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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Boy in the Snow by M. J. McGrath + a Giveaway

With the threat of snow in the forecast, I don't think I could have possibly chosen a more perfectly suited mysteries for the beginning of the week!

Edie Kiglatuk was supposed to be in Anchorage as part of her ex-husband's Iditarod team, but when she discovers the body of an infant in the woods she becomes embroiled in a murder mystery instead. The boy was carefully wrapped and left inside a small structure on land owned by a religious sect called the Old Believers. Edie had seen two of them passing by on a snowmobile just moments before making her discovery, which of course leads the police to believe the two were involved. Edie isn't so sure. To her, the scene seemed to have been undisturbed suggesting the body had been there for at least some time before she stumbled across the structure. The discovery just happens to coincide with Alaska's race for governor, though, and Anchorage's mayor is one of the hopefuls. As the battle heats up, he's determined not to let either the murder or the Old Believers stand in his way. 

I absolutely love when an author successfully tackles a unique setting and character in this way. Edie is half inuit and lives in a remote area of Northern Canada. For her, just about any part of Alaska is the big city. Both in terms of character (and her heritage and viewpoints) and setting, M.J. McGrath's series delivers something completely new for me as a reader.

It's interesting to note that McGrath herself, while not from Alaska or of inuit heritage, was a journalist who focused much of her time and research on this area. Her 2006 nonfiction release The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic was a history of one family living and surviving on Ellesmere Island (the fictional Edie's home).

Character and setting aside, The Boy In the Snow is an extremely well put together mystery. The pieces fit together perfectly and the narrative is smooth and intriguing. I should point out that this is actually the second Edie Kiglatuk mystery, following White Heat. Considering I've not read the first as of yet, I can safely say that The Boy in the Snow can easily serve as a starting off point for any reader. As a bonus, and if you're looking for a taste of the series, there's an Edie Kiglatuk e short available as well. "Edie Kiglatuk's Christmas" which includes excerpts of both White Heat and The Boy in the Snow and is just $1.99.

Rating: 4/5

The Boy in the Snow is out in paperback today and thanks to the publisher, I'm able to offer up a copy to one of you! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, November 11. US only - no PO boxes please.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

Josh Atkins said...

Anyone and everything in a Jasper Fforde novel!

traveler said...

The Italian series which is fascinating by Donna Leon. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com