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The Alpine Winter: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries) Hardcover – November 29, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
Book 23 of 26 in the Emma Lord Mystery Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Mary Daheim and her Emma Lord mysteries
 
“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

About the Author

Mary Richardson Daheim started spinning stories before she could spell. Daheim has been a journalist, an editor, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer, but fiction was always her medium of choice. In 1982 she launched a career that is now distinguished by more than fifty novels. In 2000, she won the Literary Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In October 2008 she was inducted into the University of Washington’s Communications Hall of Fame. Daheim lives in her hometown of Seattle and is a direct descendant of former residents of the real Alpine when it existed in the early part of the twentieth century.
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Product Details

  • Series: Emma Lord Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345502590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345502599
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Richardson Daheim is a Seattle native with a degree in communciation from the University of Washington. Realizing at an early age that getting published in books with real covers might elude her for years, she worked on daily newspapers and in public relations to help avoid her creditors. She lives in her hometown in a century-old house not unlike Hillside Manor, except for the body count. Daheim is also the author of the Alpine mystery series and the mother of three daughters.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
During the holiday season of 2004 in Alpine, Washington Emma Lord, editor and publisher of the Alpine Advocate, misses her lover sheriff Milo Dodge who is in the Seattle area dealing with his ex wife and their daughter. Emma has her own family to contend with over the Christmas season as her son Father Adam and her brother Father Ben are coming to see her.

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.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with another reviewer that found the book extremely difficult to follow. I received Alpine Winter as a Christmas gift and it is right up my alley. I am not sure how I missed this series over the years, but it was my first reading of the Emma Lord series and I felt really lost for most of the book. Usually, even in a long-term series (i.e. Margaret Maron, Diane Mott Davidson), there is enough background to get by if you start in the middle and the books can stand alone although may be more enjoyable if the reader has read the previous books. That is NOT the case with this book. From what I can gather, the book is full of "updates" on storylines and characters from past books and there is little to no explanation of who these people are or how they relate to Emma and the current storyline. Alpine Winter seems to be a resolution of the prior book (and possibly others too), but there is not enough details of the prior situations to really grasp it all. Needless to say, the villain in this book comes out of left field if this is your first Emma Lord book. From the other reviews of this book and from the history that IS contained in this book pertaining to Emma and Milo, I gather this is a book that longtime readers having been waiting years to read. I absolutely would have enjoyed this book more if I knew what the heck was going one and who everyone is that is mentioned in the book (there are a TON of characters).
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As we near the end of the alphabet, I would like to thank Mary Daheim for the many hours of entertainment I have enjoyed with Emma. Milo`s staff and Ben seemed a bit out of charcter this time, but Emma and Milo worked together again to solve the mystery. I have loved that they are not perfect, but are comfortable, 'real people' characters. The personal relationship has been developing for a LONG time, but feels real and natural. Thanks, MD.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very poorly written, unfocused story. One of its biggest faults is that Daheim broke a cardinal rule of mystery writing, namely that the perp must be an active participant in the plot, and not simply pop out of the woodwork at the end. Merely recalling him/her as a participant in an earlier story doesn't count.

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.
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