Jan 042018
 

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
ASIN: B018CHA1SS

 

 

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. 🙂

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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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May 072015
 

22747708The Alpine Zen:
An Emma Lord Mystery

26th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Setting- Washington State
Ballantine Books (April 7, 2015)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345535351
E-Book ASIN: B00N6PEU8O
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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?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

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!!

just you and a friend4 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Mary Visit Her Website Here.

GIVEAWAYI am giving away my review copy!
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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.”

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Mar 282014
 

The Alpine YeomanThe Alpine Yeoman:
An Emma Lord Mystery

25th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Published by Ballantine Books (March 25, 2014)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345535337
E-Book File Size: 1382 KB
    Amazon ASIN: B00FIMZ08C
    B&N ISBN-13: 9780345549877
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Alpine Washington 2005

This series continues as newlyweds Emma Lord and Milo Dodge are remodeling and adding on to her log cabin to make room for both of them. Emma is the publisher of the Alpine Advocate and Milo is the town Sheriff.  When a dead body is found is found near the local fish hatchery they each need to get back to work and do their jobs even if it means irritating the other one. Emma has deadlines to meet and wants information. Milo has a killer to catch and has to hold things back from her. But together they make a wonderful team.

Dollycas Thoughts

I have loved this series from the beginning and truthfully to fully enjoy this story you really should start at the beginning. It is hard to get to know these characters and all they have been through if you try to read this story as a stand alone.

I do really think Mary Daheim tops herself with each and every book. She packs a lot into 350 pages.  There are teenage girls missing, a dead body that nobody knows (meaning he isn’t from Alpine and the residents aren’t really interested), and then a deputy takes some time off and basically falls off the map. She has written a fantastic mystery with a twist that brings to light a secret that had been buried a long time.

What I also love about these stories are the subplots,

  • Vida and her grandson – he is in big trouble this time.
  • Mitch and Brenda are still dealing with their son in prison.
  • Amanda’s baby is due soon.
  • Ed has come up with another stupid idea.
  • Milo’s daughter Tanya is getting better, closer to Emma, and has even started dating.
  • and more!!

The story is full of humor too, from Milo and Emma crazy newlywed behavior, to the meals she tries to get him to eat, to him forgetting to tell her things she needs to know, like there are walls of the house coming down.  I think it is cute the way they try to relax together with a drink at the end of each day but Milo wanting Emma to sit on his lap (and you know where that leads) was a little over the top for me.

Again this author has written an intelligent mystery with wonderful characters in a beautiful setting. The “Z” story should be very interesting. Be sure to check out her Bed and Breakfast series too!!

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To Find Out More About Mary Visit 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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Jan 302013
 

cozy wednesday

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I know I have been gushing for weeks and the day is finally here. Mary Daheim author of the Alpine Mystery Series and the Bed and Breakfast Mysteries is my guest today. Her stories were some of the first mysteries I read after my accident, before I even knew what a cozy mystery was. I have always been a fan of mysteries and thrillers and a friend thought I would enjoy the calmer tone of a cozy as I recovered. She came to my room with a stack of Mary’s books. One of the first books I held after my left hand started working again was The Alpine Advocate and I was hooked. If you would have told me then I would be able to converse with famous authors on a daily basis like I can today I would have told you that you were crazy! Loving technology!!

Welcome Mary!!

Hi Everyone!!

Mary with her granddaughter Maisy

Mary with her granddaughter Maisy

                              CHARACTERS:

            OUT OF CONTROL & NAMING NAMES

 

Why do characters in books do what they do?

They do as they please. Most writers insist that once characters are created, they take on a life of their own. I’ll vouch for that. Nowhere is it more evident than in my Emma Lord/Alpine series. What makes it even harder to deal with my often perverse protagonist is that I gave her a first person narrative. We see everything that happens through Emma’s eyes and her vision is often impaired, especially when it comes to love.

alpine xanaduWhen I’m writing a book in that series, Emma and everybody else must act in a way that’s true to character. That’s not to say that these people don’t change over time—they do, Emma included. But over the years, she’s often driven me nuts. There’s nothing I can do about it, no more than I can in real life when someone is pigheadedly making a big mistake. I keep my mouth shut in the real world and in fiction I refrain from interfering via the keyboard.

It’s somewhat different with the B&B series. Having based the protagonist and her sidekick on my cousin Judy and me, I know how these two will react. I should clear up one misconception about Judith: She is not me. I’m the not-quite-as-kind Renie. I was named for my grandmothers, Mary and Serena. But Serena was always known as Rene (one syllable, rhymes with mean). Thus, my parents named me Mary Rene. Within the family, I’ve always been called Renie (rhymes with meanie). In more formal situations I was Mary Rene.

When I started grade school, I had a problem being Mary Rene Richardson. We were required to print our full names on one line at the top of the page. I’ve always had big handwriting (or printing, back then). I couldn’t get all those letters on one line. So I dropped the Rene. It’s a good thing I had practical and understanding parents. To this day, I still think of myself as Mary Rene, though most people call me Mary.

Which brings me back to Emma. By coincidence, I have an earlier Civil War historical romance I wrote in 1985 called Pride’s Captive that’s being re-released February first with a new title, Reunion. The heroine is named Serena and her goal is to become a journalist.  I really can’t remember if I thought much about that coincidence when I chose a name for my Alpine protagonist. I’ve always liked my paternal grandmother’s names of Emma Serena, so I decided to go with the other half of her name. In 1991 when I started the Alpine series I didn’t know many Emmas in real life. Now it’s one of the most popular names for baby girls. I take no credit for this, of course, but it does make me smile. The name means “universal or all-containing.” Maybe that suits a journalist–but that isn’t why I chose it.

the wurst is yet to comeAs for the B&Bs, Judith and Renie aren’t exact duplicates of their real-life counterparts. I wouldn’t want Judy suing me and I’m not sure how I could go about suing myself. In fact, many of the characters in the B&B books are based on family members, though some are composites. So far, none of them have threatened to sue me. Yet.

And yes—Gertrude and Aunt Deb are based on Judy’s mother and my mother. Though they were sisters in real life, they’re sisters-in-law in the books. I’m often asked if the real Gertrude is or was as ornery as she appears in the books. My answer is–not quite. My Aunt Kate had a sharp tongue and was very opinionated. She also had a wonderful sense of humor and a good heart.

Aunt Deb displays my mother’s martyr complex, if somewhat exaggerated. But Mom was very protective and demanded a lot of attention from her only child—just as Aunt Kate did with Judy. Mom was very smart and loved to laugh. She and my aunt would get into arguments over the phone, with Aunt Kate usually hanging up on Mom, who would then announce that her sister was an idiot. Judy tells me Aunt Kate would say the same thing about my mother.

For some reason, I’m thinking back to the night Aunt Kate died (well into her 90s) and of a comeback from Judy that will never make it into a book: Her mother had been hospitalized for a fairly minor problem. Around 8:30 one evening, Judy called to tell me her mother had died. Could my husband Dave and I meet her at the hospital? Of course we could. We arrived a few minutes ahead of Judy and we were talking to the nurse. The first question from Judy (a nurse in real life) was why her mother had died so suddenly. The nurse told Judy they Hi Everyone!! know what to put down as cause of death.

Judy looked at the nurse with a straight face and said, “I think we can rule out foul play.”

Sometimes life imitates art. Or is it the other way around?

~Mary

To Find Out More About Mary Visit Her Website Here.

alpine xanadu

The Alpine Xanadu:
An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries)

24th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Ballantine Books (January 29, 2013)
An Imprint of The Random House Publishing Group
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0345535313
E-Book File Size: 1085 KB
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345535316
ASIN: B008TSC10C

The Alpine Xanadu: An Emma Lord Mystery

Things are crazy in Alpine! RestHaven, a new rehab and mental health facility is finally opening and the Advocate staff in on deadline to get the feature out that will introduce it to the community. The town is buzzing about the news that Emma and Sheriff Milo Dodge are engaged. Then that fool Wayne Eriks has climbed an electric pole in the middle of a storm and got himself electrocuted. Or did he? Something is not adding up for the sheriff. Add to that allegations that someone’s trying to kill the richest man in town . . . or whispers of a rash of indecent behavior at the local high school… and Vida Runkel, the Advocate’s stalwart House & Home editor, disappears into thin air. Milo and Emma have no time to even think about a wedding. They have too many mysteries to solve. Their happiness will just have to wait.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Every visit to Alpine is entertaining and fun! This edition is jam packed with action and keeps the reader on their toes. Twists and turns galore. It is hard not to get caught up in the tangled web of these characters lives.

I don’t know if my husband could away with some of the comments the sheriff makes to Emma but for Milo they just fit. Emma and Milo have grown into that comfy couple. They respect each other but at times one of them wants to strangle the other. When you talk about characters evolving over the life of a series Emma and Milo are excellent examples.

Now Vida is the one I want to strangle. She needs to take off one of those huge hats and hit her grandson Roger with it! That kid needs to grow up and get on with his life and she needs to stop coddling him. She is an absolute treasure to Alpine. Who else who keep all these friends, foes and relatives straight? but she is not helping that boy a bit.

My heart aches for Mitch and Brenda and their family. Dealing with a son in prison has to be tough especially when he keeps escaping. 

Emma’s family takes a smaller role in this installment but Milo’s ex-wife and daughter are right on the scene. After 24 stories there are several characters the make minor appearances in these stories but Daheim does her best to keep us in the loop with as many families as possible. Each book is like a mini vacation to Alpine, Washington.

Mary Daheim writes intelligent and complex mysteries full of humor, intrigue and a bit of romance. In a previous review I called her a beacon on the cozy mystery horizon. She has created two longing running series and keeps them engaging and fresh.  I look forward to each and every one.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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Leave a comment for Mary for 5 Bonus Entries !

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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End February 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

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.”

FTSRCreadalattechallenge_zps01d248d0Cruisin 2013

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