Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review: Murder Off the Beaten Path by M. L. Rowland

his is the second book in the Search and Rescue Mystery series starring camp counselor and search and rescue officer Gracie Kinkaid that I am reading. I love the series because it has a nice mix between a cozy atmosphere, this time a summer camp, and the dark side of human nature – murder, fraud, and abuse committed by people that just seem inherently bad. It is no different in this book. Gracie is called to a rescue operation in which a co-worker from camp can only be found dead. This event caps a really bad week because shortly before this rescue mission, Gracie and her squad had to call of a search for a missing teenager.

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Back in camp, Gracie tries to focus on her work with teenagers and building their self-esteem. But the death of the co-worker keeps coming back into her life and one mysterious message on her answering machine kicks Gracie’s detective blood into high gear and she becomes entangled in the web that killed her co-worker. Will Gracie find out why her co-worker died and, more importantly, will Gracie clear up the mysteries around the camp before she herself becomes a victim of the dark forces at work here?

Gracie finds support in some of her old places, with Rob, who lives in LA, but is always a reliable source of compassion and support, and also in new places. Needless to say, the mystery that Gracie deals with is more complex than initially thought and Gracie must use all her talents, physical and mental, to determine what is the source of the evil that has taken hold of the innocent Camp Ponderosa.

This is a mystery, but definitely has action in it and the character, Gracie, is one strong and mentally tough woman. She handles men and murder with the same cool attitude. This is a great weekend and vacation read, but I must warn readers that once started, this book is difficult to put down.

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