It's a bright summer morning in Loon Lake when Police Chief Lewellyn Ferris is called to the scene of a horrific accident that occurred in the dead of night at a local gentleman's club. The club is owned by one of the victims, a member of the private Deer Creek Fishing and Hunting Preserve and the scion of a wealthy Wisconsin family. When the county coroner is unavailable due to a car accident, Chief Ferris deputizes her close friend and fellow fly-fisherman, retired dentist "Doc" Osborne, to step in.
Osborne's discovery of mysterious footprints confirms Chief Ferris's suspicions: this is no accident; it's murder. Leaning on Doc Osborne for his forensic and interrogation skills, Lew also hopes to enlist the help of Ray Pradt, fishing guide and expert tracker. But Ray's time is limited as he is coaching the University of Wisconsin's fishing team in a muskie fishing tournament. Things get complicated when Doc Osborne's granddaughter disappears on the first day of the tournament. Sunny June days turn dark as a desperate search ensues.
In Houston's amiable 16th mystery set in Loon Lake, Wis. (after 2015's Dead Rapunzel), police chief Lewellyn "Lew" Ferris and her small team must deal with a big crime. Joyce Harmon, a janitor at a so-called gentlemen's club, Buddy's Place, alerts the police after she discovers two entwined naked bodies atop a piano suspended from the high ceiling. At Buddy's, Lew and her retired dentist boyfriend, Doc Osborne, and expert tracker Ray Pradt quickly establish that the victims whom Joyce identifies as club owner Chet Wright and stripper Tiffany Niedermeier were murdered. Interviews with Ty Wallis, the manager of the exclusive Deer Creek Fishing and Hunting Preserve; stripper Nina Krezminski; and Wright's estranged wife, Karen, show that Wright was scamming several members of Deer Creek. Meanwhile, Osborne's 11-year-old granddaughter, Mason, goes missing on a fishing outing. Houston combines a likable cast with a serviceable plot.