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Mary Daheim

The Alpine Xanadu

Mary Daheim The Alpine Xanadu
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Biographical note:

Mary Richardson Daheim started spinning stories before she could spell. Daheim has been a journalist, an editor, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer, but fiction was always her medium of choice. In 1982 she launched a career that is now distinguished by more than sixty novels. In 2000, she won the Literary Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. In October 2008 she was inducted into the University of Washington’s Communications Hall of Fame. Daheim lives in her hometown of Seattle and is a direct descendant of former residents of the real Alpine when it existed in the early part of the twentieth century until it was abandoned in 1929. The Alpine/Emma Lord series has created interest in the site, which was named a Washington State ghost town in July 2011.


From the Hardcover edition.

Country of final manufacture:

US

Excerpt from book:

Chapter One

I was stunned by the letter from my old pal and Oregonian newspaper compatriot Mavis Marley Fulkerston. Not having heard from her in over two months, I worried. The reason for the lapse was valid, but the rest of the message upset me.

“Dear Emma,” she began, “sorry for not thanking you sooner for the exquisite ­mother-­of-­pearl vase you sent for Christmas. Ray and I love it. Your backwoods gallery owner has surprisingly good taste.

“Ray and I took our usual ­post-­holiday Oahu trip to escape Portland’s gray skies. We had a great ­time—­until we were waiting for the airport shuttle to take us home and Ray had a heart attack. One quadruple bypass later, he was pronounced viable (if ornery) and sent to rehab for two weeks. He’s still grouchy and I may have to kill him.

“Your recent close call with death horrified me. Hope you’ve recovered by now. Hope you’ve also ­deep-­sixed your zany idea about marrying the local sheriff. That shocked me more than hearing about the nut who tried to kill you both. The last time we talked about Milo Dodge was years ago, just before you dumped him. He sounded so unlike your kind of guy and about as exciting as meat loaf. Maybe you’ve spent too much time in Alpine. What happened to the independent, culturally aware, freethinking gal I knew on the Oregonian? I envision you atrophying like a petrified cedar stump in that isolated mountain burg.

“Okay, it’s none of my business. I know you’ve been looking for a new man since Tom Cavanaugh died. I never met him, but when he abandoned you for his crazy wife and ­didn’t help support your son until Adam was grown up, I thought he was a jerk. I’d hoped you had something going with the AP stud, Rolf Fisher, but then he retired and moved to France. He was civilized, single, and, according to you, ­good-­looking. Maybe I’m venting, taking out my frustration with the Resident Grump, who ­doesn’t even like the way I make toast these days.

“Go ahead, marry the dull and boring sheriff. Just hope he never has a heart attack and falls on top of your new designer luggage. I don’t want to see you make another mistake when it comes to men. You’re too good for ­that—­you’re too good for Alpine.”

Mavis always sent her letters to The Alpine Advocate office instead of to my little log house. Maybe I’d complained too much about our often careless postman, Marlowe Whipp. It was the third Wednesday of February, ­post-­pub day. I might have time to answer Mavis.

“Well?” my House & Home editor, Vida Runkel, demanded, startling me out of my gloom. “You look like the pigs ate your little brother.”

“My big brother ­wouldn’t appeal to pigs,” I said, trying to shield the letter from &shPraise for Mary Daheim and her Emma Lord mysteries
 
“Always entertaining.”—The Seattle Times
 
“Mary Daheim writes with wit, wisdom, and a big heart. I love her books.”—Carolyn Hart
 
“Daheim writes . . . with dry wit, a butter-smooth style, and obvious wicked enjoyment.”—The Oregonian
 
“The characters are great, and the plots always attention-getting.”—King Features Syndicate
 
“Even the most seasoned mystery fans are caught off-guard by [Daheim’s] clever plot twists.”—BookLoons Reviews
 
“Witty one-liners and amusing characterizations.”—Publishers Weekly


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