Crazy Mountain Kiss: A Sean Stranahan Mystery (Sean Stranahan Mysteries)
4th in Series
Viking (June 9, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Jacket Design and Illustration by Jim Tierney
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00OZ0TOVC
In the latest addition to this acclaimed series, PI Stranahan and Sheriff Ettinger reunite to investigate a young girl’s death…
It’s April, but there’s still snow on the Montana mountains the day a member of the Madison River Liar and Fly Tiers club finds a Santa hat in the chimney of his rented cabin. With the flue clogged and desperate to make a fire, he climbs up to the roof, only to find the body of a teenage girl wedged into the chimney. When Sheriff Martha Ettinger and her team arrive to extract the body they identify the victim as Cinderella “Cindy” Huntingdon, a promising young rodeo star, missing since November.
Was Cindy murdered? Or running for her life—and if so, from whom? Cindy’s mother, Etta, hires private detective Sean Stranahan to find out. Jasper Fey, the girl’s stepfather, believes moving on is the only way to heal. But Etta’s not willing to let it go, and neither are Sean or Martha, who find clues to the death in the mysterious legends of the Crazy Mountains.
I so look forward to my yearly trip to Montana to catch up with Sean and Martha. I have yet to be disappointed.
This 4th installment takes us to the Crazy Mountains with some crazy characters and crazy situations. Cinderella “Cindy” Huntingdon has been found after missing for several months but sadly she is not alive and she is found in a most peculiar place, the chimney of a cabin deep in the woods. Martha has no choice but to look to Sean for help and suggests the girl’s mother hire him so they can try to get to the bottom of what happened and how Cindy ended up in that chimney. Their non-relationship has driven a bit of a wedge between them but they put the investigation first.
I have said it before but will say it again, I love the way Keith McCafferty writes. He has a gift. The characters and the settings just come alive. I felt like I was trekking though the woods right along with these characters. The stars, the sky, the mountains, the rivers, the snow, all perfectly pictured in my mind because of the author’s wonderfully descriptive words. I truly escaped into this book.
This story is filled with characters my mother would call “odd ducks”. They have disabilities, idiosyncrasies, odd ways and temperaments and some have more than one of these traits. Many of them are suspects at one point or another. Sean and Martha have their hands full. Most knew each other from their rodeo days and through the course of the story we get to know them each in depth.
This is not a suspense filled edge of your seat story, although there are a few moments. Sean is a laid back guy. He lives in tipi and loves to fly-fish and hates cell phones and computers unless their use is absolutely necessary. The story unfolds much the same way, laid back. Sean asks questions, pokes around a bit, ruminates and ponders, talks things over with Martha, until all the clues start to fall into place and lead him in the right direction.
I read this book in two evenings but it was one I wanted to savor and drag it out because I was truly enjoying my time in the Montana Mountains.
Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage 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.”