judith Fordham, Rudd’s executor and best friend, provides Lew with a number of suspects. It seems that Rudd had been planning to use a large part of the fortune she inherited to build an art museum on the grounds of the Tomlinson compound, over the objections of most of Philip’s three children. Arriving at the Tomlinson house, Lewellyn, Doc, and Judith find Sloane, the supercilious older daughter, attempting to walk off with a painting. Her brother, Tim, is a very bad artist who’s been counting on his inheritance to keep his indulgent lifestyle going. Kenzie, the youngest and nicest child, is bipolar. She’s connected to two difficult families since her husband, Greg Steidl, works for his father, a builder with a bad reputation and a nasty disposition. When millions are involved, none of the suspects can be counted out, and there may be more secrets to uncover.
Houston’s frigid but beautiful winter portrait of Loon Lake (Dead Lil’ Hustler, 2014, etc.) can’t make up for the tepid mystery.