Mirror Lake Book Review (940 x 731 px) Correct Size (1300 x 731 px)

Book Review: Mirror Lake A Shady Hollow Mystery by Juneau Black

Short Fiction Novel summary and Cozy Mystery book review for Mirror Lake A Shady Hollow Mystery by Juneau Black

Quick Summary:

Brambly Hedge meets Agatha Christie in this cozy mystery with woodland creatures for characters. This cozy mystery series features no human characters, and I love it.

Juneau Black’s “Mirror Lake,” a Shady Hollow Mystery, takes place at Mirror Lake in the fictional town of Shady Hollow. The story’s mystery is about Mirror Lake. The fictional lake is a backdrop setting, with calm and reflective waters.

Vera remembered the day she walked to the shore of Mirror Lake and saw a rat fishing from the pier. She recalled how he’d waved to her with his upside-down reflection mimicking the move. “It was a wild idea—a secret twin who managed to erase his existence until his moment of revenge. But consider the facts: Dorothy insisted her husband was dead, and yet we all saw a figure who looked exactly like Edward. It was either magic or twins. And I don’t believe in magic! It’s impossible.” Black, Juneau. Mirror Lake (A Shady Hollow Mystery) (p. 190). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Shady Hollow’s setting suggests a small, close-knit community. Secrets and histories intertwine, adding layers to the unfolding story.

Who Should Read Mirror Lake:

If you’re interested in a cozy that has woodland creatures instead of people. The entire time it reminded me of the children’s book series: Brambly Hedge. I found it to be a nostalgic and charming setting. It was like woodland-themed children’s books with a cozy mystery twist. You solve the mystery with the small-town reporter, fox, and sleuth, Vera Vixen.

What I Enjoyed About Mirror Lake:

I liked several aspects of Mirror Lake. My favorites were the many mysteries woven into one mystery. The main mystery is about a mouse named Edward. Dorothy believes that someone killed her actual husband. She thinks the man who looks identical to Edward is an imposter.

Let’s Talk About The Book’s Cover Real Quick

It’s okay to judge a book by its cover – sometimes. The cover of this book is charming and aesthetic. It doesn’t oversell the book’s contents. The cover is a stunning work of art and perfectly complements the story’s settings.

What I Didn’t Like About Mirror Lake:

Beware romance novel fans! This critique of Mirror Lake may be upsetting to some readers.

The characters Orville and Vera are dating, but the chemistry between them is dull. This is a cozy mystery, not a romance, but I figured it may be worth noting. I’m not a fan of romance novels. But, even I found the chemistry between the main protagonist and her supporting character was too professional.

We see Vera’s interest in her relationship. But her boyfriend Orville was too busy with his job to show any interest in their relationship. This is important to mention for several reasons. The main protagonist, Vera, is working throughout the book to support Orville in his campaign, keep her job as a reporter, and maintain her relationship. She is also solving the murder, which should be top priority for the police force, but of course, this is a mystery, so the sleuth is always more capable. On top of all that, she is also traveling and turning down another character’s advances. That’s a lot for the main protagonist to juggle while her partner doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings.

My Ratings for the Book:

Characters – 10/10

  • Story follows an investigative journalist, a fox named Vera Vixen.

  • All the characters are woodland creatures.

  • Characters were a bit cliché, but very enjoyable to read.

Settings – 7/10

  • There’s a bookstore called Nevermore Books.

  • It’s set in a small town.

  • Lost -3 points: Settings weren’t descriptive in most parts of the story. The beginning of the novel is very cozy and descriptive but some parts just jumped over the setting. However, not being too descriptive did help the pacing of the story.

Plot – 8/10

  • The main mystery of the novel is engaging.

  • There are smaller mysteries tied to the main mystery.

  • The ending is satisfying. Just when you thought the story is over there was still a little more action to cover.

Pacing 10/10

  • Fantastic pacing – there’s never a dull moment.

  • The main protagonist and sleuth is always on the move.

  • There are only two slower paces in the book. Both work to make Mirror Lake seem tranquil.

Overall Rating: 8.75 out of 10

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