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The Alpine Winter: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries) Hardcover – November 29, 2011
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“Always entertaining.”—The Seattle Times
“Mary Daheim writes with wit, wisdom, and a big heart. I love her books.”—Carolyn Hart
“Daheim writes . . . with dry wit, a butter-smooth style, and obvious wicked enjoyment.”—The Oregonian
“The characters are great, and the plots always attention-getting.”—King Features Syndicate
“Even the most seasoned mystery fans are caught off-guard by [Daheim’s] clever plot twists.”—BookLoons Reviews
“Witty one-liners and amusing characterizations.”—Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Meanwhile human bones are found on the Skykomish River while some kids exploring a cave find human male remains. The townsfolk especially Roy Everson wonder whether the grisly river find is his mother Myrtle, who vanished sixteen years ago while berry picking and if the cave discovery is linked. At the same time Troy Laskey escapes from jail. His parents moved to Alpine to be near him, as he serves time for drug trafficking; his father is a reporter at the Advocate. Emma's best friend House & Home editor Vida Runkel has problems with her spoiled grandson. When Milo returns to town, they have to figure out who killed the person that the bones belonged to while dealing with Ben who disapproves of her relationship with Milo.
The latest Emma Lord Cascades cozy (see The Alpine Vengeance) is an extended family affair highlighted with the knowledge that Milo will always be there for the love of his life. There is plenty happening to the townsfolk as this is a Christmas filled with death and attempted murder. Although newcomers will find it difficult to engage with the long running cast, everyone will relish the exciting Alpine Winter mystery.
That being said, the book is very well-written, the main characters are likeable and genuine and I love the setting. I was torn over my rating since it is clear that this is a great series. I just wish this had not been my first Alpine book. I LOVE long-running series where the reader can follow the characters' journeys, but it is not really fair to expect the reader to know that they need to read the entire rest of the series (especially one this long)in order to understand what is going on and to appreciate a book on its own.
Besides that, Daheim can't seem to decide on what she wants her main story line to be. At first it sounds as if it's going to be about a 62-year old woman who disappeared 17 years earlier, but that element just limps along and isn't resolved to the reader's satisfaction. True, Emma guesses what might have happened and where the body might be, but nothing is carried through to see if she is right or not.
Then a much fresher corpse is discovered in the area where the woman supposedly disappeared, but there isn't a great deal about solving this crime. In the end the killer turns out to be the surprise-at-the-end perp, who kinda sorta confesses after being caught in the act of committing another crime. The perp's motive is weak to the point of being implausible, which leaves the reader feeling let down. It's as if Daheim realized that a murder mystery must have a murder victim in it somewhere, so she threw one in without planning a meaningful, plausible plot around said victim.
The relationship between Emma and the sheriff continues to lurch along, but as other reviewers have pointed out, they spend too much time with juvenile bickering, much of it along the lines of, "Don't interfere with my job!" and, "I'm just doing my job!" Also, the sheriff needs to let go of his ex Mulehide. True, he does compare her unfavorably to Emma, but the fact that he even does so, and constantly at that, means he is still obsessing over her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good read, even though there seemed to be a few too many characters. It was a little confusing when I would stop and restart reading.Published 21 days ago by Dan
As usual, Mary has entertained with her wit and suspenseful story crafting.
Do keep in mind that the Alpine series is a continuing story of Emma Lord's adventures in... Read more
I've read all her Alpine books and this one seems like she called it inPublished 2 months ago by Laura L. Allmacher
There simply wasn't enough action to suit me in this novel and it became a slow read. I had to wait until 2/3 of the way through to get interested.Published 2 months ago by Joan D. Willis
I'm not sure if I'll finish reading this book. In the first 11 pages my mind was spinning from all the names mentioned so I counted them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by adnaper
Loved many of her other book, but this just did not appeal to me.Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth
Too many characters involved. Confusing because irrelevant characters were constantly being introduced.Published 3 months ago by Rosalia