Review: To Hell in a Handbasket by Beth Groundwater

2012 best mystery

To Hell in a Handbasket
(Claire Hanover Gift Basket Designer Mystery)

2nd in Series
MIDNIGHT INK (November 8, 2012)
A Imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.
Trade Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738727028

It’s snow accident when a young woman’s icy demise sends Claire’s vacation to hell in a handbasket

Skiing with her family in Breckenridge, Colorado, gift basket designer Claire Hanover hears a terrified scream cut the frigid mountain air. She is horror-stricken to find Stephanie Contino, the sister of her daughter’s boyfriend, dead on the slopes. While everyone else assumes the death was an accident, Claire is suspicious of the extra ski tracks that cross dangerously into Stephanie’s path. But the police are skeptical of foul play, even as more signs point to murder.

When incriminating clues put her daughter Judy in danger, Claire investigates and finds trouble around every mogul. Between interviewing a daredevil snowboarder and giving ski lessons to a drug boss, she uncovers a chilling conspiracy that could turn deadly for her family.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Hang on to your ski poles, this is a wild run!! Watch out for out of control snowboarders, flying bullets and families keeping secrets.

Claire finds herself right in the middle of the drama as she tries to protect her daughter while helping the police catch a killer. Any mom knows you do not get between a mom and her kids. We will lay down our lives to keep our children safe no matter if they are 5 or 25. Claire is a strong courageous woman and her daughter Judy is following in her footsteps.  Of course not all of us have a friendly drug dealer we can call to help us get information and what he wants in return is hilarious. The picture that forms in your mind will have you laughing out loud.

Husband Roger touched my heart. He and Claire are trying to rejuvenate their love after the stress of incidents in the first book in the series, A Real Basket Case. He knows that he can’t keep her from investigating so he helps her as much as he can. He also tries to squeeze in some romantic moments along the way.

I have learned my lesson about Beth Groundwater stories:

  • When you start reading you will not stop until you reach the end.
  • Her characters are real and constantly evolving and pull you right into their lives and hold on tight.
  • They take place is wonderful scenic places.
  • I use the word “wild” a lot when describing her books.
  • These are not cozy mysteries! They are edgy mysteries full of suspense!
  • Bits of humor and tries at romance keep the story with the right feel for cozy lovers.
  • Think “cozy mystery on steroids”!

I love the way Beth writes and have loved every one of her stories. I highly recommend escaping into this book as soon as possible!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

My reviews of other books by Beth Groundwater:
A Real Basket Case
Deadly Currents
Wicked Eddies

About This Author

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 and her blog at

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.”

9 thoughts on “Review: To Hell in a Handbasket by Beth Groundwater

  1. This sounds great. I love Cozy mysteries and I’m always happy when they have a little kick to them! 🙂

    Thanks again for introducing another great series to us!

  2. Thanks so much to everyone who commented! If you’re interested, you can sign up for my email newsletter (and enter the subscriber contest for free mystery books) at Also, I’ll send signed bookmarks or bookplates to book clubs who discuss my books and provide discussion questions for all my books at my website.

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