- Series: Maxie and Stretch Mystery (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: NAL Hardcover; First Edition edition (April 6, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451211227
- ISBN-13: 978-0451211224
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Serpents Trail (Maxie and Stretch Mystery) Hardcover – April 6, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Devotees of Henry's Alaska mysteries will be delighted to see 63-year-old Maxine "Maxie" McNabb, the Winnebago-driving, free-spirited widow introduced in Dead North (2001), starring in this gentle whodunit, the first of a new series. Summoned from Alaska to Grand Junction, Colo., to the bedside of her ailing old friend Sarah Nunamaker, Maxie and her adorable mini-dachshund Stretch wheel in just in the nick of timeâ"or do they? Sarah's final words to Maxie seem urgent, but leave her little to go on in order to investigate the wrongs to which Sarah mysteriously alludes. Much to the dismay of Alan, Sarah's adopted son, Maxie discovers she's been appointed Sarah's executor. She must also contend with a break-in at Sarah's home and her late friend's penchant for secret hiding places and secrets in general. Then Ed Norris, a college mate of Maxie and Sarah, drops a real bombshell when he reveals the identities of Alan's biological parents. A box of photos, an address on a card and a surprising stranger later leadâ"or misleadâ"Maxie and Stretch to Salt Lake City, where Maxie faces even greater dangers. Cozy crime fans of a certain age will love to live vicariously through Maxie and Stretch in what promises to be a long and popular run of adventures.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Retiree Maxie McNabb, a spry 63 years old, gets a call for help from her old friend Grace and immediately sets off in her Winnebago on the lengthy jaunt from Alaska to Grand Junction, Colorado. When Maxie arrives, Grace is hospitalized, muttering deliriously about secrets--and then she dies abruptly. This mystery starts a new series by Henry, author of the popular Jessie Arnold novels. She appears to have another winner on her hands. The strong older characters are well developed and will appeal to fans of Mrs. Pollifax and Peter Abresch's Jim Dandy mysteries. The story builds suspense effectively, and the descriptions of the West, particularly the national parks, will draw the Nevada Barr crowd. There's even an appealing dog, a dachshund named Stretch, to attract canine mystery readers. Only a less-than-convincing ending keeps this one from straight As, but it's still a fine series debut. John Rowen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Readers wanted Maxie to have her own book; The Serpents Trail is the result. Maxie, who travels most of the time in her Minnie Winnie Winnebago motorhome, is a character RVers, as well as readers with a sense of adventure, can relate to. She is a 63 year old widow, smart but cautious. She loves the freedom of RV travel. She isn't a professional sleuth but has common sense, a deep sense of integrity, and encounters situations that need to be solved.
As the story opens, Maxie and Stretch are scooting south in her RV from Alaska to fulfill a promise to a longtime friend, terminally ill with a heart condition. Sarah has something important to tell her. Arriving in Colorado Junction, Colorado, Maxie finds Sarah in intensive care. All she can tell Maxie is, "He's not right...." Sarah dies before explaining.
It is then up to Maxie, executrix of Sarah's estate, to find the special instructions Sarah has hidden for Maxie in her Victorian house. Someone else has a key and is also searching.
As Maxie unravels the puzzle, she finds she doesn't know her dear friend as well as she thought. And someone does not want her finding the instructions, leaving threats and attempting to run her off the road in nearby Colorado National Monument. As Maxie follows the clues to Salt Lake City and back, we get caught up in this tale of intrigue and also get a glimpse into the life of a solo woman RVer.
Let's hope this is the first of many in a series. Traveling in an RV will be provide multiple settings for a series of books about Maxie. I wonder where Maxie and Stretch's next adventure will be!
Loved all the detail of driving and caring for a recreational vehicle; and the nature writing: the author's descriptions of the beauties of these western states are excellent. The dialog is fine, and all those cups of tea give the Winnebago a homey atmosphere. But this book, older woman's chick lit if ever there was, gives us an anemic mystery. Suspects are thin on the ground, actual events are few and pale,and the McGuffin, as Alfred Hitchcock used to call it, that thing that everyone is seeking and you build a suspense story around, is ill-nourished. Not for the heavy-weight mystery buff.