The Alpine Vengeance
An Emma Lord Mystery
By Mary Daheim
(Ballantine Books, Hardcover, 9780345502575, 336pp.)
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, the charming little hamlet of Alpine is welcoming Thanksgiving with open arms, while Emma Lord, editor and publisher of The Alpine Advocate, feels her spirits sink. There will be no family and no friends—not even Sheriff Milo Dodge—to share the day. How, she wonders, has she managed to screw up her life so badly?
But on the Monday after the holiday, a call from Sheriff Dodge concerning a trio of alarming unsigned letters he has received leaves Emma no time to wallow. The writer asserts the wrongful murder conviction ten years ago of Larry Petersen, a onetime Alpine resident who has recently died in prison. The real culprit, the letters declare, has made a deathbed confession of the crime. Neither Emma nor Milo recognizes the repentant killer’s name. Even Emma’s stalwart House & Home editor, Vida Runkel, from whom no Alpine secrets are hid, is baffled. They decide that the whole thing must be a twisted prank.
Then a fourth letter arrives, threatening that if swift action isn’t taken to right this alleged perversion of justice there will be another death—most likely Emma’s or Milo’s. As rumors of a coming homicide spread along Front Street, a ripple of panic runs through the Valley of the Sky.
Is Milo the real target? Is Emma in danger? Should Vida run for cover under one of her biggest hats? Mary Daheim’s new Emma Lord novel is a rich and authentic blend of small-town life and chilling menace.
Mary Richardson Daheim is a Seattle native who started spinning stories before she could spell. Daheim has been a journalist, an editor, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer, but fiction was always her medium of choice. In 1982 she launched a career that is now distinguished by more than fifty novels. In 2000, she won the Literary Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In October 2008 she was inducted into the University of Washington’s Communications Hall of Fame. Daheim lives in her hometown of Seattle and is a direct descendant of former residents of the real Alpine when it existed in the early part of the twentieth century.
Praise for Mary Daheim and her Emma Lord mysteries
“Always entertaining.”—The Seattle Times
“Mary Daheim writes with wit, wisdom, and a big heart. I love her books.”—Carolyn Hart
“Daheim writes . . . with dry wit, a butter-smooth style, and obvious wicked enjoyment.”—The Oregonian
“The characters are great, and the plots always attention-getting.”—King Features Syndicate
“Even the most seasoned mystery fans are caught off-guard by [Daheim’s] clever plot twists.”—BookLoons Reviews
“Witty one-liners and amusing characterizations.”—Publishers Weekly