#Review – Alpha Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns) by Mary Daheim @readalibi

Alpha Alpine: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Returns)
Cozy Mystery
27th in Series
Setting – Washington State
Alibi (December 12, 2017)
Print Length: 275 pages



Emma Lord is back and better than ever! This time around, the amateur detective partners up with a rookie sleuth to investigate a string of murders in her beloved Alpine, Washington.

For a small town nestled in the Cascade Mountains’ foothills, picturesque Alpine provides more than enough headlines to fill the pages of editor and publisher Emma Lord’s Alpine Advocate. The Labor Day edition’s lead story features controversial timber baron Jack Blackwell’s scheme to become Skykomish county manager. But the recent strangling deaths of two young women are all anyone can talk about.

After a third body is found, Emma’s husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, suspects there’s a serial killer in their midst. The latest victim is the sister of a dashing newcomer rumored to be working for Blackwell. “Black Jack,” as he’s known to his non-admirers, has a long-standing rivalry with Milo. To discover if there’s any connection between the mogul and the murders, Emma recruits the Advocate’s receptionist, Alison Lindahl, to do a little digging.

Still recovering from a recent breakup, Alison welcomes the distraction. But when the investigation puts the eager protégé in the line of fire, Emma worries that the cub reporter’s career will be over before it even begins.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

When I reviewed The Alpine Zen back in May of 2015 I was excited to see on Ms. Daheim’s website that the series was not ending just because we had reached the letter Z but I found that the wait would be longer than usual for book 27. Now 2+ years later I was thrilled to download it to my Kindle. It was worth the wait.

Over the years these characters have become old friends. Emma and Milo have to balance work and home life but they do it amazingly well. Their dialogue is realistic and at times quite comical. Their bickering with each other reminded me of my own parents at times. But this couple is still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, they try to relax each evening with a drink and that usually leads them behind a closed bedroom door.

Vida is thinking of retiring from the newspaper, I will believe that when I read it. The new receptionist, Alison has jumped in with both feet, even helping Emma with her investigations. The rest of the newspaper staff is still there putting out stories online and on paper.

Milo’s daughter is doing much better and is dating a police officer, but her world is rocked when a body is found in her basement.  That is not the only body found either.

The mystery itself is very interesting because there are so many things happening in Alpine. County politics is on the ballot and the vote is so close it required several recounts. An explosion at the newspaper causes major damage but no major injuries. And murder is definitely on the rise in Skykomish county. Everything may be connected to timber baron Jack Blackwell. He and Milo have never gotten along and he would like nothing better than getting Milo off the force. Milo would like nothing better to put “Jack Black” behind bars.

I really tried to slow down and savor this book, but that was almost impossible. The story has a very quick pace and we meet several new characters. The author weaves everything happening together seamlessly. Full of drama and action, I admit I was sad when I reached the end. I am already anxiously waiting for the next Emma Lord Mystery.

This is a long running series and I always recommend they be read from the start, but Ms. Daheim has included plenty of details so you shouldn’t feel lost if you start with this one. After you finish you most likely will want to go back and read them all. 🙂

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You can find out all about Mary Daheimon her website here

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.”

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