A Northern Lakes Mystery Series

Listen to this interview with Jeff Nania as he discusses his path from law enforcement to conservation to writing. This originally aired on 9-7-20 on 103.5 The Sun. 

Book Figure Eight: A Northern Lakes Mystery by Jeff Nania

Book One: Figure Eight

Winner of the 2020 Midwest Book Awards for Mystery/Thriller

While on routine patrol, John Cabrelli, a decorated law enforcement officer, is dispatched to a disturbance call. The tense situation requires all of his skill and experience to get things under control. Then tragedy strikes, an innocent victim dies, and many lives are forever changed. While struggling to pull himself out of the depths of despair, John is notified that he is heir to his aunt and uncle’s cabin on a lake where he spent much of his youth. His return to Wisconsin’s Northwoods brings healing and a sense of peace long forgotten. Little does John know that danger is waiting for him in the north country and he will be forced to hit it head on.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-9425865-5-5 
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-7363373-0-1

Book Spider Lake: A Northern Lakes Mystery by Jeff Nania

Book Two: Spider Lake

Winner of the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Winner of the 2021 Midwest Book Awards
Finalist in the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards 

A missing federal agent, suitcases full of cash, a secluded cabin in the woods. Spider Lake is no longer the peaceful retreat John Cabrelli needs to recover from his gunshot wounds and start a new life. Knowing Cabrelli is a former law enforcement officer, the new chief of police recruits him to help untangle a string of strange events in the little town of Musky Falls. Cabrelli and a colorful team of local residents land in the center of a fast-paced action thriller with a surprise ending that’s sure to make your head spin.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-942586-67-8
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-7363373-1-8

Book Three: Bough Cutter


When grouse hunters stumble upon a body in the backwoods, Sheriff John Cabrelli works to untangle the complex case, while stressed relationships, public outcries for justice, and pressure from the media compound the situation. As the body count rises in the expansive landscape, he soon finds his greatest resource is the community itself.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-942586-99-9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-7363373-4-9 (COMING SOON)

Reading of Figure Eight starts at 17:46


Jeff Nania spins a story that captivates us as we journey with John Cabrelli, a battle-weary former police officer who seeks to reclaim his grip on life after a tragic event. Using the backdrop of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, we follow Cabrelli in this fast-paced story of, crises, intrigue, beauty and danger, as he seeks to avenge a murder.

Buddy Huffaker | Executive Director, Aldo Leopold Foundation

Pain. Failure. Fear. Death. Natural beauty. Suspense. Sense of community. Conviction. Thankfulness. Respect. Hope. Love (maybe). That’s the rollercoaster readers ride in Jeff Nania’s exciting first book, Figure Eight. Along the way, Figure Eight’s earthy side draws on the Northwoods of Wisconsin’s spectacular scenery and time-honored traditions. 

Dean Bortz | Editor, Wisconsin Outdoor News

Hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Jeff Nania to tell this tale of Northwoods intrigue. I’ve known him in his successive careers as both a police officer and a professional consultant on the restoration of wetlands—and as an avid sportsman with a deep veneration for our remaining wilderness. And now I find he’s a fine writer with a keen ear and eye for the cadences of speech and the pace of daily life we both grew up with on our home turf in Wisconsin, and it all rings true. It’s a serious story for our time, but also a page-turner and a fun read.

Peter Egan | Editor-at-Large, Road and Track Magazine and best selling author

In the News…

Reader Feedback

"Interesting mystery and I loved that it was set in Wisconsin and had an environmental 'angle'. I've already shared it w/several friends and family members. Looking forward to the next one!"  - Deb

"I totally enjoyed reading Figure Eight. You could easily visualize the sites and locations such as the cabin, the lake, the city streets and on and on. The northwoods came alive with the accurate descriptions and detail. The plot is easy to follow, with clever twists and a exciting conclusion. Definitely 5 stars." - Ralph

"I completely enjoyed Figure 8. I have read it twice because it is like a fun ride through the north country. The detailed description of the characters and their motivations is fantastic and certainly leaves the reader satisfied..but also wanting to find out what is in store for those characters in a future book." - Joel

"A real page turner that kept me in suspense to the end. Figure Eight is a great family read." - Reader

"This detective/mystery novel draws you in immediately! It’s easy to empathize with former police officer, John Cabrelli, as he despairs over a mistake made in the line of duty. With that backdrop, we follow him to northern Wisconsin where he learns of an inheritance, but things quickly turn fishy (no pun intended) as he learns there’s more interest in this property than there really ought to be. Nania presents us with well-developed and at times quirky characters, a fast-paced plot line, and some of the best twists in anything I've read this year. The unusual format is equally intriguing with Cabrelli telling his story from his hospital bed as the clock is ticking on his life."

- Valerie Biel, author and editor