Cover for The Shine from a Girl in the Lake

The Shine from a Girl in the Lake

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Seasons 1 & 2
The Underground Authors
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About the Series

Magnolia Bluff Series Crime Chronicles graphic

Each stand-alone book in this multi-author crime novel series is set in the fictitious, beautiful little Texas Hill Country town of Magnolia Bluff. Each author writes in their preferred sub-genre to allow readers to experience humor, dark dilemmas, suspense, romance, thrills, and spills — told through good storytelling that will keep readers awake past their bedtime, trying to find out whodunit.

Season three of The Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles begins in January 2024. Stay tuned.


People are just lying to go to Magnolia Bluff, Texas. Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles.

The Shine from a Girl in the Lake

Richard Schwindt
Psychological Fiction / Psychological Thrillers
Date of Publication: September 20, 2022
Number of Pages: 261 pages


The Shine from a Girl in the Lake cover

As an elusive and sadistic murderer emerges to terrorize the faculty and students of Burnet College, suspicion falls on Dr. Michael Kurelek, clinical psychologist and archer. Tormented by grief, and a secret that could destroy his academic standing, he is determined to turn the tables. Someone in Magnolia Bluff is killing without remorse, but Kurelek is now the hunter.


Clueless Gent’s Rating for The Shine from a Girl in the Lake

4.5 star rating

The Shine from a Girl in the Lake has a small town feel, yet carries the same amount of edge-of-your-seat suspense as big city whodunits!

Set in Magnolia Bluff, Texas, a series of murders of local college girls seems to point the finger at clinical psychologist Dr. Michael Kurelek, who is not only a member of the faculty, but also treating the victims. The police have virtually no clues, so they are relying on Kurelek to use his skills to find the killer before another murder is committed.

I really do like the small town feel of the story, right down to the organization and administration of the psychology department at Burnet College, where Kurelek teaches. I think the entire story being told in the first person helped with the small town feel.

The author did a great job of immersing the reader into the story with great description. For example, when Kurelek and his dad were out hunting, this is how the scene was set: “Dad and I were surrounded by a gorgeous riot of crimson and gold foliage: oaks, pine, fir, and maple spreading out in a mixed forest as far as we could see.” The author made it easy to “see” the story.

The pacing was pretty good. When the race to the climax started, it happened without warning. I was just reading along, and then all of a sudden I couldn’t move from my seat until it was over. (By the way, the climax was really good!!)

With words like garrulous, vestigial, crepuscular, and fecund, I considered the vocabulary lesson a bonus.

There were a couple things I didn’t care for. First, there were a number of punctuation issues. This was not an ARC, so those errors should have been caught. Second, there were a couple times when the author pushed the edge of the believability factor. I can’t really go into detail without spoilers, so I’ll just leave it at that. However, with all that being said, I think reading this book was time well spent. It’s a terrific story!

I received a free copy of The Shine from a Girl in the Lake from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.

the Author

Richard Schwindt author photo

Richard Schwindt is a writer and retired psychotherapist living in Kingston, Ontario. He is the author of the Death in Sioux Lookout trilogy and Seven Essays on Counselling and Psychotherapy.
1st: $25 Amazon gift card
2nd & 3rd: eBook bundles of first 18 books in the series
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 12/8/23)

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