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The Alpine Zen    by Mary Daheim order for
Alpine Zen
by Mary Daheim
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

A heat wave is making life in the small town of Alpine, nestled in the foothills of Washington's Cascade Mountains, rather unpleasant. Everyone is getting a little testy at Emma Lord's newspaper and one of the staff mysteriously goes missing.

Then there's the stranger who walks in the door and claims her parents have been murdered and her life is also in jeopardy. Maybe yes, maybe no, but either way Emma's husband, Sheriff Milo Dodge, can deal with this young woman.

Of course, when a long deceased body is uncovered at Alpine's dump there's a real, tangible problem for the police to focus on but you have to wonder; are all these odd occurrences related or is this just weather related craziness?

As usual, Emma and her law enforcement hubby will have to sift through the clues and weigh the facts to figure out what is going on in their little community. But if they don't focus quickly they'll have even more serious problems on their hands.

Mary Daheim has finally reached the end of the alphabet (ZEN) in this latest Emma Lord adventure, so what's up next? Back to A or perhaps call it quits? If she's going to continue I really think it is time to shake up the series and either add characters or pump some life into the supporting cast. Sadly, I haven't found the last few installments as captivating as the earlier ones.

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