Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (2)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (3)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (8)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

23 / 100 books. 23% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

61 / 165 books. 37% done!
Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Ho-Hum Murder Mystery Just An Okay Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Summit Lake, North Carolina, is the kind of quaint little town that homicide never touches.  So, when a 22-year-old law student is brutally murdered there, it leaves everyone reeling with shock.  How could this have happened in their peaceful community?  Who would want to kill a promising young woman like Becca Echersley?  It simply makes no sense.

Kelsey Castle, a crime reporter in need of a vacation (even a working one), is sent to Summit Lake to dig around for answers.  Since the police don't appear to be doing much to solve the case, Kelsey becomes even more impassioned.  Feeling a strong connection to the murdered woman, the reporter vows to find Becca's killer.  Even if it puts her own life in danger.  

Summit Lake, a debut novel by Charlie Donlea, is your basic murder mystery.  There's nothing really fresh or original about it, but it was compelling enough to keep me reading.  It's not as suspenseful as I hoped it would be, especially because Becca narrates half the chapters.  The characters are pretty flat, the prose is capable but melodramatic, and a lot of the plot is far-fetched and contrived.  Still, I didn't see all the twists coming.  In the end, though, I found this to be just an okay read.  Although this is a first novel, I don't think I'll bother with another Donlea book.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of lots of other murder mysteries set in sleepy little towns, although no specific titles are coming to mind.  You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Your first paragraph makes this one sound as if it were constructed from a kind of paint-by-the-numbers kit. I think I've read this one a few dozen too many times already. Sounds like a mystery in bad need of a twist or two.

  2. I've only read The Girl Who Was Taken by Donlea. And I did like that one. But I haven't been too interested in reading his other books. Sounds like I'm not missing out.

  3. Sorry it was a bit of a dud for you. Trying a debut can be tricky sometimes.

  4. I guess at the end of the day, a mystery novel that compels you to keep reading is an effective mystery in itself.

  5. If books are only ho hum for me, I've started not finishing them so that I can move on the wow books. :-)


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive