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The Alpine Uproar by Mary Daheim
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The Alpine Uproar

by Mary Daheim

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For the first time in many years, newspaper editor Emma Lord has an experienced reporter working for her newspaper, the Alpine Advocate. So, she should be content to let Mitch Laskey cover Alpine’s latest murder solo. But it’s not in Emma’s nature to maintain a hands-off approach to such a serious crime … and she’s determined to ensure the story is covered properly. That means using her special relationship with Sheriff Milo Dodge to do some checking of her own.

Emma’s reporter’s intuition tells her the bar-brawl murder of Alvin DeMuth is not as simple as it appears … even though Clive Berentsen is in jail following a confession. Determined to sniff out the truth, Emma starts asking questions. Emma’s love life also gets more and more complicated when Milo’s ex-wife shows up in Alpine for their daughter’s nuptials … and a sometimes beau unleashes a telephone campaign to get Emma to join him in France for a romantic rendezvous. And, of course, Alpine’s gossip mill is moving along at full tilt – and no one is more in the know than Emma’s house and home editor Vida Runkel.

I’m a reader who needs to keep track of all the characters in a mystery. That’s why I appreciate authors who adhere to the principle of giving names only to characters who are important to the plot. That’s one reason I find the Emma Lord mysteries frustrating to read … their huge cast of named characters, most of whom have nothing to do with the main story. Readers who aren’t bothered by a plethora of characters aren’t likely to have that same reaction.

Overall, I thought The Alpine Uproar was okay. The plot was interesting enough, the writing polished as usual. Some of the subplots I could have done without. I’m guessing this series will continue on its merry alphabetic way (Alpine Advocate, Alpine Betrayal …) through to The Alpine Z--- and I’ll continue reading it. But it will be more out of habit than keen interest.

By Diana. First published in Mystery News, August-September 2009 issue.

Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy.
  NewsieQ | Jan 21, 2011 |
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On Tuesday, October 5, Skykomish County Sheriff Milo Dodge arrested Clive Berentsen, forty-one, in connection with the death of Alvin De Muth, thirty-eight.
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In the picturesque little town of Alpine in the foothills of Washington's Cascade Mountains, Emma Lord, editor and publisher of "The Alpine Advocate," uncovers the story behind the story of a drunken brawl at the Icicle Creek Tavern that left loner Alvin De Muth dead and a likable young local on life support.… (more)

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