on April 23, 2004
It's Christmas time in Alpine. Snow on the ground, crisp chill in the air and for local Sheriff, Milo Dodge, the fish are biting.
Unfortunately, for Milo all he catches is a frozen leg.
For Emma Lord, 40ish publisher of the local paper, the Alpine Advocate, it's another story of a grusome crime in the tiny town. But it comes closer to home when Emma and her brother, Ben, who is a priest on vacation from his parish in Tuba City, Arizona go out to chop down their Christmas tree.
Emma finds her perfect tree and Ben finds another body.
Who are these two women and why did they come all the way to Alpine to be murdered?
Did it have anything to do with the local well to do Nyquist family, who are suddenly being hounded by pranksters, stared at by peeping toms and robbed.
Emma is determined to find out, and with the help of her employee, sixtish Vida Runkel and her brother, she uncovers a plot which could lead to her solving the crime, or to her own murder.
I enjoyed this book. I thought the storyline was a little hard to follow - too many Nyquist's. I lost track of who was who on occasion.
Emma and Vida, as always, are wonderful characters. Ben, is a great addition. He reminds me of a priest I used to know. Since his parish is in Arizona, I don't expect to see him too often in the future books.
More of the supporting characters have started to be included more in the story line. Emma has terrible luck with her employee's.
Ed, the advertisement salesman would still rather talk people out of taking an ad in the paper, or only use clip art instead of real pictures. And heaven forbid, "why would anyone want to have a color ad?"
Recent college graduate, Carla is the worse reporter in the world. She can't spell, can't remember to put film in the camera, or if she has film, forgets to take off the lens cap.
Emma claims she can't fire them because she's too soft-hearted.
I love the sheriff, Milo Dodge, he's very laid back, but knows his job and tries to do it as best he can, which isn't easy with Emma always telling him what he should be doing, or going, or thinking.
Emma's son Adam, who has the brains of a turnip, has come home for the Holiday's. He's now at college in Alaska after starting out at college in Hawaii. I find it hard to believe Emma raised this fool.
The one think I dislike, is the same as the first two books. Adam is the result of an affair, Emma had with a married man. Tom Cavanaugh. Emma still declares herself madly in love with him, and that he's a wonder person.
Tom, who married a woman for her money, got Emma, who he claimed he was madly in love with, pregnant at the same time he got his wife pregnant. Stayed with the money, never saw his son, never sent a cent to raise him. Emma saying she could do it herself, evidiently made it ok for him to shirk his responsibilities. Now that his wife is looney and his kids are a mess, he wants to get close to Adam.
Every time he calls to talk to Emma, it just makes my blood boil. He always leaves Emma thinking about her lost love. Face it woman, you were not Romeo and Juliet. You're not even Joe & Judith (from Mary Daheim's Bed & Breakfast Series.)
If she wasn't wasting so much time on this jerk, she could get together with Milo, who is really the man of her dreams, she just doesn't see it yet. It doesn't help that Ben & Vida both think Tom is wonderful.
This storyline irritates me so much, I've been tempted to go to the last book I have in the series - Alpine Obituary, just to see where this relationship has gone. I'm dreading that she might actually end up married this creep.
Next in the series - Alpine Decoy.
on November 11, 2001
It's winter in Alpine and the beauty of the snow-covered landscape is lessened by the discovery of a woman's leg, and eventually of another woman's dead body. Emma Lord, intrepid owner of the Alpine Advocate newspaper, is on the alert, looking for clues which will lead to the murderer. She has lots of suspects which lead to a good number of red herrings, a requirement for a good mystery. In this book she is joined by her brother, Ben, a rather irreverant priest who is a welcome new character. Daheim does her usual good job and this will be pleasing to "cozy" fans.