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Ptarmaggedon by Karen Dudley
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The Robyn Devara series just gets better and better. In this installment Robyn takes a holiday in the Yukon so she can be with her main squeeze, Kelt. Kelt has gone back to school to get his Ph. D. and he is studying pikas for the summer. He's been gone from Edmonton for 3 months (except for a short sojourn) and Robyn has missed him greatly. She is just about to leave Edmonton when Kelt phones to tell her there has been a woman murdered at the resort that is the pika crew's home base. Selena Barry was studying ptarmigans and has left all her notes to Robyn. Robyn has no clue who this woman is and no idea why she would leave her all her notes. Naturally, once she gets to the resort, (well not quite the minute she gets there--it has been a long time since she saw Kelt) Robyn is immersed in trying to solve the murder. Constable Matas of the RCMP delivers the boxes of notes to her and Robyn spends some time going through 3 of the 4 boxes. Before she has time to tackle the last box they are stolen from her tent. When Robyn goes to tell Constable Matas this she meets his boss, Inspector Gaylene Chestnut, who is livid that Matas left the notes in an unsecured location. Robyn thinks that Selena must have been killed for something involving her research. When she and Kelt go out to the field camp Robyn spends some time at the site where Selena was conducting her research but she is surprised at be able to detect less than half the ptarmigans that have radio collars. When she goes up in a plane she discovers that there was another study site near an abandoned gold mine. Did someone kill Selena to hide the fact that the arsenic at the abandoned mine is leaching into the permafrost? Or did the prospector who is searching for diamonds up near the site kill her? Or did she die for more personal reasons? The tension builds and Robyn and Kelt are feeling tension in their own relationship.

I loved the setting of the book and someday I'm going to head to the land of the midnight sun. Robyn also seemed more earthy than I remember from the previous books and I liked that a lot. I figured out one of the major plot twists fairly early on but not the ultimate resolution.

Karen put in a little plug for the bookstore where I bought this book, Whodunit, but you would have to be a customer of the store to get it. The RCMP Inspector has the same name as the former owner of the store. I liked the idea of knowing something that most readers wouldn't pick up on. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 7, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0888012403, Paperback)

Dudley’s second Robyn Devara mystery, The Red Heron continues Devara’s ­intriguingmisadventures. The poison in the ground and possibly in the water table of an environmentally sensitive wetland turns out to be the least of the crew’s ­worries as a sniper takes aim at Devara’s latest project. Sabotage turns into murder most bizarre when a dead man is found with a garden variety gnome and a pack of Polaroids.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:05 -0400)

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