Pausing in the knee-deep snow, I searched the sky for any clue that might lead me in the direction of the Silcox Hut and safety. Nothing but blinding white greeted me. I couldn’t tell how much snow was actually falling and how much was being hurled back up into the air by the deafening wind.
Meg Reed, staff reporter for Northwest Extreme magazine, heads to a ski resort to interview the Ridge Rangers during their inaugural training meeting. Her plan is to follow the lively group of rugged mountain guides as they prepare to take clients to the summit of Mount Hood. She expects a weekend of training, demonstrations, and team bonding; instead, she finds herself snowed in at a secluded rustic lodge with one body and several suspects.
- Crackling fires, fir trees dusted with powdery snow, ski slopes bathed in the hazy light of the moon—the backdrop of Dyer-Seeley’s mystery is a winter wonderland of imagery.
- Immersive details, such as Meg’s turbulent rides on the snowcat as it traverses back and forth between the main lodge and the Silcox Hut (the Ridge Rangers’ accommodations) or her observation of the Ridge Rangers as they build snow caves, enrich the narrative and plant the reader firmly at the ski resort, right at Meg’s side.
- Dyer-Seeley does a marvelous job of teaching without preaching. Facts and ski lingo are casually sprinkled throughout the dialogue and fit nicely into the narrative, rather than overwhelm readers with too much information at once. Even two informative sections at the back of the novel—Meg’s Adventure Tips and Meg’s Slayed on the Slopes Scenic Tour—are fun to read.
Despite a lukewarm mystery and a handful of cardboard characters, Dyer-Seeley’s second outing in her Pacific Northwest series is quite enjoyable. Meg has a lovable, goof-ball personality and her spunky dedication to proving her credibility as a reporter is endearing. The tension is light and the ending is slightly shaky, but Meg’s shenanigans and the sparkling scenery are more than enough to entertain.
Recommended for readers needing a brisk mystery for a lazy afternoon or a snowy escape from summer’s sweltering heat.
* I received a free copy of this eBook from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.