Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June, 2003
ISBN: 0-380-97883-0
Format Reviewed: Hardcover
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Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Susan McBride

Reviewer Notes: Mild language

Susan McBride is the author of "And Then She Was Gone" and "Overkill."

Death Trap
An Alaska Mystery
By Sue Henry 

     Death Trap is the tenth in Sue Henry's mystery series set in Alaska, featuring Iditarod musher Jessie Arnold and her lead dog, Tank. In this one, Jessie and her friends are gathered in the living room of her new log cabin, built after arson took down her former home. The visitors include State Trooper Phil Becker, ten-year-old Danny Tabor, senior citizen Frank Monroe, and Jessie's old love, Alex Jensen. The chapter begins as each of them takes his or her turn describing murderous goings-on at the recent Alaska State Fair, events that put Jessie's and Tank's lives in jeopardy.

     With her bum knee keeping her from her usual activities, Jessie agrees to help a friend at a fair booth, passing out info on the Iditarod. There, she meets young Danny (who's run away from home in order to attend the fair) and Frank Monroe (who's run away from the old folks' home). Danny accidentally picks up a red bag that belongs to one of the fair's security guards, starting a chain of misfortune that includes a murder on the fairgrounds and ends up with the kidnappings of Tank and Jessie.

      The plot sounds intriguing enough, and it should have been. My quibble with this book is the way the story is told in flashbacks. The point of view switches constantly, which dilutes the suspense and turns Death Trap into a passive book. It's like hearing a tale secondhand--which is never as much fun--and keeps the reader at a distance. Sue Henry fans might miss being right there in the moment with Jessie, but at least they'll be reassured right from the beginning that she survives this Death Trap, along with her chums.

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