Mackenzie “Mac” Laughlin/River Glen

Created by Nancy Bush

Although it’s billed as the “River Glen” series, which began with The Baysitter (2020), subsequent books in the series have detailed not just the lives and loves of the residents of the allegedly sleepy Portland, Oregon suburb, but also the adventures of local MACKENZIE “MAC” LAUGHLIN.

A ex-cop, formerly with the River Glen PD, (she quit after several instances of hard-to-prove sexual harassment and to care for her ailing mother), Mackenzie finds herself working—much to her initial surprise—as an unlicensed (so far) private eye by the second book in the series, The Gossip (2021). And she’s back again in book number three, The Neighbors (2022), occasionally working with abrasive, impulsive private investigator Jesse James Taft, who seems to have a knack for pushing Mackenzie’s buttonsand everyone elses, it seems. They make a good team, though, and itll be interesting to see where the author takes them.

Or if she’ll take them anywhere. The next book might focus on completely different characters.

This has been done before, of course, where an author has made a setting the main aspect of a mystery series with revolving leads, perhaps most notably when John Crowe (aka Dennis Lynds) did it with the Buena County series, set in a fictional jurisdiction along the southern California Coast, just north of Los Angeles that is purportedly “rugged and full of individualists.”

But whereas Lynds seemed to focus on Buena County as “an exciting and sometimes dangerous place to live,” and the political and cultural turmoil, Bush, a former writer for the popular and long-running daytime soap All My Children, seems to be focussing on the more sudsy aspects of River Glen, giving the series a sort of Romantic Suspense/Peyton Place vibe.

We’ll see…


New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author Nancy Bush is the author of over 30 novels, including The Killing Game, Nowhere to Run, I’ll Find You and Hush, as well as the co-author, with her sister, Lisa Jackson, of the Colony series and several collaborative novels. A former TV writer (for ABC’s All My Children), Nancy now lives with her family and pug somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.


  • “It was a pretty clean book. I enjoyed the book did have a hand time getting the people strait”
    Amazon review (July 16, 2022)
  • “Nancy Bush is my go-to author. Always.”
    — Lisa Jackson


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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