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4.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Choose Your Relatives, May 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
It's April. Spring is in the air. Sheriff Milo Dodge is in love.
Emma Lord, owner and editor of the Alpine Advocate is happy for him, really she is. Even though Jeannie Clay is young enough to be his daughter.
Emma is also in love, although Emma is a little reluctant to lose her independence, so much so, that she wouldn't let Tom buy her a new car when her old jaguar was trashed. Instead she's paying him $50.00 a month for the Lexus until it's paid off or they get married. Since this affair has been going on for almost 30 years, she'll probably pay the car off.
She has unwed mother, Amber Ramsey & baby Danny living with her. Amber is an unbelievable slob. And she's inherited two cats, Rheims & Rouen.
In the middle of all this, Emma gets a phone call from a long unheard from cousin Ronnie Mallet, who's in jail for murdering his girlfriend Carol Stokes. Carol had grown up in Alpine, and he had heard through her that Emma was some kind of investigator and could she help him.
At first Emma doesn't want to do anything. It's Easter and her brother Ben, who's a priest in Tuba City, Arizona and her son, Adam, who's a seminary student in St. Paul are coming for a visit. But plans are upset and Emma finds she's going to be alone over the Easter weekend, so her sidekick and employee from the paper, Vida Runkel talks her into checking out Ronnie's story. Vida thinks family is the most important thing in the world, even if you don't know them.
Ronnie turns out to be somewhat of a dunderhead, he's more worried about the whereabouts of his dog than the fact that he's in jail for murder.
Checking out the victim, Emma finds that Carol Stokes is the kind of person who probably had a lot of people who wanted to kill her.
She had a tendancy to beat up her boyfriends, including Ronnie.
She stole Ronnie from her next door neighbor Maybeth.
She had recently been reunited with the daughter she had put up for adoption. Kendra Addison, seemed pleased to meet her birth mother, but her parents weren't as thrilled.
Neither the police or Ronnie's attorney will listen to Emma as she tries to tell them about the alabi she found for Ronnie.
Then another neighbor of Carol's, 60ish year old nurse, Henrietta Altdorf is killed.
Emma and Vida gather all the clues which go back almost 20 years to solve this puzzling mystery.
Highlights:
The Harquist and O'Neill's feud, which started years ago when the family's pet goat was run over, flattening everything but the hat it was wearing. The Harquist's kidnap 15 year old Meara O'Neill and are hold up in their home. During the standoff with the sheriff's department, Meara sets the house on fire and when the Harquist boys (they're in their forties) are running out, one of them trips on the front steps and shoots Milo in the foot.
Ed Bronsky's autobiography Mr. Ed is being turned into an animated series, of course all the people are now going to be animals and Ed & his family will be Pigs.
No lowlights in this book. It was an enjoyable mystery and unlike the last out of town mystery (Alpine Journey) it held your interest. A nice surprise killer.
I do wish the reoccurring characters would be used more. They were hardly involved in the storyline at all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Emma and Vida in Seattle, Feb. 15 2002
By 
Karen Potts (Lake Jackson, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Emma Lord, owner and editor of the Alpine Advocate, receives a phone call from her long-lost cousin Ronnie. It seems that he has been wrongly imprisoned for the murder of his girlfriend and he has no one else to turn to. Emma is uncertain as to what to do, but her sidekick Vida convinces her that she must help Ronnie, since he is a family member. Emma decides to go to Seattle to help Ronnie and Vida invites herself along. When they arrive they discover that the life of the dead girl, Carol, was quite a tangled web. Emma and Vida begin their own investigation, since they find the police in Seattle to be just as inept as they are in Alpine. There are a number of people connected to Carol who seem to be good suspects but the intrepid investigators from Alpine keep coming up empty-handed. Nothing seems to make sense in this case, especially when another murder takes place. Emma stumbles upon one of the murderers and then realizes who the other one is. This is another good entry in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good mystery, Oct. 5 2000
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This review is from: The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Emma Lord has owned and operated Washington State's Alpine-Advocate for over a decade. Nearing fifty, Emma has covered more stories, solved several homicides, and has scooped her peers more often than she would like to remember.

Currently, she has the inside track to a Seattle murder that leaves her quite uneasy since the suspect is her dimwitted cousin Ronnie, a person she has not seen in about three decades. Ronnie is accused of killing his live-in girl friend. When Emma, at the instigation or encouragement, depending on the perspective of House and Home editor Vida Runkel, visits Ronnie at jail, she concludes he is too laid back to kill anyone. Emma and Vida begin their own style of investigating especially because the police are looking at Ronnie only in spite of the suspect's airtight alibi. However, finding the guilty party proves difficult and dangerous as the culprit prefers Ronnie receive credit for the deed.

THE ALPINE MENACE is a very intricate mystery so that it is nearly impossible to determine the identity of the killer. The victim is not likable, as she was the poster girl for "trailer trash" with many people wishing her dead. Thus, the audience performs a real mental workout trying to identify the perpetrator. Mary Daheim is dependable when it comes to a well-written mystery, but this novel is one of her best tales.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greataddition to this series, Oct. 3 2000
By 
This review is from: The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
Emma Lord has owned and operated Washington State's Alpine-Advocate for over a decade. Nearing fifty, Emma has covered more stories, solved several homicides, and has scooped her peers more often than she would like to remember.

Currently, she has the inside track to a Seattle murder that leaves her quite uneasy since the suspect is her dimwitted cousin Ronnie, a person she has not seen in about three decades. Ronnie is accused of killing his live-in girl friend. When Emma, at the instigation or encouragement, depending on the perspective of House and Home editor Vida Runkel, visits Ronnie at jail, she concludes he is too laid back to kill anyone. Emma and Vida begin their own style of investigating especially because the police are looking at Ronnie only in spite of the suspect's airtight alibi. However, finding the guilty party proves difficult and dangerous as the culprit prefers Ronnie receive credit for the deed.

THE ALPINE MENACE is a very intricate mystery so that it is nearly impossible to determine the identity of the killer. The victim is not likable, as she was the poster girl for "trailer trash" with many people wishing her dead. Thus, the audience performs a real mental workout trying to identify the perpetrator. Mary Daheim is dependable when it comes to a well-written mystery, but this novel is one of her best tales.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, Nov. 21 2012
By 
M. Cook "Ballroomdancer" (Kelowna, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoy the Emma Lord series. Sometimes the plot may seem a bit obvious, but there is always an unexpected wrinkle.
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The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery
The Alpine Menace: An Emma Lord Mystery by Mary Daheim (Mass Market Paperback - Oct. 3 2000)
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