Alix Thorssen runs an art gallery in Jackson's Hole, Wyoming. For the upcoming Nordic Nights festival, Alix managed to get famous Norwegian artist Glasius Dokken to attend. But the visit is cut short when Dokken is murdered -- and Alix's stepfather is found standing over the body.
Set in wintry Jackson Hole, Wyo., this crisp, straightforward mystery plunges gallery owner Alix Thorssen into the local Nordic Nights festival, which features ice carving, a parade, ski races�and a startling murder. Famous Norwegian painter Glasius Dokken, who had come to town for his show at Alix's gallery, is found stabbed with an ice pick in the hotel room of an itinerant and provocative fortune-teller. Arrested for the killing is Alix's glumly stoic stepfather (his fingerprints were all over the crime scene), who reveres his Scandinavian heritage and has painstakingly crafted a replica of a Viking ship to be displayed in the parade. Alix, persistent and unflappable, begins to investigate, but accidents plague her and her family: the Viking ship nearly crushes her; her mother barely escapes a hit-and-run; and Bjarne, a seductive ski-racer who has beguiled Alix, is also implicated in the murder. McClendon works a good deal of Nordic folklore into her story. The fortune-teller is a specialist in runes, and her silver-and-wood tools quickly become a central point in the case: Are the runes museum quality? Have they been stolen? The third entry in the McClendon's series (after The Bluejay Shaman) conjures up the icy beauty of Jackson Hole, and though the dialogue can be stilted, her agreeably feisty heroine and a hair-raising finale will keep readers entertained throughout the night, Nordic or otherwise. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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December 01, 1999
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