Thursday, December 1, 2016

First Degree Mudder: A Pacific Northwest Mystery

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my latest book evaluation.  I hope everyone has had a good day so far (the weekend is almost here). The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen will be out on December 6. Julie Klassen writes lovely Christian, historical novels.

First Degree Mudder by Katie Dyer-Seeley is the fourth book in A Pacific Northwest Mystery series.  Mary Margaret “Meg” Reed has just returned to Portland from New York where she turned down a job with ESPN and got a new pixie haircut.  She needs to have a new story pitch ready for Greg (her boss) and comes up with Mud, Sweat and Beers—their inaugural mud run.  In order to prepare for the race, Meg signs up with Mind over Mudder.  Mind over Mudder is a marathon training course.  Meg will document her training for Northwest Extreme’s (the magazine she works for) online readers and for her article.  The course is run by partners, Billy the Tank (the trainer) and Dylan (a naturopath).  They even have their own line of supplements that they recommend for the people taking this intense course.  Greg approves her article idea, but he has some news of his own.  Greg does not feel he can take Northwest Extreme to the next level (online) and his selling out (after Meg just turned down the job at ESPN).  There are more changes coming Meg’s way.  Her best friend, Jill has received a scholarship to an art institute in Italy and will be gone for a year.  Matt, friend and could-be-more, is also moving away.  He has gotten a new job about three hours from Portland.  Meg starts Mind over Mudder and finds that Billy is very much the drill sergeant (with a terrible attitude).  One day Meg sneaks away from training and heads for the locker room.  Someone nearly knocks her over when she enters.  There is steam rolling out of the steam room open doors.  Meg finds Billy dead in the steam room with a Mind over Mudder bandana wrapped around his throat.  Meg cannot believe this is happening to her again.    Detective Bridger is assigned the case (a new guy) along with Kenny, a police officer from Vancouver, Washington (who flirts with Meg).  Meg, of course, cannot help but doing a little investigating on her own. 

First Degree Mudder is an easy to read cozy mystery.  The mystery, though, is not at the forefront of this novel.  We get more information on the craft beer scene, mocha lattes, pubs, Jill’s new opportunity in Italy, Meg’s new haircut (which she mentions several times throughout the story), Greg selling the magazine, Meg’s attraction to Matt and then Kenny, and the food truck scene.  We also get details on how strenuous and filthy Mind over Mudder is for Meg.  I give First Degree Mudder 3 out of 5 stars.  The killer is easy to figure out (it is really no puzzle).  I was disappointed that the case of Pop’s (Charlie, Meg’s father) killer is still unresolved.  It has been referenced in every book since the beginning, and it is past time to wrap it up.  I did not mention everything that happened in the book (Gam and her beau, Sheriff Daniels for instance).  I just wish the author would put a little more effort into the main mystery in each book and less into the outdoor activities (and the secondary mystery).  I did enjoy the reference to Grimm in the novel (which filmed in Portland).  The other books in A Pacific Northwest Mystery series are Scene of the Climb, Slayed on the Slopes, and Silenced in the Surf.

I am off to relax and get ready to watch DC's Legends of Tomorrow (the fourth night of the four night cross-over event).  I will return tomorrow to review Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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