Blog Tour: Murder on the Lake of Fire by Mikel J. Wilson (Review & Giveaway!!)

Murder on the Lake of Fire 
Mikel J. Wilson
(Mourning Dove Mysteries, #1)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 1st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ+, Mystery, Romance
At twenty-three and with a notorious case under his belt, Emory Rome has already garnered fame as a talented special agent for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. His career is leapfrogging over his colleagues, but the jumping stops when he’s assigned a case he fought to avoid – to investigate an eerie murder in the Smoky Mountain hometown he had abandoned. This mysterious case of a dead teen ice-skater once destined for the pros is just the beginning. In a small town bursting with envious friends and foes, Rome’s own secrets lie just below the surface. The rush to find the murderer before he strikes again pits Rome against artful private investigator, Jeff Woodard. The PI is handsome and smart, seducing Rome and forcing him to confront childhood demons, but Woodard has secrets of his own. He might just be the killer Rome is seeking.

Going into Murder on the Lake of Fire, I had incredibly high hopes. Most reviews I had seen had been incredibly positive and the storyline sounded interesting (I can NEVER resist a mystery!). Thankfully, Murder on the Lake of Fire was an excellent read. Full of thrills as well as chills, Murder on the Lake of Fire presents a suspenseful whodunit with a side of romance. 

Emory Rome has experienced a successful start with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. With several big cases under his belt, he feels as if he can tackle anything the bureau throws his way. That confidence changes, however, when he's given a case back in his hometown. Faced with solving a murder as well as resolving issues from his past, Emory has a full plate, which makes Jeff Woodard's arrival on the scene all the more untimely. Hired as a PI for the victims's family, Jeff seems to get in Emory's way at every turn...Emory should hate him - he's getting in the way of investigation, that's for sure - however, there's something so infuriatingly addicting about him...something that might just case Emory to risk everything. 

My favorite part of Murder on The Lake of Fire was the mystery of course! From the first page, the reader is thrown into the mystery at full blast. It's one that's been seen before - a successful young teen is brutally murdered. Over the course of the book, several different angles are put into play: Is a family member behind it? Was it a scorned boyfriend? A competitor? The list goes on and on. Additionally, other related mysteries are thrown into play - a family fortunate is at stake, another murder occurs, the deceased teenager's family business is sabotaged, etc. Many times I thought I had the mystery completely figured out; however, Mikel always seemed to have a trick up his sleeve to completely throw me off my game. Even the last chapter had me on the edge of my seat, still not fully believing what was going on - the ultimate "what the heck moment?" for sure! 

I also really liked the characters! Emory was the ultimate good cop - always following the rules and guidelines - while Jeff was the ultimate bad cop - always throwing the rules to the wind. I loved the resulting dynamic between them, as not only did it bring out some hilarious banter but it also resulted in a sweet enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance. Out of the two, I think I liked Jeff the most. I loved his reckless ways, especially when they brought out the reckless in Emory as well. I also enjoyed that there was a lot of unknown to his character. When Jeff is first introduced into the story, he brings along his own mystery - he's been placed on the no-fly list for no real reason. 

Murder on the Lake of Fire consists of 40+ chapters; however, never once did I get bored. The plot was fast paced and dialogue as well as action heavy, which I enjoyed. I also appreciated that while most of the book was told in Emory's POV, the POVs of several other characters was involved. It brought a greater understanding to their characters and increased the suspense factor. 

There were two aspects that brought this down a notch in my eyes: I felt that the characters weren't incredibly well developed. There were a lot of blank spaces around Emory and Jeff, especially in regards to their respective backgrounds. However, this is the start of a series, so I'm sure there's more development to come! Second of all, I wish there was more romance! Don't get me wrong, I loved the romance that was included, but I would loved more time devoted  to it. So likewise I hope the sequel(s) involve more of that as well. 

If you love murder mysteries, Murder on the Lake of Fire should definitely be on your TBR! Mikel J. Wilson may be relatively new to the scene, but I can see so much promise in this series as well as his overall storytelling. 

Grade: B+ 

Source: eARC provided by publicist for blog tour 

Author Bio: 
 Mystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson received widespread critical praise for his debut novel, Sedona: The Lost Vortex, a science fiction book based on the Northern Arizona town’s legends of energy vortexes and dimensional travel. Wilson now draws on his Southern roots for the Mourning Dove Mysteries, a series of novels featuring bizarre murders in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee. Murder on the Lake of Fire, the first novel in the Mourning Dove Mysteries series, will be available December 1, 2017. 



  1. Great review Lauren. I loved a good mystery and after reading your review, I'm adding Murder on the Lake of Fire to my wishlist. Also, love some enemies-turned-lovers romance.

    Happy readings! ;)
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

  2. Thanks for hosting today, Lauren! Glad you liked it! :)

    1. No problem, Giselle! I'm happy I got the chance to read the book :)

  3. I've been slowly getting back into mysteries, and this sounds good! I love when mysteries are fast-paced and keep you turning the pages. I'll have to check this one out!
    Great review, Lauren! :)

    1. Thanks, Nick! I used to not read many mysteries, but this year I've been devouring them at a rapid rate, and this one is definitely one of my favorites!

  4. Oh wow. This does sound really really good! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

    Great review.

  5. I am hoping that we get to see more between Emory and Jeff in the upcoming books too, they were so good together. And I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! Great review.

    1. They were! I can't wait to see what they're up to next!

  6. This sounds like a great mystery. It is always great to find a new series to follow. I would guess that future installments may further the romance between the characters. Great review!

    1. It is! I found out yesterday that the author has 8 books planned for the series so I'm sure there will be lots of romance and sleuthing in the future :)

  7. This sounds good, love the title and the cover too, and the mystery sounds so well done. Nice review!

    1. Thanks, Greg! It's a really great read! :)


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