The Alpine Zen:
An Emma Lord Mystery
26th in Series
Setting- Washington State
Ballantine Books (April 7, 2015)
Hardcover: 352 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00N6PEU8O
The picturesque town of Alpine in the foothills of Washington state’s Cascade Mountains—home to Emma Lord and her weekly newspaper The Alpine Advocate—has long charmed and enthralled mystery lovers. Now, with The Alpine Zen, Mary Daheim has at last reached the anticipated letter of Z. Her legion of avid armchair sleuths will relish this deliciously gripping novel.
As an early summer heat wave beats down on Alpine, Emma and her staff are treading very lightly. For unfathomable reasons, the paper’s House & Home editor, Vida Runkel, is in a major snit, refusing to speak to her colleagues, or even her boss. So when a peculiar young woman walks in claiming her parents have been murdered, and that she’s in mortal danger, too, it fits right in with the rest of the craziness. Then, to the utter bafflement of her colleagues, Vida vanishes without a word to anyone. And just when Emma and her husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, start to unsnarl these tangles, a male body, dead too long to identify, surfaces at the town dump—making what seemed merely weird feel downright sinister. Has the hot weather driven everyone nuts, or are cold-blooded forces committing deadly misdeeds?
This is a series that should be read from the beginning to see the character’s journeys as everyone is so interconnected. In this installment Vida is having a really hard time dealing with her grandson’s incarceration. Emma and Milo wedded bliss has entered a phase I would call “The Bickerson’s”. They seem to always getting on each other nerves. Their work lives are hard to keep separate when he is solving crime and she is trying to report it while trying to solve them as well. When a young woman comes to town with an outlandish story and a dead body is found they have no choice to work together even with a lot of complaining along the way.
The main mystery itself was a little weak and needed more development and wrapped up a little too quickly for me. I enjoyed reading about life in the area in the 60’s and I just wanted more. Vida always has her nose into everyone’s business and her behavior this time made us see she is not a thick skinned as she appears. It was nice to see a different more vulnerable side.
There are always several story lines in a Mary Daheim novel but this time there were so many as she tried to check in with so many of the characters we have met over the years. At first I thought it was to wrap everything up because we have reached the letter “Z”. Many people think this is the end of this series but it isn’t and I look forward visiting Alpine again soon. Just check out Mary’s webpage for details!!
To Find Out More About Mary Visit Her Website Here.
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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.”