Thursday, October 6, 2022

October Read: A Death in Door County (A Monster Hunter Mystery #1) by Annelise Ryan


The cover of this mystery caught my eye and led to me checking it out of my library. Then last week, I was at my book group and one of my friends talked about it--I made sure he didn't give the ending away because I wasn't quite done with it!

 I finished it and enjoyed traveling to Door County, WI. I'm putting it on my bucket list of places to visit. It's not terribly far from where I live now, and even though my family took vacations every summer to Rhinelander, WI when I was little, we never got to Door County. 

Anyhow. This was kind of like a cozy mystery, but one with a little more oomph to it. Morgan Carter owns a unique bookshop called Odds and Ends in Door County. Her hobby, inherited from her parents, is the study of cryptids. Crypids are creatures people are sure exist, but just have never had definitive proof: Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Abominable Snowman. New police chief Jon Flanders hires Morgan to investigate the possibility of a cryptid swimming around Lake Michigan, after two men are washed ashore drowned but showing signs of being crushed by something powerful. Could it be a lake creature? 

As Morgan begins to dig into her research, she uncovers more questions than answers. We also get to meet her employees Rita and Devon, her beloved and very protective dog Newt, and see her cautious relationship develop with Chief Flanders. There is some uncovering of Morgan's past that answers some questions of how she is an expert at cryptids, and why she has such an unusual bookstore. 

I was deep into this mystery pretty quickly. It's clear Annelise Ryan knows Door County. It sounds absolutely lovely and she painted a heck of a picture. I deliberately kept away from looking online so I could keep it all in my head. There are a few sad moments, but overall I just let the mystery reveal itself as I read. There's no "ooh, maybe this person did it" as there is in cozy mysteries. I truly had no idea until the end. 

I'm happy to say the last few sentences lead to the possibility of the next mystery in the series and I'll be picking that up--it involves Bigfoot! 

Rating: 5/6 for the vivid writing that brings Door County to life, along with a very interesting main character with a special knowledge unlike any other mysteries I've read. I like the slow development of Morgan and Jon's relationship which leaves something for more mysteries to explore. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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