9780345502568

The Alpine Uproar

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780345502568

  • ISBN10:

    0345502566

  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2011-03-01
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
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Summary

The picturesque little town of Alpine in the foothills of Washington's Cascade Mountains is no longer the rough-and-ready logging camp of yesteryear. So when a drunken brawl at the Icicle Creek Tavern leaves a loner named Alvin De Muth dead, the residents feel as if they've gone back to the Bad Old Days. The inquiry into the unfortunate incident should be a no-brainer. There are plenty of witnesses to the fatal fight, but since most of them were half-tanked at the time, Sheriff Milo Dodge is left scratching his head over a fistful of conflicting stories. Luckily for Emma Lord, editor and publisher ofThe Alpine Advocate, the news breaks just before the paper's Wednesday deadline, so for once she can give the radio station some real competition. But soon she has an even bigger story to report: a heartbreaking highway accident that leaves two people dead and a likable young local on life support. From Front Street to River Road, from Stella's Styling Salon to the Burger Barn, rumors are flying. Are the two tragedies linked in some inexplicable way? Was De Muth a mentor or a menace to Alpine's teenage boys? What compels an ethereal female to visit Emma and insist that De Muth's self-confessed killer is innocent? And (much to Emma's chagrin) is it true that the sheriff is about to rewed his ex? Emma senses that there's a story behind the story and is determined to uncover the truth. Assisted by that human bulldozer Vida Runkel, theAdvocate's House & Home editor, Emma goes for the gold. Welcome to another Daheim masterpiece that will challenge the cleverest readerand a warmhearted world of small-town life, as richly addictive as it is dangerous. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Mary Daheim is a Seattle native who 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 fifty 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 Seattle with her husband, David, a retired professor of cinema, English, and literature. The Daheims have three daughters: Barbara, Katherine, and Magdalen.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

Chapter One


On Tuesday, October 5, Skykomish County Sheriff Milo Dodge arrested Clive Berentsen, forty-one, in connection with the death of Alvin De Muth, thirty-eight. Dodge and Deputy Sam Heppner took Berentsen into custody at eleven-twenty-five pm. The timing was almost perfect, allowing me to include the story for The Alpine Advocate’s weekly deadline.

“I know KSKY has the news,” I said to my production manager, Kip MacDuff, the next morning, “but at least we got it in this week’s edition.”

Kip, who was pouring coffee from the urn behind my new reporter’s vacant desk, grinned. “There are some wars you can’t win, Emma.”

“I know that, too.” I paused, contemplating our coverage of the homicide down the road. “I suppose Clive Berentsen will plead self- defense. Do you know Clive or Alvin De Muth?”

Kip shook his head. “Only by sight. Clive’s been a long-haul trucker for years. De Muth has done some work on our trucks, but I hardly ever talked to him. I guess he was the strong, silent type.” Kip smiled at me. “I don’t hang out at the Icicle Creek Tavern. Never was my style. If I want a beer, I go to Mugs Ahoy or our fridge at home. I’m a respectable married man, remember?”

I smiled back at Kip. He’d worked for the Advocate since his high school days, starting out as a carrier and eventually taking over the paper’s production. He was now in his early thirties; I’d designated him as my heir apparent if and when I ever retired.

“You deserve a raise,” I said on impulse. “If we crunch some numbers . . .”

“Whoa.” Kip held up a hand. “I know the numbers as well as you do. The profit margin is pretty lean. Nobody here expects to get rich.”

“True enough.” I glanced over at my House & Home editor’s empty chair. “Where’s Vida? It’s ten after eight.”

“She’s got the bakery run,” Kip replied, heading for the door to our back shop. “She traded with Mitch this morning. He had a problem at home and called to say he might not get here until eight-thirty.”

Mitch Laskey was my latest hire as the Advocate’s sole reporter. “Nothing serious, I hope?”

“Ask Vida.” He chuckled. “She’s the one who knows everything,” he added, then disappeared into his high-tech domain.

Kip was right. Vida Runkel was the source of all knowledge in Alpine and the rest of Skykomish County. No secret was safe, no slip of the tongue went unnoticed, no vow of secrecy was sacred to my redoubtable House & Home editor. She could be annoying, contrary, and even infuriating. But I’d be lost without her. I owned the Advocate, but Vida held Alpine in her heart—and the palm of her hand.

I’d retreated to my cubbyhole office when she burst into the newsroom five minutes later. “No maple bars!” she cried. “No sugar doughnuts! What’s going on at the Upper Crust?”

I rose from my chair and went to my almost-always-open door. “They can’t make everything every day,” I pointed out.

Vida, who was wearing a toque plastered with artificial autumn leaves, tromped over to the table where the coffee urn was located. “True, but my mouth was set for a maple bar.” She began arranging the pastries on a tray. “Cinnamon doughnuts are good, so are the frosted kind, but I prefer raised sugar. Oh, well.” She finished her task and snatched up a blueberry Danish.

“What’s going on with Mitch?” I inquired.

“His wife’s loom broke,” Vida replied en route to her desk. “Brenda has deadlines, too. She’s weaving a rug for someone’

Excerpted from The Alpine Uproar by Mary Daheim
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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