The Lake Templeton Murders by HS Burney

A body washes up on the shores of Lake Templeton, a small town on the coast of Vancouver Island. Sharon Reese, the victim, was a dedicated government employee. Everyone liked her, but no one knew much about her. Was she hiding something? Maybe a questionable past riddled with scandal. And did it lead to her plunge to death, in a drunken stupor, off the dock outside her secluded lakefront lodge?

Was it an accident? A suicide? Or cold-blooded murder? Private Investigator, Fati Rizvi, is determined to find out.

Fati arrives in Lake Templeton to find secrets that run as deep as the City’s sewers. Everyone is hiding something and nothing is as it seems. A cult escapee. A corrupt politician. A struggling airline. A multi-million dollar public-private project to revitalize the Lake Templeton waterfront. How are they all connected?

As Fati valiantly unravels the knots, another body is found on the shore. Is it the same killer? And can Fati stop them before they strike again?

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Guest Post

Please tell us which character (other than the protagonist) in the book is your favorite and why.

Fati Rizvi believes that any Private Investigator worth their salt has a trusted sidekick. After all, cases are more fun to solve when you can bring someone fun with you.

I really enjoyed creating the character of Fati’s sidekick, Zed. He adds the perfect touch of fun to the story. Zed is twenty-eight years old, footloose, and carefree. He drives a bright yellow Mini Cooper and sports a buzzcut because it makes it easier to slip in and out of wigs. He’s finding his feet as a PI but it’s really a side gig for him. He earns his living playing video games online to legions of fans. In his late twenties, he’s also a techie.

While writing The Lake Templeton Murders, every time I felt the story was starting to get stilted, I would bring in Zed. He served as a reminder to Fati – and to me! – not to take herself too seriously.

Zed’s charming, devil-may-care personality is the perfect foil to Fati’s blunt, hard-charging ways. Fati is direct and to-the-point and can’t help herself from popping off all the hard questions at suspects without blinking an eye. Zed knows how to put people at ease. He can distract. He can compliment. He can get a laugh out of them while Fati does her work behind the scenes.

Fati lets her latest case consume her to the point of neglecting sleep, personal hygiene, and relationships. For Zed, solving cases is merely a means to an end to avoid boredom in life. Because there’s nothing worse than boredom. Zed is unafraid to put himself in dangerous situations, maybe assuming that things will turn out all right. Or not giving danger a thought at all. Whether it’s tailing or confronting a suspect, ingesting an unknown white powder because he ‘likes surprises’, or breaking into a political official’s house, Zed is always game for anything.

Zed’s antics add great color to the story. Whether it’s accidentally bumping a suspect to pick their pocket or fawning over them to create a smokescreen while Fati swipes their phone, Zed can be counted on to deliver. He is always up for an adventure. And no matter the time of night, he’s always just a phone call – or text! – away! As long as he’s not cavorting around with the latest paramour he picked up at the gay bars in Downtown Vancouver.

Zed was a joy to write. And based on the feedback I’ve received from readers so far, Zed was their favorite character too!

About the Author

HS Burney writes fast-moving, action-packed mysteries set against the backdrop of majestic mountains and crystalline ocean in West Coast Canada. She loves creating characters that keep you on your toes. A corporate executive by day and a novelist by night, HS Burney received her Bachelors’ in Creative Writing from Lafayette College. A proud Canadian immigrant, she takes her readers into worlds populated by diverse characters with unique cultural backgrounds. When not writing, she is out hiking, waiting for the next story idea to strike, and pull her into a new world.

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  1. HS, I enjoyed the guest post and I can't wait to read The Lake Templeton Murders and I love the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fantastic day!

  2. Thank you for sharing the author's guest post and book details, this sounds like an excellent read and I am looking forward to it

  3. This book sounds like an intriguing read. Great cover!