Devotees of Henry's Alaska mysteries will be delighted to see 63-year-old Maxine "Maxie" McNabb, the Winnebago-driving, free-spirited widow introduced in Dead North
(2001), starring in this gentle whodunit, the first of a new series. Summoned from Alaska to Grand Junction, Colo., to the bedside of her ailing old friend Sarah Nunamaker, Maxie and her adorable mini-dachshund Stretch wheel in just in the nick of time—or do they? Sarah's final words to Maxie seem urgent, but leave her little to go on in order to investigate the wrongs to which Sarah mysteriously alludes. Much to the dismay of Alan, Sarah's adopted son, Maxie discovers she's been appointed Sarah's executor. She must also contend with a break-in at Sarah's home and her late friend's penchant for secret hiding places and secrets in general. Then Ed Norris, a college mate of Maxie and Sarah, drops a real bombshell when he reveals the identities of Alan's biological parents. A box of photos, an address on a card and a surprising stranger later lead—or mislead—Maxie and Stretch to Salt Lake City, where Maxie faces even greater dangers. Cozy crime fans of a certain age will love to live vicariously through Maxie and Stretch in what promises to be a long and popular run of adventures. (Apr. 6)
Henry's first Jessie Arnold mystery
, Murder on the Iditarod Trail (1991), won both Anthony and Macavity awards.