Friday, June 12, 2009

The Alpine Uproar-Mary Daheim

The Alpine Uproar
Mary Daheim
Ballantine, Jun 23 2009, $25.00
ISBN: 9780345502551

The weekly Alpine Advocate newspaper covers the brawl between car mechanic Alvin De Muth and trucker Clive Berentsen at the Icicle Creek Tavern. De Muth was killed and Berentsen arrested by Skykomish County Sheriff Milo Dodge for the homicide. The paper’s editor-publisher Emma Lord has doubts as the witnesses contradict one another as to what they saw and none saw the actual killing blow. House & Home editor Vida adds to her concerns when she insists most locals despised De Muth.

Unlike the law and the townsfolk, Emma and Vida believe there is enough doubt to warrant further inquiries, which they do. Meanwhile Milo who is not just covering his butt decides on a second autopsy of De Muth because he begins to doubt also since no one admits they saw the punch that killed him. A traffic fatality of a young man high on drugs leads Emma to believe a dealer is in town but that and the death remain unsolved even as she ends up in a cat fight with a woman wanting to kick her butt in.

The latest Alpine journalistic mystery is an engaging whodunit with a support cast seemingly that could fill up Qwest Field, but as always belongs to the reporting BFFs especially Emma. The story line is fun to follow as Emma tries to tie together seemingly unrelated events. Although not a new underlying theme of a universally loathsome person getting murdered, fans will enjoy Emma and Vida seeking to find the truth when chaos and satisfaction prevail.

Harriet Klausner