Morrow, June 2002, 23.95, 304 pp.
Dog musher Jessie Arnold has not had an easy time of it lately. Four months ago, she broke up with her significant other, State Trooper Alex when he moved to Idaho and she didn't want to leave Alaska nor commit to a marriage when she guarded her independence. Three months ago, a serial arsonist burnt down her log cabin located in a remote area eight miles from the small town of Wasilla in Matunuska Valley.
Now that the long days of summer are nearly here, work is getting underway to build Jessie a bigger and better log cabin complete with a basement. When they excavate the hole that will house the foundation, Jessie finds a skeleton buried in one of the dirt walls. The police also find a gold butterfly pendant near the remains, which belong to the victim of one of Alaska's most violent serial killers. The pendant links up to a copycat killing that are going on today and Jessie finds herself once again in deadly danger.
Sue Henry brings to life the beauty and the camaraderie of living in Alaska to such a degree that readers will want to hop a plane to visit our forty-ninth state. The protagonist embodies the spirit of Alaska, a person who is fiercely independent, wants her way, and will bend but not break. The mystery itself is a well-drawn puzzle, impossible to fathom until all the pieces click neatly into place. Readers of COLD COMPANY will enjoy the latest installment in this long running series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner