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The Alpine Zen by Mary Daheim

The Alpine Zen

by Mary Daheim

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Alpine Zen is the 26th book in the Emma Lord mystery series. I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviews in exchange for a fair review.

Emma Lord is the editor of the only newspaper in a very small town. She is now married to the town's Sheriff, Milo Dodge. During a heatwave, a body shows up in the city dump, and a young woman comes to town in search of information about her mother, whom she has tracked to Alpine. As usual, Emma involves herself in the Sherriff's investigation.

As the author has reached the end of the alphabet, it is difficult to know whether this series will continue or not. It seems as if this book has wrapped things up at the end, but of course, there could always be more.

I have read several books from this cozy mystery series, and they are just okay. On the plus side, the author does not feel compelled to try to write around a gimmick, as some cozy mystery authors do. The protagonist's ownership of the town newspaper lends itself well to becoming involved in any and all mysteries in town. Also, the mysteries, for the most part, are believable. On the other hand, I just could not find myself caring for this character or the townspeople as I have in other mystery series. ( )
  rretzler | Jan 25, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fitting ending to a long and involved series. I was afraid that it would be anticlimactic as so many of the characters are settled and their story is really ended, but as usual, the calm is disturbed by a murder. This is definitely a fun series. ( )
  momweaver | Oct 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sort of an afterthought to the series since all the relationships had already been worked out that were going to be. You never do find out what will happen to the Bronskys or most of the town's inhabitants. Emma and Milo already married. The inevitable murder just doesn't make much sense nor does it make the reader care who dunnit. The author didn't totally stop caring like some do by the later books in a series, she just ran out of stories before she ran out of alphabet letters.
  LeesyLou | Jul 28, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book on from the early reader's list and had a very hard time reading it. First of all, this is obviously the last of a series of Alpine books. References to previous people, places, and things were throughout the book and unless you go back 26 books you may not know what they are talking about. There were so many people mentioned that it was hard to know what relationship they had with other characters in the book. A lot of repeating references started to become annoying. I felt the writing was a little too simplistic but perhaps if I had read any of the previous books it would have been better. ( )
  vjmtam | Jul 8, 2015 |
The town of Alpine (Washington) is in the midst of a heat wave—80 degrees –and everyone is on edge. A young woman visits town to learn to more about her mother, whom she has connected with Alpine. The prosecuting attorney meets a man she doesn’t immediately cross off her “eligible” list, but he could be trouble. Emma Lord, owner/editor of the Alpine Advocate, and her ace reporter/snoop extraordinaire Vida are barely speaking. Sheriff Milo Dodge (Emma’s new husband) has a body, not of recent vintage, to investigate.

The Alpine Zen is standard fare in this long-lived series. The author has worked her way through the alphabet – and it doesn’t appear likely to end with “Z.” My usual complaint still stands: too many freaking characters. The only reason I continue reading this series is my wanting to keep up with Emma and Milo’s relationship. Getting married hasn’t stopped the constant sniping at each other, but thank goodness, there’s no rancor in it and they usually wind up laughing at their own silliness.

I shouldn’t be too negative, though, as I don’t want to discourage readers. Those who like to read through an entire series start to finish have their work cut out for them. ( )
  NewsieQ | Jun 22, 2015 |
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To the memory of Martha Longbrake, who tirelessly gave of herself. We are forever indebted to her generous spirit.
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The month of June is unpredictable in Alpine.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345535359, Hardcover)

The picturesque town of Alpine in the foothills of Washington state’s Cascade Mountains—home to Emma Lord and her weekly newspaper The Alpine Advocate—has long charmed and enthralled mystery lovers. Now, with The Alpine Zen, Mary Daheim has at last reached the anticipated letter of Z. Her legion of avid armchair sleuths will relish this deliciously gripping novel.
As an early summer heat wave beats down on Alpine, Emma and her staff are treading very lightly. For unfathomable reasons, the paper’s House & Home editor, Vida Runkel, is in a major snit, refusing to speak to her colleagues, or even her boss. So when a peculiar young woman walks in claiming her parents have been murdered, and that she’s in mortal danger, too, it fits right in with the rest of the craziness. Then, to the utter bafflement of her colleagues, Vida vanishes without a word to anyone. And just when Emma and her husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, start to unsnarl these tangles, a male body, dead too long to identify, surfaces at the town dump—making what seemed merely weird feel downright sinister. Has the hot weather driven everyone nuts, or are cold-blooded forces committing deadly misdeeds?
The Alpine Zen tingles with all the mystery and allure that only Mary Daheim’s brand of small-town life can provide. Gossip, love affairs, feuding, and plenty of dirty secrets make for an intriguing adventure every Alpine fan will want to read all about.
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
“Witty one-liners and amusing characterizations.”Publishers Weekly

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:29 -0400)

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