Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, the charming little hamlet of Alpine is welcoming Thanksgiving with open arms, while Emma Lord, editor and publisher of The Alpine Advocate, feels her spirits sink. There will be no family and no friends—not even Sheriff Milo Dodge—to share the day. How, she wonders, has she managed to screw up her life so badly?
But on the Monday after the holiday, a call from Sheriff Dodge concerning a trio of alarming unsigned letters he has received leaves Emma no time to wallow. The writer asserts the wrongful murder conviction ten years ago of Larry Petersen, a onetime Alpine resident who has recently died in prison. The real culprit, the letters declare, has made a deathbed confession of the crime. Neither Emma nor Milo recognizes the repentant killer’s name. Even Emma’s stalwart House & Home editor, Vida Runkel, from whom no Alpine secrets are hid, is baffled. They decide that the whole thing must be a twisted prank.
Then a fourth letter arrives, threatening that if swift action isn’t taken to right this alleged perversion of justice there will be another death—most likely Emma’s or Milo’s. As rumors of a coming homicide spread along Front Street, a ripple of panic runs through the Valley of the Sky.
Is Milo the real target? Is Emma in danger? Should Vida run for cover under one of her biggest hats? Mary Daheim’s new Emma Lord novel is a rich and authentic blend of small-town life and chilling menace.