Rescue Alaska Mystery, Book #1
By Kathi Daley
Author Website: kathidaley(.)com
Rescue Alaska is a warm yet fast moving mystery series with a light paranormal twist.
Rescue Alaska is a small town in northern Alaska where visitors come to hike and ski. Harmony Carson is a lifelong resident who volunteers as a member of the local search and rescue team. Harmony has a unique gift which she often considers a curse. She is able to ‘see’ the individuals she is meant to help rescue, and more often than not she can feel their fear and their pain. When she isn’t aiding in a rescue, Harmony works at Neverland – the bar owned by her brother in law Jake, and volunteers at the local animal shelter. Harmony lives in a rustic cabin with six dogs, four cats, six kittens, eight rabbits, and a blind mule named Homer.
In this first book in the series, a longtime local, Tim Maverick, sends his old friend, Harley Medford, a letter with a photo stating that if he should turn up dead at some point in the near future, the man in the photo is the one who killed him. When Tim is found dead only two weeks later, Harley, who also happens to be a world famous star of action movies, comes to Rescue to find the man he is convinced killed Tim. He hears that Harmony has a reputation for finding people so he enlists her help. As they delve into the mystery they find a set of circumstances a lot more confusing and a lot more dangerous than they originally thought. The journey to find the truth behind Tim’s untimely death, with take Harmony on a journey of discovery she never saw coming. (Goodreads)
Finding Justice is the first cozy mystery in Kathi Daley’s new series centered in the small. one-stoplight town of Rescue, Alaska. It sounds like a beautiful place to live despite the sometimes deadly results of winter storms, as Harmony Carson well knows. Part of a search and rescue team that includes her late sister’s husband, Jake, and other friends from Rescue, Harmony has a talent that uniquely qualifies her to be on the team. She has the ability to “connect” with people who are lost, injured, or at times, even dying.
Harmony is a gal who is content to live in Rescue, not desiring to go off to the big city or warmer locations. She currently works at Neverland, the bar/ restaurant that Jakes owns and manages, and has a small house and barn where she and her rescued animals live. Her goal is to build an animal shelter to care for stray and feral dogs and cats and, in time, injured wildlife or larger animals. Getting funding to find a location and build is the challenge, as there are grants that would help keep it operational once it is open. She is the chairperson for the upcoming fundraiser, with the encouragement of best friend Chloe.
Chloe has finally motivated Harmony to contact Harley Medford, a famous actor who was only a year ahead of them in high school. The time is right, as when she contacts Harley, he was – after years of not seeing each other – preparing to contact her. A young man who had gone to their high school, Tim, and Harley had remained in touch over the years. He sent a strange note to Harley not long before he was found dead in a ditch of a drug overdose after being clean and sober for a while. Tim sent Harley a photo of a man and told him that if he were to die, the man responsible for it is the man in the photo. That he was in something over his head, and if he couldn’t fix it, look for the man in the photo. Harmony has a reputation for her ability to find people, and Harley hopes she will be able to help a killer.
They meet when Harley comes to town before Christmas and discuss both the animal shelter and finding more about Tim’s death. As Harmony asks Tim’s friends to get a better idea for the direction of Tim’s final days, she is at times joined by a stranger who is also looking for the man in the photo, and at other times is threatened by at least one other creep.
Harmony is very well defined; we see the world and Rescue, Alaska through her eyes. While I have not encountered anyone with her ability to connect with those in danger, it is clear to see the toll each circumstance takes on her. I do like Harmony, especially her heart for stray and injured animals, as well as her brother-in-law, Jake. Harley sounds perfect, the longer he is around, but Harmony knows it will only be a matter of time before he leaves for his next movie shoot. The characters are likable, and there is a warmth in the group that overcomes the snow and cold.
The plot is interesting, taking many unexpected turns and twists. Harmony adds much to the investigation by asking questions, listening, and using her unique talent. I like that she has a sharp mind for taking the information and deducing results, viewing the pieces as part of the whole puzzle. I also like how finding out about Tim has not just been Harmony’s project, but how others on the search and rescue team can share their abilities to help. I was a little disappointed to not learn more about the search and rescue dogs and the sled dogs, yet I was still was drawn into this novel by the characters, location, and plot. I have an appreciation for the author for being able to put herself into Harmony’s emotions as she helped with rescues, and the relationships between the characters in Rescue. I highly recommend this start of one of Kathi’s latest series!