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The Lake Templeton Murders
HS Burney, author
A body washes up on the shores of Lake Templeton, a small town on the coast of Vancouver Island. Sharon Reese, the victim, was a dedicated government employee. Everyone liked her, but no one knew much about her. Was she hiding something? Maybe a questionable past riddled with scandal. And did it lead to her plunge to death, in a drunken stupor, off the dock outside her secluded lakefront lodge? Was it an accident? A suicide? Or cold-blooded murder? Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi, is determined to find out. Fati arrives in Lake Templeton to find secrets that run as deep as the City’s sewers. Everyone is hiding something and nothing is as it seems. A cult escapee. A corrupt politician. A struggling airline. A multi-million dollar public-private project to revitalize the Lake Templeton waterfront. How are they all connected? As Fati valiantly unravels the knots, another body is found on the shore. Is it the same killer? And can Fati stop them before they strike again?

I am very glad I read this book! If you love murder mystery novels, definitely check this one out. HS Burney had me asking all the questions along the way, anticipating how the answers would unfold.

Great plot and strong characters; I really liked the protagonist, Fatzi. She was smart, strong willed, and easy to connect with. I also really liked Zed’s character.

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of were the unnecessary details included in some scenes. For example, there were moments we got a play by play of unimportant things like her pulling up to a place, getting out of the car, and then walking into wherever she arrived. Moments like this made some chapters feel really long.

Other than that, this was a really good book that legitimately kept me intrigued. I was invested in the storyline and needed to know how it would all wrap up


I enjoyed this book very much, it's right my alley and who doesn't like a good murder mystery. This book is full of details and keeps you on the edge of your seat very early on in the book and keeps you there till the end. I also loved that it has a Canadian setting. The only thing that I wasn't a fan of was the VERY long chapters but that's just me. Other than that it was awesome and I'm very grateful the author gave me a chance to read and review this book. If you like a small-town murder mystery this one for you.


I enjoyed this novel for several reasons. It’s set in the Vancouver, BC area and having lived in the PNW, I like reading novels set in that part of the US/Canada. The main character, Fati Rizvi, is a single woman who is a PI and also happens to be Muslim. Her religion doesn’t play a big role in the story, but it comes up when she is dealing with family. The time is late December, 2019, just before COVID. Fati winds up investigating what appears to be an accident/suicide of a woman who is treasurer of the small city of Lake Templeton. She is suspected of embezzling money from the city, but Fati has a gut feeling that there is more to this story than it appears. Fati starts off working pro bono as a favor to the police sergeant there who mentored her when she was a cop, but eventually gets some expenses and a small per diem from the police who need her help due to being understaffed. She and her friend Zed work to solve several mysteries associated with this case alongside Detective Singh, a handsome and separated detective who reluctantly (at first) works with Fati to resolve all the issues of the case.

The story is well crafted with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. The writing is very competent and the book has been well edited. The characters are diverse and interesting – I like the different ethnicities that the author has incorporated into the story, giving a little cultural insight to the story. What I find a little unbelievable is how much the police share with Fati, even after they agree to “hire” her as a consultant. Maybe things are different in Canada (and maybe it happens here in the States) but I had a hard time with that concept. I didn’t like the first person present tense POV, either. I prefer third person past tense narrative, but I don’t consider it a deal breaker in a book, it’s just my preference. Fati is a strong, smart central character which is nice to read, especially in a cozy mystery. There is humor in the book, which I also appreciate. There is no romance and no bad language (although Fati is attracted to Det. Singh).

Overall, this is a well crafted story that is mostly believable (believable enough for a work of fiction). You’ll spend a pleasant few hours with these diverse and interesting characters.