Tracking Game is book five in Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series. The novel works as a standalone but additional backstory would have added clarity to some scenes. I suggest reading the series in order, but this novel is still enjoyable as a standalone.
Mattie Cobb is a deputy and K-9 handler with the Timber Creek County Sheriff’s Department. Cole Walker is Mattie’s boyfriend and a highly respected and in-demand veterinarian. Cole consistently verbalizes to Mattie that he loves her but she’s unable to return the sentiment, though she loves him too. Mattie and Cole are not publicly announcing their relationship, but attend the Celebration of Summer dance as a couple. They are enjoying the dance along with everyone else when an explosion disrupts the night. Mattie and Cole are working on their relationship, but at least for the short term, they are more involved in the efforts to solve the ever-evolving crime, that began with the explosion.
If Tracking Game is any indication, this is a great series. The rough, mountainous terrain is smartly utilized as a silent background character. The live characters are well-developed, relatable and likable, for the most part. The plot is exciting and unpredictable. The ending is satisfying and leaves you ready for the next book in the series. I fully enjoyed this novel and give it 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend Tracking Game to all readers of mystery, especially if you like a little romance with your mystery.
My thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Publication Date: November 12, 2019