Wilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner’s body, murder weapon in hand.
Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark?
When Mr. Baranhof is found dead in his beautiful home in the Olympic Rain Forest, Crystal is determined to prove her friend Roxie is innocent and enlists her friends to help her out, along with Crystal's boyfriend, Conner. Only there have already been rumors of a logging company or development company buying the property and destroying the natural environment. Enter a few hippie-types including one man who is protesting in the nude in a tree. When Conner is injured, Crystal enlists her friends Suzy and Olivia. Like Crystal, Suzy is a wilderness guide. Somehow, although not as outspoken, it's Crystal who ends up in the local jail with its own cast of characters.
The characters are interesting and the setting offers unique opportunities for story twists and turns. The pace is steady and the interactions maintain tensions beyond the murder and threats to the ecosystem. This was an enjoyable read with some humorous moments, some touching moments, and a few surprises along the way. If you like cozy mysteries, the wilderness, humor, and interesting characters, you'll enjoy this one.This is the second in the series, but easily is read as a stand-alone. I'm adding the first to my TBR list.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
About ML Erdahl
Award-winning author ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be pet and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he’s not working away in front of a computer, you can find him gardening, hiking, or grumbling to his wife, Emily, about the perpetual Northwest winter rain that prevents him from going outside.
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