by Keith McCafferty
Book list *Starred Review* When you find a Santa hat in the fireplace of your rented cabin deep in Montana's Crazy Mountains, you're obligated to look up the chimney, right? No, Virginia, you probably won't find Mr. Claus, but you just might see Cinderella. At least that what happens in the fine set piece that opens McCafferty's latest Stranahan and Ettinger novel. The Cinderella in question, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, isn't in the best of shape: she's dead, having trapped herself in the chimney, and her eyes have been plucked out by a crow. Sheriff Martha Ettinger knows this case could be trouble the rancher, Etta Huntingdon, has power aplenty and likes to use it. Ettinger wants to hire fishing guide and part-time detective Sean Stranahan to help with the investigation, but she recently ended a semi-secret relationship with Stranahan, and that spells awkward. The two attempt to act like adults, however, despite some entertaining sniping along the way, and, soon enough, Sean has identified the mountain cabin as a trysting spot for a twenty-first-century swingers' club and determined that Cinderella may have been living, either willingly or not, with a mountain man called Bear Paw. This sounds almost like a comic crime novel, and at times it is, but when it turns serious, it turns very serious, indeed. Like Brad Smith and Elmore Leonard, McCafferty does a marvelous job of manipulating mood, moving from light to dark in such a way as to intensify both. This is the best McCafferty novel yet, and it's a must for Craig Johnson and C. J. Box fans.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2015 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publishers Weekly The death of a young Montana rodeo star propels McCafferty's terrific fourth mystery featuring artist, fly-fisherman, and occasional PI Sean Stranahan (after 2014's Dead Man's Fancy). When 16-year-old Cinderella "Cindy" Huntington is found dead in the chimney of a Forest Service cabin, it's unclear if foul play is involved, but Cindy's mother, Etta, hires Sean to do some digging. This means Sean will have to work with Sheriff Martha Ettinger, and things are tense between them since she recently called a halt to their romance. However, they undeniably make a good team, and what seems to be a straightforward death soon proves to be anything but. Sean and Martha find themselves embroiled in a family drama of epic proportions, as well as involved with a local "Mile High" club and an eccentric local mountain man. This is a must for fans of eclectic mysteries in which the setting is just as important as the characters. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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