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Genre – Mystery
Rating – PG13
In Fargo, North Dakota, it’s January, the mercury is hibernating below zero, and chemist Ellie Craven prefers playing hockey to playing detective. But to protect her family and keep her sister out of jail, she investigates bizarre pranks at her grandpa’s rest home, mingles with drug dealing outlaw bikers, searches for her kidnapped niece, and uncovers a murderer who uses an atypical weapon – the frigid Fargo weather.
Ellie uses her intelligence, her chemistry connections, and a sleigh-full of fortitude to rescue her niece and expose a murderer. Everyone’s a murder suspect, including Ellie’s kung fu queen sister Tandy, her senility-faking Grandpa, her potential love interest Brandon, and her brother-in-law Rick’s look-alike mistresses Barbie and Clarissa. But in the icy end, Ellie discovers perception isn’t always reality.
This book starts off with the heroine committing an act of vandalism that I found mightily distasteful, and there were several other instances of questionable activity a short while later that bothered my sense of right and wrong. I am glad I stuck with the book though because soon enough I was enchanted by the quirky story and caught up in the mystery.
Many of the characters are not particularly likable, but I could relate easily to most of them and their various dysfunctions. Ellie grew on me as the story progressed. I particularly enjoyed the connection she shared with her cantankerous grandfather; plenty of times I laughed out loud at his zingers.
With its well-constructed storyline that kept the clues and the questions coming in an ever-escalating dance of synchronicity, I thought several times I had figured out the culprit in the story, but I was wrong every time.
The setting of Fargo in dead winter added to the allure of this novel for me. It was easy to feel the icy coldness, and I often had the impression that the frigid weather was like another character; at odd times either helping or hindering Ellie’s efforts to solve the mystery. Ellie remained steadfast, fearlessly protecting those she holds dear; ever undaunted on her mission to expose the guilty and bring justice to the wronged.
I purchased this book on Amazon.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
Sunny Benson is a cube dweller, wife, and mother of small children. She lives in the eastern US. Her current hobbies include changing diapers, making bottles, taking her dogs outside to do their business, and squeezing in some time for website development and writing when the kids finally succumb to the blessed nanny of sleep. She is still quite fond of cake...and Snoopy. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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