With Death Trap, Alaska author Sue Henry brings us her 10th novel featuring dogsled musher Jessie Arnold. Employing a twist on the familiar "closed room" murder mystery, Henry gathers her main characters in the living room of Arnold's rural Alaska cabin and spins the tale in flashback from the views of each of the players in turn. Against the backdrop of the Alaska State Fair, a tale of dognapping, kidnapping and murder unfolds, as each member recounts his whereabouts and actions over the several-day course of events. Two new characters, verbose octogenarian Frank Monroe and 10-year-old Danny Tabor, each playing hooky from his respective responsibilities, form an unlikely alliance and add humor and realism to the narrative. Those familiar with the series will welcome the return of Alex Jensen, Jessie's sweetheart of earlier times. Two of the hallmarks of Henry's work are the depiction of the rugged Alaska landscape and the self-reliance of her heroine; these are elements largely overlooked in Death Trap. Instead, there are the individual accounts of interacting characters, each with a unique voice and role in furthering the story.
Nashville-based writer Bruce Tierney is a lifelong mystery reader who was weaned on the Hardy Boys.