I absolutely love reading, reviewing and blogging but there is one problem. You just can’t read every book you want to. I would say my reading speed is average and I am striving to increase my speed because there are so many books and so little time. 🙂 I have been hooked on several series for years like The Alpine Series by Mary Daheim. At the end of last year I put a post on Facebook for authors to visit in the new year for Cozy Wednesdays. One of the first authors to reply was Mary Daheim. I was so excited I tripped all over myself setting up her visit for January 30. I still have a hard time with how accessible authors are because of the internet. If you are a bookaholic like me you understand what I mean. It’s meeting famous people! Seriously talented famous people!!!
The great thing about her visit was that I had to prepare. The last 3 books in The Alpine Series were screaming at me from my To-Be-Read Shelf. I had to read those before I could read the review copy of the 24th book in this wonderful series, The Alpine Zanadu! I was able to reconnect with Emma Lord, Editor of The Alpine Advocate – Sheriff Milo Dodge – House & Home Editor and radio personality Vida Runkel – and all the other residents of the beautiful town in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. This series has been around since 1992 and is still going strong! Let me tell you a bit about these latest titles:
The Alpine Uproar:
An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries)
21st in Series
Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 23, 2009)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
E-Book File Size: 1968 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345502558
Emma and Sheriff Dodge have their hands full with a fatal barroom brawl, a heartbreaking highway accident that leaves 2 people dead and a young local on life support and holy smokes is Milo getting back together with “Mulehide”???
The Alpine Vengeance:
An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries)
22nd in Series
Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 29, 2011)
Hardcover: 336 pages ISBN-13: 978-0345502575
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345502582 E-Book File Size: 1951 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345502582
Thanksgiving comes to Alpine and Emma is all by herself. Her son is stuck at his parish in Alaska and her brother is filling in for another priest and even Milo was with his ex-wife and daughter after a really rough time for the whole family. Frankly the last person Emma wanted to talk to was Milo the Monday after the holiday but he has received some alarming unsigned letters. The letters said the wrong person went to prison for murder 10 years ago. Neither Emma nor Milo recognizes the repentant killer’s name. Even Vida who knows everything about everyone is stumped. A 4th letter arrives threatening that unless swift action is taken to right this wrong there will be another death. Never a dull moment in Alpine!
The Alpine Winter:
An Emma Lord Mystery
23rd in Series
Publisher: Ballantine Books (November 29, 2011)
Hardcover: 320 pages
E-Book File Size: 1938 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345502590
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages (January 29, 2013)
Christmas in Alpine. The priests are coming home for the holiday and Emma is so nervous. How will they react to her relationship with Milo? But that’s not all that’s happening in Alpine. Emma’s star reporter goes AWOL after learning his son has escaped from prison. Some bones turn up and Roy Everson is positive they belong to his mother who has been missing for 16 years. But the most disturbing is the body found in the cave on Mount Sawyer.
There are so many reasons why I love this series.
The characters and their dialogue rings real and true. Emma is a klutz and sometimes an accident looking for a place to happen. Emma and Milo bicker, yes bicker, just like my parents did. They can be calling each other names and acting childish one minute and hugging the next. There is so much love between them and it is finally starting to shine. She is always in his business and he is always in hers.
Every small town has at least one Vida Runkel. She is the resident related to almost everyone in Alpine or is friends that someone that is. All gossip makes a pit stop at her desk.
The reception desk at the paper has been manned by a couple different women as Ginny has taken time out for the birth of another child. Ed Bronsky still drops in or falls in occasionally but Leo has the paper’s advertising under control. Kip has the website and the paper’s production well in hand.
I love stopping by The Advocate for a cup of coffee and a danish and a visit with these wonderful fictional friends.
The other recurring characters are just as well crafted.
Each book has a main plot and at least 1 other subplot, sometimes more, and the mysteries extend from one book right into another. These 3 books were written to take place right in succession, at the end of 2004, so I was thrilled to read them one right after the other. Each story also has that “hang on to your seats” moments when you just can’t turn the pages fast enough.
Daheim is a beacon on the cozy mystery horizon. She has written this long running series with a middle aged protagonist who is fun and charming and witty and allowed her to fall for the cantankerous Sheriff after a life full of strife. Mystery, humor, romance, and intrigue. Knowing that the letter Z in just 3 books away makes me especially sad. I will not be ready to leave Alpine behind, but until then The Alpine Xanadu hits shelves on January 29 and Mary will be here for Cozy Wednesday on the 30th. Oh and don’t forget about her Bed & Breakfast Series!!
These books were from my private collection.