Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Alpine Traitor-Mary Daheim

The Alpine Traitor
Mary Daheim
Ballantine, March 2008, $24.00
ISBN: 9780345468185

In Alpine, Washington, Dylan Platte, representing his wife Kelsey and her brother Graham, offers to buy the Advocate from Emma Lord who says no. Dylan insists that his late father-in-law Tom Cavanaugh planned to buy the newspaper to add to his empire, but died before he could make a deal. Emma thinks back to how she almost married Tom and would have been stepmother to his now thirty something children who allegedly are carrying out his wishes.

Emma goes to spend the weekend in nearby Seattle. Alpine Sheriff Milo Dodge calls her to inform her that someone murdered Dylan, shot in the chest in his motel room; and she is considered a viable suspect. Returning home, Emma and Milo investigate the homicide with the help of House & Home Editor Vida Runkel. However, the case takes a strange speedy spin in Sacramento while another person is shot in Alpine.

The newest Emma Lord mystery is a brisk entry as the audience learns much about the heroine’s past with the late Tom. The investigation is as always well done and entertaining, but it is an emotionally wrought Emma, reliving what if thoughts, who makes this a strong Washington State murder mystery.

Harriet Klausner