“Standing Dead” by Margaret Mizushima

Standing Dead (A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Book 8)

Margaret Mizushima 
Crooked Lane Books (2023)
ISBN: 978-1639102440
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (03/2023)

“Standing Dead” is the eighth installment of The Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Series by award-winning author Margaret Mizushima. This read offers a deeply interactive experience with Deputy Sheriff and K-9 handler, Detective Mattie Wray, formerly known as Mattie Cobb, who has been trying to solve her father’s murder case but later finds herself fighting a more preeminent adversary than she had anticipated.

Mattie’s childhood had been traumatic after being kidnapped at the age of two by the same gang that forced her mother Ramona to witness the ghastly murder of her husband. For a while now, Mattie has been investigating her father’s homicide case, which interestingly had no one assigned to it ages ago. It had been rumored that he had been involved in a smuggling ring at the height of his border patrol career, but Mattie won’t have any of it. In a recent turn of events that saw one of the killers dead and the other one languishing in prison, the protagonist can’t help but feel that her mother will now live without looking over her shoulders in fear.

Accompanied by her sister Julia, Mattie reaches a small town in Mexico where she hopes to find her beloved mother who had severely warned her of ever coming back in fear of running into her husband’s assailants. As they drew near the familiar house where she last saw Ramona, the sisters are shocked to meet an elderly woman who purports to have received the house from their mother. She, however, bears no information regarding Ramona’s whereabouts, but a further inquiry at an auto shop owned by her mother’s brother-in-law sadly throws the experienced detective into a deeper hole of uncertainty and rekindled apprehension regarding the safety of her remaining family members.

Mattie is a charming character who will once again win the hearts of the readers by being able to expertly analyze complex problems and find solutions with the help of her German Shepherd alongside other equally talented characters. Her continued streak in brightening up readers’ faces across the eight-part series of The Timber Creek Mystery is a true display of Mizushima’s brilliance and prowess in creative writing and imagination. She has thoughtfully provided clues that will challenge her audience’s critical analysis in getting logical conclusions based on what is presented to them. This is a brilliant endeavor that will inevitably turn readers into amateur sleuths.

The novel’s opening pages will quickly soothe a reader’s interest due to the employed dramatic elements and pulse-pounding settings. These undoubtedly offer a great launch into a satisfying and exciting journey that ends with an eye-popping and shocking reveal.

In conclusion, “Standing Dead” is a five-star text that shines with adrenaline-gushing action and a magnetic plotline that will have readers where Mizushima wants them- elated and gratified.

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