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Murder on the Iditarod Trail

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The winner of Alaska's world-famous Iditarod -- a grueling, eleven-hundred-mile dog sled race across a frigid Arctic wilderness---takes home a $250,000 purse. But this year, the prize is survival. Only the toughest and the most able come to compete in this annual torturous test of endurance, skill, and courage. Now, suddenly and inexplicably, the top Iditarod contestants are The winner of Alaska's world-famous Iditarod -- a grueling, eleven-hundred-mile dog sled race across a frigid Arctic wilderness---takes home a $250,000 purse. But this year, the prize is survival. Only the toughest and the most able come to compete in this annual torturous test of endurance, skill, and courage. Now, suddenly and inexplicably, the top Iditarod contestants are dying one by one in bizarre and gruesome ways. Jessie Arnold, Alaska's premier female "musher," fears she may be the next intended victim, but nothing is going to prevent her from aggressively pursuing the glory and the rewards that victory brings. Dedicated State Trooper Alex Jensen is determined to track down the murderer before more innocent blood stains the pristine Alaskan snow. But Jensen's hunt is leading him into the frozen heart of the perilous wild that Jessie Arnold knows so well -- a merciless place far from any vestige of civilization, where nature can kill as fast as a bullet...and only the Arctic night can hear your final screams.


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The winner of Alaska's world-famous Iditarod -- a grueling, eleven-hundred-mile dog sled race across a frigid Arctic wilderness---takes home a $250,000 purse. But this year, the prize is survival. Only the toughest and the most able come to compete in this annual torturous test of endurance, skill, and courage. Now, suddenly and inexplicably, the top Iditarod contestants are The winner of Alaska's world-famous Iditarod -- a grueling, eleven-hundred-mile dog sled race across a frigid Arctic wilderness---takes home a $250,000 purse. But this year, the prize is survival. Only the toughest and the most able come to compete in this annual torturous test of endurance, skill, and courage. Now, suddenly and inexplicably, the top Iditarod contestants are dying one by one in bizarre and gruesome ways. Jessie Arnold, Alaska's premier female "musher," fears she may be the next intended victim, but nothing is going to prevent her from aggressively pursuing the glory and the rewards that victory brings. Dedicated State Trooper Alex Jensen is determined to track down the murderer before more innocent blood stains the pristine Alaskan snow. But Jensen's hunt is leading him into the frozen heart of the perilous wild that Jessie Arnold knows so well -- a merciless place far from any vestige of civilization, where nature can kill as fast as a bullet...and only the Arctic night can hear your final screams.

30 review for Murder on the Iditarod Trail

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    “I did, I did, I did the Iditarod Trail!” Sue Henry’s Murder on the Iditarod Trail, which was first published in 1991, is labeled as a cozy mystery, but to me it was much more intense than a cozy. Spread out over twelve days and one thousand miles, the famous Alaskan dog sled race provides an exciting backdrop for murder. When a musher is found dead on the trail, it appears to be an accident, but things begin to look more suspicious when more contestants die. In this ultra-competitive event, sta “I did, I did, I did the Iditarod Trail!” Sue Henry’s Murder on the Iditarod Trail, which was first published in 1991, is labeled as a cozy mystery, but to me it was much more intense than a cozy. Spread out over twelve days and one thousand miles, the famous Alaskan dog sled race provides an exciting backdrop for murder. When a musher is found dead on the trail, it appears to be an accident, but things begin to look more suspicious when more contestants die. In this ultra-competitive event, state trooper Alex Jensen wonders, are these deaths sabotage gone awry, or are they murder? Ms. Henry is no stranger to Alaskan culture; she’s lived there for decades and teaches writing at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. She obviously did her research on this grueling, time-honored event, right down to the basics of mushing, trail checkpoints, and even the personalities of racers. I liked many of her characters, although I had trouble keeping some of them straight. There were three potential killers with very similar temperaments, and that added to the tension, as one of the female challengers, Jessie Arnold, was always in the thick of things and therefore, in need of watching. At least that’s what Trooper Jensen seemed to think. Jessie is determined to prove otherwise. The development of their relationship was fun too. I would consider this to be mostly an adventure mystery, since the plot focuses so much on the race itself. Some readers might be put off by the details that the author uses to explain the history of the event and the particulars of life on the trail, but I found it quite fascinating. Perhaps it’s because I remember Libby Riddles and Susan Butcher breaking the gender barrier back in the mid-1980s when I first heard of this crazy endurance race. The name itself comes from the native word “Haiditarod, ‘the faraway place.’” If you like reading about tests of endurance with a tinge of mystery thrown in, this may tick those boxes for you. A word of caution: dog lovers will not love one particular part of this book early on. It’s not extremely graphic, and it’s over quickly. However, it cost a star in my rating. I do have to say that I read this book in the midst of a brief July heat wave, and that made it even more enjoyable. I loved reading the weather reports at the beginning of each chapter that listed a high of something like minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of minus 22. Severe wind gusts with near-blizzard conditions. Lots of steaming hot coffee is consumed. Lots. I’m not ready for summer to end yet, but reading Sue Henry’s Murder on the Iditarod Trail was a pleasant way to chill out for a day. 4 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    I really, really wanted to like this book. I have read other books in the series but had to wait for this to come out in Kindle form just yesterday. I just finished it and am sitting here scratching my head. I know that others loved this book, and I wonder if they read it when it first came out and it may have been more germane at the time? I did learn a LOT - somewhat more than I wanted to know about the Iditarod Race. Unfortunately, this left little time to really search for clues as to who had I really, really wanted to like this book. I have read other books in the series but had to wait for this to come out in Kindle form just yesterday. I just finished it and am sitting here scratching my head. I know that others loved this book, and I wonder if they read it when it first came out and it may have been more germane at the time? I did learn a LOT - somewhat more than I wanted to know about the Iditarod Race. Unfortunately, this left little time to really search for clues as to who had been the murderer and why. this book left State trooper Alex Jensen, looking like a very weak character and Jessie Arnold, Alaska’s premier female musher, seemed to not have even been needed in this book. My biggest complaint -and I admit this may all be my fault- is that the author introduces so many characters in this book, uses the first name's sometimes and last names other times, that I couldn't keep them straight. I ended up not wanting to finish simply because I lost all interest in the murders...the murderer was fairly easy to figure out and the conclusion, while exciting for a brief moment, was all in all unsatisfactory.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maz

    I felt like I was on the Iditrod Trail along with Jess. This was a great read and I was intrigued with everything on the trail. ( google was in over time ) The touch of murder just added to it and you have to love the dogs and the damn hard slog it takes out of all the Mushers and everyone around them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Miki

    I don't think this writer could decide if she was writing a mystery or a documentary on the Iditarod. Short paragraphs about the characters alternated with sections that read like the narrative of a PBS special. I could almost hear the voice of Morgan Freeman reading the script. And for Pete's sake, pick a tense already! Back and forth, back and forth between past and present, often in the same paragraph...I was, and am, and shall be, rather seasick. I don't think this writer could decide if she was writing a mystery or a documentary on the Iditarod. Short paragraphs about the characters alternated with sections that read like the narrative of a PBS special. I could almost hear the voice of Morgan Freeman reading the script. And for Pete's sake, pick a tense already! Back and forth, back and forth between past and present, often in the same paragraph...I was, and am, and shall be, rather seasick.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ferne

    I don't remember how I learned about this title but I purchased it as a Christmas gift for my mother as I was in awe of her description of being taken for a short sled ride when she was the only volunteer to get on the sled as part of an excursion tour during an Alaska cruise. I was surprised to see this title again recently when one of the characters in another novel was said to be reading this book. In the past few days it has been my turn to read it. I don't think I've imagined being that col I don't remember how I learned about this title but I purchased it as a Christmas gift for my mother as I was in awe of her description of being taken for a short sled ride when she was the only volunteer to get on the sled as part of an excursion tour during an Alaska cruise. I was surprised to see this title again recently when one of the characters in another novel was said to be reading this book. In the past few days it has been my turn to read it. I don't think I've imagined being that cold since reading "61 Hours" (Jack Reacher, #14) by Lee Child as that novel's setting is during a brutally cold winter in South Dakota. Although I had certainly been aware of the Iditarod Trail Race prior to my mother's trip, I don't think I had thought about the severity of the unforgiving cold temperatures. Sue Henry brings to life with vivid descriptions the trail terrain, the brutally cold temperatures, the dedication of the mushers not only to the sport of the race but to their prior strategy planning with flexibility during the race, and to the training and ongoing care of their dog teams with special attention given during the race itself. Within this extraordinary annual race setting, the author has created an engrossing page-turning mystery with the murders of Iditarod participants along the various legs of the grueling race. In searching for biographical information about the author after reading this novel it came as no surprise to learn that Sue Henry has lived in Alaska for almost 30 years. With her words as her artistic brush she paints the majesty and beauty of the landscape as well as to portray a respect for the land and its perils as only someone could portray with a personal experience of living in this state through many seasons. Another gift of this reading experience is the interspersed history of the trail points and race itself that flow naturally within the storyline without sounding like bullet points from a fact sheet. I have never had a desire to travel and visit Alaska not even after reading this novel but it has given me a new appreciation for everyone who lives in Alaska and to hold in awe all who choose to participate in the Iditarod Trail Race.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars, but had to go with 3. It was good, but as others have mentioned, I had a lot of trouble keeping the characters straight. So many characters are introduced in a short space of time without really defining characteristics for all of them. Plus, the author will refer to characters by first name at times and by last name at other times, increasing the confusion. Yet, despite the large number of characters, the number of suspects quickly narrows down and t I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars, but had to go with 3. It was good, but as others have mentioned, I had a lot of trouble keeping the characters straight. So many characters are introduced in a short space of time without really defining characteristics for all of them. Plus, the author will refer to characters by first name at times and by last name at other times, increasing the confusion. Yet, despite the large number of characters, the number of suspects quickly narrows down and to me it was fairly obvious who the killer was mid-way through the book. I usually don't try very hard to figure out who the killer is, so when I figure it out early, it was fairly obvious. Despite this it was a good read and fast moving. I enjoyed the descriptions of Alaska and Sue Henry has a good writing style. The main characters, Alex and Jessie, are likable. I haven't decided if I will read the next book in the series or not, I probably will but it's far down my priority list.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    In Murder on the Iditarod Trail, the vicious weather of an Alaskan winter is not only the setting but also one the the main antagonists. The plot and characterization are competent, but what makes this a terrific, timeless book is the way the reader gets to go along vicariously on the grueling, two-week race. With her expertise on the Alaskan wilderness in general and dog-sledding in particular, Sue Henry provides her readers with the gift of insight into a real world completely different from th In Murder on the Iditarod Trail, the vicious weather of an Alaskan winter is not only the setting but also one the the main antagonists. The plot and characterization are competent, but what makes this a terrific, timeless book is the way the reader gets to go along vicariously on the grueling, two-week race. With her expertise on the Alaskan wilderness in general and dog-sledding in particular, Sue Henry provides her readers with the gift of insight into a real world completely different from the one most of us inhabit.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    The description give to details made me feel like I was there. Thank goodness I wasn't. The suspense and excitement kept me on the edge of my seat. This was murder, mystery, adventure, and romance all rolled not one. The last twenty two miles of the race seemed the longest part of the story. Set back read and enjoy. The description give to details made me feel like I was there. Thank goodness I wasn't. The suspense and excitement kept me on the edge of my seat. This was murder, mystery, adventure, and romance all rolled not one. The last twenty two miles of the race seemed the longest part of the story. Set back read and enjoy.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    I had to read this book for my job, and it wasn't the most entertaining thing to read. I've never read crime/mystery before this, so I disn't know if all books in this genre have major events (like many people dying) within the first 40 pages, and then the rest of the book is pretty slow and cheesy as the characters talk about who the murder could be. Most of the dialogue felt fake/forced, and a lot of times it didn't even move the story along whatsoever. There were so many characters and they w I had to read this book for my job, and it wasn't the most entertaining thing to read. I've never read crime/mystery before this, so I disn't know if all books in this genre have major events (like many people dying) within the first 40 pages, and then the rest of the book is pretty slow and cheesy as the characters talk about who the murder could be. Most of the dialogue felt fake/forced, and a lot of times it didn't even move the story along whatsoever. There were so many characters and they were referred to by first name, last name, and sometimes nickname, so it was very hard to keep everyone straight. To be honest, I just read to the end because I had to, and I didn't really pay attention to who any of the characters were because the author never took the time to give them an insightful backstory that I could even remotely connect to. The ending was very unsatisfying, as the consequences for the villain were summed up in a few quotes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    A lot of so-called "Cozy" mysteries leave me cold, not cozy. I can't stand really implausible scenarios or cutesy gimmicks. Sue Henry's books, however, are interesting and literate, but the pulse is not so heart-pounding and frantic that it keeps me from falling asleep at night. This one's setting is self-evident, and the climax will keep you on the edge of your seat (or bed), though. Once you're about 60 percent finished, don't pick it up again till you're ready to finish it! A lot of so-called "Cozy" mysteries leave me cold, not cozy. I can't stand really implausible scenarios or cutesy gimmicks. Sue Henry's books, however, are interesting and literate, but the pulse is not so heart-pounding and frantic that it keeps me from falling asleep at night. This one's setting is self-evident, and the climax will keep you on the edge of your seat (or bed), though. Once you're about 60 percent finished, don't pick it up again till you're ready to finish it!

  11. 5 out of 5

    David Ellis

    If the villain hadn't wasted so many hours sabotaging the other racers he would have easily won the race by a long shot instead of being minutes behind the leader. It reminds me of Dr. Evil who has a legitimate businesses making billions but he just needs to be... well... evil. If the villain hadn't wasted so many hours sabotaging the other racers he would have easily won the race by a long shot instead of being minutes behind the leader. It reminds me of Dr. Evil who has a legitimate businesses making billions but he just needs to be... well... evil.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A good murder mystery with lots of suspense and adventure. You get to learn about dog racing and Alaskan wilderness too. Yet another US State Challenge book for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    The setting is brilliant and that really makes this story. The mystery isn't as strong as the setting. The setting is brilliant and that really makes this story. The mystery isn't as strong as the setting.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura Belgrave

    First, wear a sweater while you’re reading this book, and keep it on. I don’t care where you live, you’ll feel cold deep in the heart of Alaska while author Sue Henry freezes your ass off while you journey with her on the annual, highly competitive 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail. You will feel like you’re one of the mushers with a team of dogs racing across some of the most brutal places where the temperatures seem always to be below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Now, we’ve probably all at least heard of First, wear a sweater while you’re reading this book, and keep it on. I don’t care where you live, you’ll feel cold deep in the heart of Alaska while author Sue Henry freezes your ass off while you journey with her on the annual, highly competitive 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail. You will feel like you’re one of the mushers with a team of dogs racing across some of the most brutal places where the temperatures seem always to be below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Now, we’ve probably all at least heard of the Iditarod race. But a newspaper story can’t even begin to compete with the reality of what occurs and what’s necessary to survive in such a continually rough environment. Those who compete? It’s virtually a year-long training session even to prep for the brutal race. In Henry’s novel? The Iditarod race is all the more perilous when several mushers are found dead in various places along the trail. One musher in particular seems targeted. That’s Jessie Arnold, one of but very few women who dare to compete. Figuring out who killed other mushers and who might be after Jessie falls to state trooper Alex Jensen. I can’t tell you more without ruining the mystery, but I will tell you than Alex and Jessie appear to strike an almost immediate attraction to each other. It surprises them both and is built on the very few times they actually encounter each other, primarily at checkpoints all mushers are required to sign in at. Oh, hell. Just go get the book. And don’t forget the sweater.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Icy Cold Alaska This was an interesting book. I learned a lot about Alaska and the Iditarod Trail. When accidents and deaths start happening it is difficult to know what to expect next.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tomi

    Excellent read. The story keeps you guessing until the end. I really enjoyed this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bedrooped Bookworms

    Jessie Arnold is one of the competitors in the famous Iditarod race, and when mushers start dying, detective Alex Jensen shows up to solve the case.  He finds many interesting tidbits - including an interest in Jessie - but no obvious culprit, so he hops from stop to stop in the race to continue searching for clues.   My mom and I both read a lot of cozy mysteries.  We buy them for each other for birthday/Christmas presents, and we also just buy them and pass them back and forth.  My mom found th Jessie Arnold is one of the competitors in the famous Iditarod race, and when mushers start dying, detective Alex Jensen shows up to solve the case.  He finds many interesting tidbits - including an interest in Jessie - but no obvious culprit, so he hops from stop to stop in the race to continue searching for clues.   My mom and I both read a lot of cozy mysteries.  We buy them for each other for birthday/Christmas presents, and we also just buy them and pass them back and forth.  My mom found this one at a bookstore recently and insisted I get it and read it because I'd like it.  I totally see where this is one that should be up my alley - but it feel a little flat for me for a couple of reasons.  While I like cozy mysteries, I'm more into the fluffiness of the story than the mystery itself.  That part is interesting, but the story was probably 85% the police officers hopping from location to location to talk to people about the case.  I like a little more fluff - I would have loved more background into a character, more about the race itself, more scenes from the race - more interactions between people - I don't know, something in addition to the case.  Also - there was supposedly a romance between Alex/Jessie building, but it was really hard to tell that from the writing.  Why were they suddenly interested?  It was not a well written romance at all. I loved the set up of this book - Alaska, wilderness, racing, unique theme, but I just really wanted to learn more about that and get rid of most of the case in this one.  That being said, other than a bit of jumpy-ness, it was pretty well written.  Just not my top preference for how a book is laid out.  I'll go 6.5 of 10 for enjoyment and 3 of 5 for readability.  I've had trouble focusing while reading this book - might just be because my primary reading time has been 6 am - but just didn't feel like it was a quick read for some reason. For more reviews, check out bedroopedbookworms.wordpress.com!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Spuddie

    I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly this book went and how hard it was to put it down each time I had to. It was first and foremost a story, but it imparted a lot of information about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, and Alaska in general, that I sort of knew in a vague way. The landscape itself was a character in the book, and far from being tiresome in its descriptions of the race, the mushers, the equipment and the racing strategy, the minute details actually made the story all the more I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly this book went and how hard it was to put it down each time I had to. It was first and foremost a story, but it imparted a lot of information about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, and Alaska in general, that I sort of knew in a vague way. The landscape itself was a character in the book, and far from being tiresome in its descriptions of the race, the mushers, the equipment and the racing strategy, the minute details actually made the story all the more interesting. I've had this book on my 'to read' list for several years, passing it over many times, thinking it would be another boring cookie-cutter cozy type mystery transplanted to an interesting setting. It was far from that...it wasn't really a cozy at all, but neither was it super-edgy and grisly with details. The well-fleshed and interesting characters that I found myself caring about right from the beginning, and feeling like I had made some friends by the end were great. The mystery--someone is killing off mushers on the Iditarod trail in ways made to look like accidents--was fairly well hidden. As I often do, I had an inkling about the bad guy, but in this case, I didn't really know why. Bravo, definitely looking forward to the next one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    This is a cracking good idea for a murder mystery - it is set amid the long, tough Alaskan race contested each year by champion mushers. There is enough information about dog sledding to satisfy anyone and great care is taken of the dogs themselves. They wear boots to protect their feet, and are vetted and removed if too tired. The mushers have to carry guns in case of enraged wildlife and as these are tough, determined people, tempers can run hot. One after the other three mushers are killed in This is a cracking good idea for a murder mystery - it is set amid the long, tough Alaskan race contested each year by champion mushers. There is enough information about dog sledding to satisfy anyone and great care is taken of the dogs themselves. They wear boots to protect their feet, and are vetted and removed if too tired. The mushers have to carry guns in case of enraged wildlife and as these are tough, determined people, tempers can run hot. One after the other three mushers are killed in different ways and contender Jessie Arnold has to do all she can just to survive, never mind try to win. This is my favourite of the Arnold books so far. Readers may also enjoy Murder on the Yukon Quest. The author has another series out about a senior lady who drives around in an RV. This is necessarily constrained by the character's being older. Other Alaskan books are mysteries by Dana Stabenow - A Cold Day for Murder, Dead in The Water and so on, a very fine series about a female native PI Kate Shugak and her half-wolf dog Mutt. Start at the earlier ones. Another good wilderness mystery author is Nevada Barr who writes about a National Park Ranger called Anna Pigeon.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather L

    Note: My paperback version, published by Avon Twilight in 1993, actually only has 246 pages. This version is not listed at GR. I wasn't sure I was going to like this one, especially based on comments from other members of the Cozy Mysteries group, but I did. I could not go to bed Friday night until I had finished--sprinting to the end almost as fast as the mushers the end of the race. I was sure of who the murderer was before I was halfway through the book, though a few well-placed red herrings Note: My paperback version, published by Avon Twilight in 1993, actually only has 246 pages. This version is not listed at GR. I wasn't sure I was going to like this one, especially based on comments from other members of the Cozy Mysteries group, but I did. I could not go to bed Friday night until I had finished--sprinting to the end almost as fast as the mushers the end of the race. I was sure of who the murderer was before I was halfway through the book, though a few well-placed red herrings sometimes had me wondering if I was right, or who else it could be if not the person suspected. Other readers in the Cozy Mysteries group mentioned not liking all the intricate details of the Iditarod, but I found myself pulled in by the race with the same fascination that has non-bicyclists tuning in to the Tour de France every year, or the way people catch Olympic fever every two years. I liked learning about this unique event so few of us in the lower 48 understand, and the unraveling of the mystery kept me interested right up to the end.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    Fully deserved the Anthony and MaCavity awards for Best First Mystery that it won in 1991. It has stayed in my memory as an awesome recreation of a deadly challenge and the mushers' responses. After watching the show on this year's heroic Iditarod race, I had to reread the book again. See this description of the volunteers who open the trail: "The snow machine drivers, dressed in layers of outerwear to repel the worst the Arctic can deliver, may cover the full thousand miles without a good night's Fully deserved the Anthony and MaCavity awards for Best First Mystery that it won in 1991. It has stayed in my memory as an awesome recreation of a deadly challenge and the mushers' responses. After watching the show on this year's heroic Iditarod race, I had to reread the book again. See this description of the volunteers who open the trail: "The snow machine drivers, dressed in layers of outerwear to repel the worst the Arctic can deliver, may cover the full thousand miles without a good night's sleep and with few hot meals. A bed becomes something they dreamed of once; a hot shower, only a memory. They develop shoulders the envy of linebackers. But when they try to explain the pale, empty nights on the ice of Norton Sound, or the northern lights so bright they reflect off the snow in the Farewell Burn, wistful looks come over their wind- and sunburned faces and they drift into silence or stammering attempts at description. Many come back year after year, addicted to the trail."

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Adamo #EmptyNestReader

    I was introduced to the Alaska Mystery books (otherwise known as the Alex Jensen and Jessie Arnold books) while on vacation in Alaska. This fun and exciting mystery series by Sue Henry dates back to 1991 and takes place in some of Alaska’s most rugged terrain. There are 12 books in the series, I have read the first 7. Henry definitely does her homework, having lived in Alaska for dozens of years she is very familiar with the weather, the challenging terrain and the beautiful scenery and she make I was introduced to the Alaska Mystery books (otherwise known as the Alex Jensen and Jessie Arnold books) while on vacation in Alaska. This fun and exciting mystery series by Sue Henry dates back to 1991 and takes place in some of Alaska’s most rugged terrain. There are 12 books in the series, I have read the first 7. Henry definitely does her homework, having lived in Alaska for dozens of years she is very familiar with the weather, the challenging terrain and the beautiful scenery and she makes the most of all of it in every nuance in her books. As in every series, some are better than others; however, I would definitely recommend reading the first book: Murder on the Iditarod Trail: An Alaskan Mystery , it remains one of my favorites. I'd give it five stars; however, for the series as a whole I'd give it four.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Mclaren

    This is the first book that I have read by Sue Henry and I have to say, I never would have thought of anyone coming up with a mystery happening on the Iditarod Trail. It was pretty good. The book begins with the race and quickly some of the racers are either killed or injured. State Trooper Alex Jensen is sent out to find out what is happening but what he didn't expect is the attraction that he had for Jessie Arnold, a female musher who despite the incidents, continues her efforts on the race. Fr This is the first book that I have read by Sue Henry and I have to say, I never would have thought of anyone coming up with a mystery happening on the Iditarod Trail. It was pretty good. The book begins with the race and quickly some of the racers are either killed or injured. State Trooper Alex Jensen is sent out to find out what is happening but what he didn't expect is the attraction that he had for Jessie Arnold, a female musher who despite the incidents, continues her efforts on the race. From each race stop, the story moves quickly to a strong conclusion. Its not the most demanding or surprising of solutions but still a good read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cyn Cooley

    As this was a debut novel, I cut it a bit of slack, there were some plot holes and the writing was occasionally inconsistent, that said, it was still pretty interesting! I knew nothing, or at least very little about the Iditarod other than it happens and where it starts and ends. I had no real idea of what an undertaking it is beyond the "whoa, that's crazy" reaction to the distance and the weather faced. The race itself really becomes a character and it is truly fascinating. As this was a debut novel, I cut it a bit of slack, there were some plot holes and the writing was occasionally inconsistent, that said, it was still pretty interesting! I knew nothing, or at least very little about the Iditarod other than it happens and where it starts and ends. I had no real idea of what an undertaking it is beyond the "whoa, that's crazy" reaction to the distance and the weather faced. The race itself really becomes a character and it is truly fascinating.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    I can see why this mystery won an Anthony and a Macavity award back in the 90's. It is a tidy little story with lots of suspense, good characters and an unusual setting - the Iditarod Trail. And who wouldn't love a hero who throws up from motion sickness after a bouncy Alaskan plane flight. I can relate. Loved it! I can see why this mystery won an Anthony and a Macavity award back in the 90's. It is a tidy little story with lots of suspense, good characters and an unusual setting - the Iditarod Trail. And who wouldn't love a hero who throws up from motion sickness after a bouncy Alaskan plane flight. I can relate. Loved it!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Love it, still. One of my favorite series ever.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I read this for a challenge only. It is definitely not my type of book. But the writing was good so 2 stars for the writing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    The first of this series and set on the famous dogsled race. All the details make you feel as if you were at least watching a real race.

  29. 4 out of 5

    S Reed Foxwell

    TL;DR: I’d recommend this for the wonderful descriptions and the engaging events of the actual race itself, not its underdeveloped mystery. This is a spoiler-free review! Mystery, as we all know it, is an extremely broad genre. Under it are all of these sub-genres with tropes and settings we’re all familiar with: the dark and gritty urban noir, the classy Victorian-era whodunnits, and the light-hearted and quaint cozy mysteries. The list goes on. But despite the mystery covering nearly all settings TL;DR: I’d recommend this for the wonderful descriptions and the engaging events of the actual race itself, not its underdeveloped mystery. This is a spoiler-free review! Mystery, as we all know it, is an extremely broad genre. Under it are all of these sub-genres with tropes and settings we’re all familiar with: the dark and gritty urban noir, the classy Victorian-era whodunnits, and the light-hearted and quaint cozy mysteries. The list goes on. But despite the mystery covering nearly all settings and tropes possible, Murder on the Iditarod Trail still manages to stand out with its Alaskan dog-sledding backdrop. The description of the Alaskan landscape is one of the strongest points of the book. It doesn’t need to be flowery or poetic — its careful word choices and use of rhetorical devices are effective in transporting you to the back of a dog sled, watching trees and mountains rush past you. In other words, it’s pretty damn good and I like it. I especially liked the descriptions in the beginning when we’re being first introduced to Alaska and the Iditarod Trail. However, this doesn’t hide some of the pretty jarring editorial mistakes. A simple example would be missing hyphens (eg: twenty-two becomes twentytwo). It’s a bit odd, but at least the mistake is consistent throughout. One other flaw however comes with being unable to decide which character name to use. At first, we follow Detective Jensen as he interviews the mushers — and suddenly Alex takes his place. Alex who? Oh, right, that’s Jensen’s first name. His full name is Alex Jensen. This inconsistency was pretty bothering, especially that it happened to every other character as well (and there are a lot of them introduced at once). I get that we were given their full names first, but chances are, the readers aren’t going to remember both first name and surname. Don’t get me wrong: it’s fine to call a character by their other name in dialogue. But when it comes to narrating or speech tags, it would’ve been a lot less confusing and required a lot less backtracking if one name was used consistently. Plot-wise, the story was at its strongest when it was focused on the race. It’s clear that a lot of research was done about the sport, the race, and other historical landmarks: it shows and it pays off. Exposition is handled very well, being interesting, intense, and engaging enough for me to want to read more into dog-sledding. Unfortunately, that’s all I have for praise. Everything else was pretty much… mediocre, to say the least, and the reason why I had to lower my rating. Full review: https://foxbythereeds.wordpress.com/2...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cara W

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had read another Sue Henry book - #3 of this series. I actually borrowed a library book! In this one, we meet Alex Jensen, Alaska State Trooper. He's sent to investigate when a musher is killed early on during the Iditarod. Initially it looked like an accident, but the musher was found to be drugged. Soon another musher dies - looks like an accident but found to be sabotage. During the investigation, Alex meets musher Jessie Arnold. They are interested in each other. The novel follows the trail I had read another Sue Henry book - #3 of this series. I actually borrowed a library book! In this one, we meet Alex Jensen, Alaska State Trooper. He's sent to investigate when a musher is killed early on during the Iditarod. Initially it looked like an accident, but the musher was found to be drugged. Soon another musher dies - looks like an accident but found to be sabotage. During the investigation, Alex meets musher Jessie Arnold. They are interested in each other. The novel follows the trail racers would see early 1990's. Another couple of incidents occur, with injuries. Alex wants Jessie to quit the race - and she told him where he could go. He worries when he can't reach Jessie near the end of the race - weather was too bad to fly to checkpoints, ended up in Nome. Jessie didn't win, but was attacked by the musher responsible for the deaths - Bomber, who doesn't think women should be in the race. First murder was an accident - was trying to take the women out of the race. He took out one, killed one guy, and injured another guy while trying to get Jessie. Bomber shot Jessie (just a flesh wound) 2 miles short of the finish. Alex gets there just after it happened. Jessie ends up shooting Bomber, and Alex arrests him. Alex does 1st aid and Jessie finishes the race, in 2nd. After the race, ALex and Jessie become an item.

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