By Libby James

Hanging Falls, the sixth novel in the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series by Wellington, Colorado author Margaret Mizushima, arrived on bookshelves in September 2020.

Fans of the contemporary mysteries, which feature Deputy Sheriff Mattie Cobb, her dog, partner Robo, and veterinarian Cole Walker, wait eagerly for a new chapter in their adventures almost every year. While the novels can be read separately, they follow the growth and development of the main characters.

Other books in the series include Killing Trail, Stalking Ground, Hunting Hour, Burning Ridge, and Tracking Game,  published in 2019, a finalist for the prestigious Willa Award in the contemporary fiction category.

Mizushima, who is married to a veterinarian, often uses her extensive knowledge of animals and offers detailed descriptions of their care in her books.

Her stories are more than police investigations. They also focus on the intimate twists and turns of family relationships and have been dubbed “police procedurals with a heart.”

Hanging Falls is no exception. On page one, we learn that Deputy Cobb’s mind is on an impending meeting with a long-lost sister and grandmother. When her work prevents her from traveling to California to meet them, they decide to come to her home in the Rocky Mountains to meet her.

When she and her dog Robo discover a body revealed by a flooded area high in the hills near hanging falls, the plot thickens. Along with Robo and Cole Walker, Deputy Cobb sets out to solve yet another mystery.

This is a hard book to put down. Full of twists and turns, the reader will be hard-pressed to leave it alone until the final page.

Margaret Mizushima is president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America for 2019-2020 and was chosen writer of the year for 2019-2020 by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is a member of Northern Colorado Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Women Writing the West. Before she took up the craft of fiction writing, Mizushima worked as a speech therapist and later established her own rehabilitation agency.