From Publishers Weekly
In Daheim's appealing 21st mystery to feature newspaper editor-publisher Emma Lord (after 2008's The Alpine Traitor
), an altercation between car mechanic Alvin De Muth and trucker Clive Berentsen at the Icicle Creek Tavern in Alpine, Wash., leaves De Muth dead and Berentsen in jail. Emma, however, thinks that the witnesses' statements don't quite add up, especially when they're followed by a traffic accident that kills the nephew of the local grocery store owners. Emma learns that the nephew was high on cocaine and other drugs at the time, suggesting that a dealer is active in the area—perhaps someone she knows. Complicating the case is Emma's uneasy relationship with Sheriff Milo Dodge and her catfight with an area floozy that may result in a lawsuit. Though it can be a bit challenging to keep track of the many town personalities, Daheim's premise—that random occurrences are connected—keeps the reader turning the pages. (June)
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Clive Berentsen kills Alvin De Muth with a pool cue in a barroom brawl, immediately confessing to the crime. Emma Lord, owner of the weekly Alpine Advocate newspaper in central Washington, looks into the killing, convinced that there is more to the story than has come out in the police investigation. Meanwhile, a traffic accident that critically injures a local young man stuns the town, and Emma uncovers secrets that tie the two incidents together. Complicating matters, her prickly, on-again, off-again relationship with Skykomish County sheriff Milo Dodge is still unresolved, and an old boyfriend is calling, hoping to reignite old flames. This twenty-first in the long-running series set in small-town Alpine, Washington, includes well-delineated main and recurring characters and is framed with interesting details about running a weekly newspaper. Even veterans of the series, however, may have some trouble keeping straight the many townspeople introduced in the story. --Sue O'Brien