Nostalgia City Mysteries

By Mark S. Bacon

Tag Archives: Close Up on Murder

Fast-paced mystery scares, intrigues

2
Close Up on Murder – A Spirit Lake Mystery
Linda Townsdin
$2.99 Kindle $12.52 Trade paper
Create Space  262 pages

As an amateur detective, Britt Johansson, a Pulitzer-Prize winning press photographer, is brash, aggressive, occasionally reckless and has the patience of a toddler with ADD. “Following the rules… didn’t always work for me,” she says.

When she stumbles on a gruesome murder in her small hometown of Spirit Lake, Minn., she’s off and running in an absorbing tale that has both unsettling and heart-breaking elements. The first murder scene—not the only one—is so vivid and shocking it puts you on edge. The story then segues into a mystery Close-up-On-Murder-Web-optiinvestigation that could lead to hate crimes or systematic terror. And possibly bad news for Johansson. “I…heard the unmistakable crack of a pump action shotgun behind me.” Author Townsdin provides murderous details sufficient to shock, without bloody, slasher-style prose. A good balance.

Her characters include some typical Scandinavians (this is Minnesota, after all) a batch of scary zealots and a mixed batch of writers encamped in Spirit Lake for a seminar. Johansson’s brother’s restaurant becomes her investigation headquarters and later, her fortress. “Every customer who entered the restaurant looked like a psychopath killer to me,” Johansson says. Continue Reading →

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