Beth's Thin Ice
Bruce Von Stiers
Paige Shelton is the author of several cozy mysteries series. One features a country cooking school, while another features an American who relocates to Scotland and helps run a bookstore.
A couple of years ago, Paige came out with a new mystery series. This time, the tone is more serious and a tad bit darker than what can be found in her other series. The first title in this new series is Thin Ice.
The main character of Thin Ice is Beth Rivers. To her legions of fans, Beth is known as Elizabeth Fairchild, a bestselling mystery writer. But a vicious kidnapping and subsequent escape from a crazed fan has left Beth with permanent scarring and the need to hide from her captor.
This need to get away leads Beth to Benedict, Alaska. Fairly isolated, Benedict is far away from the hustle and bustle of city life that Beth knew. But it is exactly how she wants it. Maybe she can write again, or just get some semblance of normalcy.
But, not only does Benedict have beautiful scenery, it has a slew of interesting and somewhat strange characters. There's a sheriff who knows what really happened to Beth, a park ranger who might be more than he seems, a Willie Nelson look-alike who might at one time been a government agent and several other folks sprinkled in there. There are horses running down the town's main street and a halfway house that Beth ends up staying at that houses women convicted of non-felony charges.
Oh, and then there's a suicide that some folks in Benedict believe may have really been murder.
After Beth is offered the opportunity to run the local newspaper, she slowly begins to investigate the suicide. Did Linda Rafferty actually kill herself or was there something sinister going on?
Thin Ice was well written. Although the essence of the novel is harsher than Shelton's' cozy mysteries, the violence is kept to a minimum and there aren't any explicit sex or over the top romantic depictions. In fact, there is only a hint of romance. But there are elements of potential danger and intrigue. Especially when Beth can't be sure that her stalker won't be able to find her hiding out in Alaska.
Thin Ice was a great way to introduce Beth Rivers to the mystery world. I really enjoyed reading it. Shelton has already released a second novel in the series and a third in the series will be published at the end of 2021.
If you're interested in learning more about Paige Shelton and her writing, visit her official web site at https://www.paigeshelton.com/
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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers