"It is New Year’s Eve in Pepin County, Wisconsin, 20 below zero with lots of snow. Daniel Walker is relaxing in his sauna, enjoying a bottle of vodka and a cigar and contemplating a new land deal and a divorce. At midnight, he leaves the sauna for a nude roll in the snow, but when he tries to get back inside, the door won’t open. When his soon-to-be-ex discovers him frozen in a pile of snow the next morning, she calls for help and the paramedics take him to the hospital to see if he can be saved. Sheriff’s investigator Claire Watkins has to figure out whether the incident was an accident or a crime. Daniel Walker made many people unhappy: his wife, his daughter, those on the wrong sides of his land deals. As she investigates, Claire ponders her own relationship with boyfriend Rich. After the death of her husband many years ago, she has been hesitant to remarry. The freezing weather echoes the relationships in this story. Some are frozen, while others, previously icy, show signs of thawing. A satisfying entry in a consistently entertaining series." —Barbara Bibel
Point No Point
The seventh book in the Claire Watkins mystery series opens on a hot and sunny day with a body found floating on Lake Pepin. Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is faced with another difficult case when a friend of the family is suspected of killing his wife, a woman he had always seemed to love. Her investigation puts a great stress on her relationship with Rich. Things are further strained when the suspect attempts suicide, solidifying his guilt in Claire’s mind. But what if she’s wrong? What will people do for love? Star Tribune writer Judy Romanowich Smith states she'd like to have coffee with Claire Watkins, fictional Deputy Sheriff of Pepin County. She also writes that she has moved the Claire Watkins Series from have to read someday to "read-the-whole-series-right-now list."
The ghost of the lovesick Ojibwe girl Winona is said to haunt the Maiden Rock …
Centuries have passed since she leapt to her death from the 400-foot high precipice. But now a girl, dressed as Winona, lies broken and dead at its base. Suicide, murder, or tragic accident? The investigation shifts as her autopsy reveals traces of meth. In her search for the truth, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins peels back the layers of her seemingly bucolic community, and finds herself tangled in a web of dark secrets, tragic lies, and the chemical poison that drives it all, methamphetamine. What begins as one girl’s tragic death mushrooms as a second horrific death rocks the village of Fort St. Antoine. Can Claire find the truth behind the death at Maiden Rock before vengeance is taken—and will this bring any comfort to those left behind? "This is a book I had trouble putting down - not just because of the structure, but because of the characters and what happens to them as the story moves forward. If you haven’t read Mary Logue before, you’re in for a treat. – Aunt Agatha's Books
Winner of the 2005 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Honor
When a quantity of dangerous pesticides is stolen from the local co-op, Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is called in to investigate. The thief has left one bizarre clue: the finger bone of a child long dead. The pesticides soon reappear with devastating effect—in flowerbeds, in animal feed, and in a fatal concoction at a Fourth of July picnic. Each time, a tiny human bone is left at the scene. With the help of Harold Peabody, the quirky, aging editor of the Durand Daily, Claire unravels the secrets of the past, leading her to a pair of young lovers, a man enraged over his mother’s death, an obsessive recluse, and the deputy who first discovered the corpses of the Schuler family Claire desperately races against time to find the madman before he uses the lethal pesticide again. But he won’t be stopped. Not until he gets what he wants. “This story delves into the past and present of a close-knit farming community while creating fully human characters, and the prose rings true throughout.” - City Pages
Wisconsin winter weather plays as important a role as any individual in this nicely paced tale of domestic abuse and murder. Claire Watkins is still adjusting to life in little Fort St. Antoine when she notices the bruises and stiff gait of a local woman named Stephanie Klaus. Small town or big city, Claire knows the signs of abuse when she sees them. Stephanie, however, won't talk, even when her new boyfriend, Buck, is tied into his car, driven out on the treacherous ice of Lake Pepin and left there to sink and drown. When Stephanie, accompanied by Buck's delightful dog, Snooper, tries to leave town, she is once again beaten; this time, she barely survives. Still she won't identify her attacker.
Winner of the 2000 Minnesota Book Award
Claire Watkins, deputy sheriff of Pepin County, Wis., makes a strong second showing that ought to gain her new fans. In spite of recurrent panic attacks associated with the death of her husband, Claire is starting to find the peace and security she's been seeking for herself and her 10-year-old daughter, Meg, since leaving her promising career with the St. Paul-Minneapolis police department for the small bluff town of St. Antoine. One summer evening, while her sister Bridget takes care of Meg, Claire and Rich Haggard, a local pheasant farmer she's been dating for three months, attend a street dance in nearby Little Rock. Just as the fun gets under way, screams for help stop the music and put romance on hold. Someone has stabbed well-liked farmer Jed Spitzler in the chest. Members of the close-knit St. Antoine community join Jed's children in searching for Jed's killer. Long-hidden town secrets are revealed as Claire seeks the truth and continues to struggle with her own demons.
This first in a series launch introduces Claire Watkins, a deputy sheriff for the Pepin County Police Department. Claire, a former Minneapolis police detective, and her 10-year-old daughter Meg fled the Twin Cities after her husband, Steve, also a cop, was killed. When Landers Anderson, an elderly neighbor who befriended Claire and Meg, dies of a heart attack after being sideswiped with a shovel, Claire determines to find the culprit. This involves delving into Landers's family history and investigating the machinations of a right-wing group, Homeowners of America, that is buying up property to build an environmentally unsound development. At the same time, Meg fearfully admits to Claire that she saw the man who killed Steve. Claire contacts her former partner, Det. Bruce Jacobs, and prods him into accelerating the investigation into Steve's death.