I then contacted her and she sent me the first book in her other series, Deadly Currents (An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery). My review for that one is here. When I found out the second RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery, Wicked Eddies was being released this month, I knew I had to invite her to stop by for a visit. These mysteries are not technically cozies, they are more mystery adventures, but if you love cozies, I think you will love these books. They have a little more edge and the main character works with law enforcement to help solve the crime, plus Beth’s knowledge of rafting and fishing makes these extraordinary reads. I hope you will join me in welcoming Beth here today!
Thanks, Dollycas, for inviting me to visit your blog!
The Most Dangerous Sport
I’d like to talk today about the most dangerous sport. Since my RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery series features whitewater rafting and stars a whitewater river ranger named Mandy Tanner, you and your blog readers may think that I mean the sport of whitewater rafting. But, you’d be wrong!
Yes, whitewater rafting can be risky, but smart rafters know how to control and manage those risks. Also, the number of participants in the sport are few, compared to many other popular sports such as baseball and football, so the total number of rafting deaths per year is usually fairly low. Actually, the most dangerous sport in the world, the one that results in the most deaths per year, is fishing.
Fishing?! Yes, fishing.
Why, you might ask. Primarily it’s from the volatile mixture of booze and boats. Yes, there are many cases of drunken fishermen who fall out of boats and drown. Or who, like drunken drivers, crash their motorboats.
There are other causes of fishing-related deaths, though. In Wicked Eddies,the second book of my RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series that was released May 8th, the cause of one fisherman’s death is murder. Mandy Tanner discovers the body of fisherman Howie Abbott in a riverside campground with a camping ax in his neck. Turns out the man was a suspected cheater in fly-fishing tournaments and a big tournament is scheduled to take place soon on the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado, where Mandy lives. Could that have been the cause of his death? Or was there some other other reason?
Back to other causes of fishing deaths. Here’s an excerpt from an early scene in Wicked Eddies, where Mandy’s boss, Steve Hadley, is briefing a group of search and rescue personnel, including river rangers, on the upcoming fly-fishing tournament:
When Steve’s turn came, he started off with a question, “What’s one of the most deadly sports in the world?”
Mandy knew the answer, but stayed quiet. Someone yelled out, “whitewater rafting,” a good guess, but not good enough.
“It’s fishing,” Steve said, nodding while surprised murmurs filled the room, “usually from the fatal combination of boats, alcohol, and people who don’t know how to swim. Now, given that we have serious competitors participating in this event, I expect that alcohol won’t play a large part until after the award ceremony.”
A few snorts and chuckles punctuated that remark.
“However,” Steve continued, “we still have boats on the float- fishing practice and competition days giving us the same problems whitewater rafting boats do—hitting underwater obstacles and pitching their occupants into the water. And most of these teams are unfamiliar with the upper Arkansas, its rapids, and its hazards. So, I’m increasing river ranger patrols on the river during the competition.
“And then there are wading fishermen on the shore fishing days.” Steve shook his head and tsked. “I hate waders. As the old- timers know, we usually have at least one fly-fisherman die each season, from either getting a foot trapped or tripping while standing in the river wearing waders. The fisherman falls in the river, the waders fill up with water, dragging the wearer underwater, and then he drowns.”
A solemn silence descended on the group.
Yes, fishermen face many hazards in their sport! Along with working with the Sheriff’s Department to investigate Howie Abbott’s
murder, Mandy Tanner will be kept busy with her river ranger cohorts patrolling the river during the tournament and rescuing fishermen who need help. She’ll also be on the lookout for a missing teenage girl and a missing fisherman. My hope is that all of that activity and a healthy sprinkling of clues and red herrings makes for an exciting read!
Have you ever tried fishing? Did you get in any trouble or experience any dangers while doing so? I was lucky myself. When I took a fly-fishing lesson to research Wicked Eddies, the only harm I came to was when I managed to hook my thumb. 😉
Thank you Beth so much for being here today! I used to fish with my grandpa when I was little, catching bullheads in a nearby lake. Such wonderful memories with my bamboo pole, bobs, night crawlers and PBJ’s for lunch. 🙂 So I do share one thing with Mandy.
About Beth Groundwater:
Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A Real Basket Case, a Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and To Hell in a Handbasket ) and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (Deadly Currents,March, 2011, and Wicked Eddies, May, 2012). The third books in both series will appear in 2013. Beth enjoys Colorado’s many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs. Please visit her website at bethgroundwater.com and her blog at bethgroundwater.blogspot.com.
(An RM Outdoor Adventures Mystery)
2nd in the Series
Published by Midnight Ink
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Cover Design by Lisa Novak
Salida Colorado is getting ready for its annual fly fishing tournament. The river rangers are checking all the spots up and down the mighty Arkansas River making sure everything is ready for the participants. Mandy thinks it should be a busy weekend but it shouldn’t be too dangerous. Then she finds the dead body, would-be competitor Howie Abbott and it wasn’t a fish that drove that hatchet through his neck.
As Mandy searches for clues she finds out Howie Abbott is Cynthia’s uncle and her least favorite person on earth. She is not surprised when Cynthia becomes a prime suspect but she knows her friend is not a murderer. She takes in upon herself to find the real killer while being careful not to be carried away by the undertow or plunges too deep into Wicked Eddies.
Beth Groundwater writes what she knows. You can tell that by the way she writes. She takes us on a wild ride!
Cynthia was my favorite supporting character in Deadly Currents and she is center stage in this installment. She is so upset she is not even telling the blonde jokes that I loved. The author reveals Cynthia’s past and we get to see the person behind the jokes. The vulnerable Cynthia, a person I grew to care even more about.
Mandy is dealing with a lot in this story as well. She is still coming to terms with her own uncle’s death and trying to move forward which we know is never easy. Rob makes me a little mad as he continues to push her at times for his own agenda. Sometimes guys just don’t have a clue.
There are a couple of mysteries here, murder and missing persons along with the adventure of the fishing tournament that makes this a very fast paced story. Plenty of clues and plenty of distractions to keep the pages turning as we try to solve the mysteries ourselves.
You do not have to fish or ride the rapids to be hooked by this adventure, but you want to start after reading it!
I am giving away my gently read review copy!!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”