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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Fish Out of Water by Marc Jedel is the first book in the Ozarks Lake Mystery series. Elizabeth had no intention to return to her hometown, but when her grandmother dies, she returns home with her husband Jonas in tow. Her simple trip home takes a tragic turn when she's quickly arrested for murder. To add insult to injury, the deputy who arrested her happens to be her ex-boyfriend. The evidence begins to pile up and it all points to Elizabeth, but she insists she's innocent and is determined to prove it. She teams up with her husband to dig through the suspects and search for the real killer. The list of suspects continues to grow as Elizabeth faces more than a loss of her freedom when she begins to question her relationship.
The story delves into the action from the beginning. Marc Jedel kicks this exciting new series off by immediately introducing the mystery with explanations and events filling in as the story unfolds. The story splits time between the perspectives of Elizabeth and Jonas, which allows you to see their differences, their relationship from two points of view, and their thoughts on each other during the course of investigating. Their differing perspectives also create humor within the story with misunderstandings and their own ways of investigating. Their personalities are well-rounded, and it's easy to navigate between one perspective and the other. Jedel captures the couple's dynamic well with the way they interact and think about each other. Jonas is more reserved in his ways while Elizabeth has more chaos in how she does things, which creates a contrast between them while also showing how they balance their relationship.
The characters are delightful with Mary being a shining voice throughout the story and she is the character who has the funniest dialogue with words such as poppycock, catawampus, and lollygagging. Jedel perfectly captures the feel of this small town through the characters, dialogue, and setting. An entertaining read that will pull you in right from the start, Fish Out of Water has husband and wife sleuthing goals in a suspenseful mystery, with fun writing, and delightful characters.