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The Alpine Vengeance: An Emma Lord Mystery (Emma Lord Mysteries) Hardcover – March 29, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 2004, Daheim's meandering 22nd Emma Lord mystery (after 2009's The Alpine Uproar) finds the editor/publisher of The Alpine Advocate in Alpine, Wash., revisiting an old crime to solve some new ones, including maple tree poaching and the shooting of an old friend, eccentric and reclusive artist Craig Laurentis. Meanwhile, Sheriff Milo Dodge, Emma's crusty current lover, has been receiving anonymous letters suggesting the innocence of Larry Petersen, convicted 10 years earlier of killing his sister, Laura, over control of the local bank, a case recorded in 1995's The Alpine Fury. Larry dies of heart failure while in prison, but the disturbing letters continue. Emma wonders if any of Larry's family members, including his ditzy daughter, Denise, an Advocate employee, can help exonerate him. While the investigation drags in places, the unexpected conclusion is sure to please series fans. (Apr.)
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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
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It is always amazing to me how the author can continue to think up yet another mystery involving the residents of the small mountain town in Washington State. It does help that the first families of the town represent many generations. Mary Daheim is herself descended from residents of the original old logging town of Alpine that existed during the early 1900's, but no longer does. I'll bet it was never as exciting in Alpine then as it is these days, at least not in the same way.
In THE ALPINE VENGEANCE, a member of one of the old Scandanavian families called Petersen, owners of the local bank, has died in prison while serving a sentence for killing his sister Linda. Larry Petersen's motive for killing his sister was presumed to be because she had been chosen to be the bank President when their father retired instead of him. The brother and sister were supposed to have had an argument which resulted in her death.
Before Larry Petersen's death, Sheriff Dodge received three anonymous letters claiming that Larry's conviction had been a mistake and that he hadn't killed his sister. After his death, Emma received one more of the letters at the Alpine Advocate newspaper, where she worked as the publisher and editor. This fourth letter threatened another death if Linda's real killer failed to be exposed and Larry's name cleared.
While Milo and Emma are trying to sort out this mystery, there are other crimes to find culprits for. Who is cutting down so many of the town's maple trees and poaching their wood? Who shot Alpine's reclusive artist, Craig Laurentis? Besides trying to answer those questions, Emma is also trying to guarantee herself a happier holiday over Christmas than she experienced at Thanksgiving.
I would give THE ALPINE VENGEANCE 5 stars.