Review: Death in the Dark Woods (Monster Hunter Mystery #2) by Annelise Ryan

Death in the Dark Woods (Monster Hunter #2)Death in the Dark Woods by Annelise Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Death in the Dark Woods is the 2nd-installment to Annelise Ryan’s Monster Hunter Cozy Mystery series.

This series features cryptozoologist and specialty bookstore owner, Morgan Carter, who helps investigate mysteries that may be linked to potential cryptid activity.

The beauty of this series is that it combines two of my very favorite things: creepy vibes and cozy mysteries.

I really enjoyed the 1st-book, A Death in Door County, when I read it last year and was looking forward to going on more adventures with Morgan and her lovable dog, Newt.

While that first story featured a potential lake monster, in this one, Morgan travels a little farther from home to help investigate possible Bigfoot sightings.

Specifically, the Bigfoot sightings have occurred around the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest area of Bayfield County, Wisconsin. When a man is found dead, with an injury to his throat not thought to be cause by a human, a local warden, Charlie, calls Morgan for help.

Morgan is excited that her cyptid hunter business is finally getting some traction after gaining notoriety following the lake monster case. She’s more than happy to assist Charlie.

Nevertheless, Morgan is a skeptic at heart, so it’s gonna take solid proof for her to claim a Bigfoot is responsible for the fatal attack they’re investigating.

Morgan and Newt travel there and meet up with Charlie, who introduces them to their comfortable temporary lodgings, and then they get straight to work.

Morgan immerses herself in the small town, questioning numerous people about their experiences and opinions when it comes to the area’s Bigfoot legends.

It’s true that some claim to have seen Bigfoot type creatures, but that’s not the only thing Morgan uncovers. She reveals a trail of secrets and lies that could end up having more to do with the recent murder than anyone seems to be suspecting.

As the pressure starts to build, will Morgan and Newt be able to sniff out the killer before they strike again, or could Morgan end up being the next victim?

I had so much fun with this. I actually enjoyed it even more than the 1st-book. I loved that Morgan was traveling away from home, and that she was sort of inserting herself into this new place and digging around, trying to figure out whatever she could.

I loved learning about the local area along with her and meeting the various colorful characters of the small town.

Jon Flanders, the Police Chief, who asked for Morgan’s assistance in the 1st-book, appears in this one as well, as their relationship has continued to grow.

There have been some sparks between them and I love the way the chemistry is continuing to build. They both have some traumas in their past, so I like that it’s moving slowly, at a pace that seems realistic. It makes sense.

I also liked the dynamic between Morgan and Charlie. Charlie, as the local girl, has her own very strong opinions on the Bigfoot legends and I liked how Morgan didn’t let Charlie really sway her one way or another.

The highlight for me though is definitely the relationship between Morgan and Newt. I absolutely adore and appreciate the way that Ryan writes their connection.

As a Dog Mom, who frequently spends the majority of a book worrying about any doggie characters who may be involved, it was so nice to just sit back and enjoy the fact that Newt got to participate in pretty much everything Morgan does.

And I never worried about him! You can tell that Annelise Ryan is a dog person, and I just knew that she wouldn’t take it anywhere uncomfortable. It was freaking great!

At this point, I’m not sure what the long-term plans are for this series, but I really hoping for more books. There’s so much left to explore with Morgan, both as far as potential cryptid mysteries, but also with her personal life.

I am properly attached to Morgan, Newt and even Jon. Keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll be getting news of a 3rd-book soon!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I recommend this to Cozy Mystery fans. It’s a unique series and a lot of fun. I’ve never read anything quite like it!

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