Archive for the ‘Montana’ Category

I’m not typically a western-country-mystery person, preferring the cityCrazyMountainKiss police procedurals-Harry Bosch, 87th Precinct, etc. When my mystery reading extends to the country, it’s typically the northeast, such as Archer Mayer’s Joe Gunther series in Vermont. But based on a journal recommendation I extended my reading geography to Montana and was pleasantly surprised with Crazy Mountain Kiss.

The Sean Stranahan detective series by Keith McCafferty was quite enjoyable. It certainly wasn’t gritty like Harry Bosch. I’d classify it as almost cozy. A down on his luck mystery author decides to leave L.A. for the solitude of an isolated cabin in Montana. It is April and cold so he decides to light the fireplace but smoke starts billowing into the cabin. Finding no flue lever in the cabin, he climbs up on the roof and looks down the chimney to find the blockage, which to his chagrin is a body…obviously dead.

The Hyalite County police are called in and police chief Martha Ettinger decides she needs the help of investigator Sean Stranahan who happens to be in Florida. He flies back and the small team begins the investigation. It turns out that the body is of a young girl, Cinderella Huntington, who had disappeared five months previous.

I liked the characters in Crazy Mountain Kiss. Ettinger and Stranahan had a ‘thing’ which Ettnger broke off, but neither are really over the other, so there’s some romantic tension. (Most every female character has the hots for Stranahan.) Loretta Huntington, Cindy’s mother, plays a major role as an “I won’t take no as an answer’ woman who has overcome a physical disability. The remainder of the police team are each unique and quirky.

There is some Indian folklore referenced in the book, which I found interesting. Also, some spirituality. Having lost three children, Etta has rejected formal religion for a more spiritual feeling and she is happy when she thinks that her children are in the heavens.

Crazy Mountain Kiss is a very satisfying read.

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