Beneath The Ashes by
An Alaska Mystery, No. 7
Avon - June 2001
ISBN 0380798921 -Paperback
Reviewed by Mary
Jessie Arnold, musher
and kennel owner, is still smarting from her breakup with her long time
live-in boyfriend when Anne, whom, she hasn't heard from in ten years
calls and asks if she can come visit her. Although, surprised, she readily
agrees. Shortly afterwards, the local bar is burned down with a man inside.
Her friend arrives and tells her she's on the run from her abusive husband.
Several more buildings are burned down, including Jessie's place--while
she's in it.
Anne has changed so
much that Jessie soon regrets extending her hospitality. She reluctantly
agrees to take time from the training of her race dogs to take Anne back
to the area where they both lived years earlier. Her regrets increase
when the arson investigator reveals that Anne was implicated in an arson
years earlier where two children died. Jessie and the investigator get
off to a bad start, and she ends of hitting him. Soon, she's not sure
who to trust and decides to handle things on her own.
Maybe I've read too
many mysteries because when a protagonist continually acts in a way that
is destined to lead her into more trouble than she can handle, I find
myself rolling my eyes. I can see no good reason for withholding evidence
from the police, especially when an arsonist is on the loose, who is not
only burning down one building after another, but murdering people, and
framing her for everything in sight. Because of that I found it difficult
to bond with Jessie in this adventure.
People who enjoy this
series, in part because of the rich detail giving to the training of race
dogs and the vivid descriptive attention given to the beautiful Alaskan
scenery will probably enjoy this installment more than I did.