Monday, June 11, 2012

Valley of Ashes-Cornelia Read

Valley of Ashes

Cornelia Read

Grand Central, August 14 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780446511360

In 1995 Madeline Dare has had many New York adventures and escaped being a homicide victim on numerous occasions (see The Crazy School, A Field of Darkness and Invisible Boy). However, she assumes her dangerous sleuthing days are behind her as she and her husband Dean Bauer live in bucolic Boulder, Colorado. She is a housewife caring for their twin toddlers (Parrish and India) while he travels the globe to places like Tokyo selling state-of-the-art scientific instruments.

Although her daughters keep her busy, Madeline is lonely after years of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Her only Colorado friend Carey works at the same place where Dean is employed though in a different section. Dean is emotionally abusive to Madeline, which motivates her to accept a position at a newspaper. She makes friends with Mimi, an arson expert who is investigating a series of fires but Madeline now has a target on her back thanks to Dean.

Changing locations and sleuthing status, Cornelia Read provides fresh adventures for Madeline to leap head first into as Boulder has more in common with the Big Apple than the heroine first thought. The cast is strong while the state of her marriage is not though Madeline has stopped blaming herself though she holds herself culpable to what happens to a friend. Readers will enjoy Madeline’s daring Rocky Mountain investigation.

Harriet Klausner

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