Title: Scene of the Climb
Series: Pacific Northwest Mystery
By: Kate Dyer-Seeley
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Portland, Oregon, is the perfect fit for someone like Meg Reed. It’s a city with a small town feel, where she can crash on the couch of her best friend Jill, now that she’s graduated from journalism school. . .
But a girl needs a job, so Meg bluffs her way into writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, passing herself off to editor-in-chief Greg Dixon as an outdoor adventure enthusiast. Never mind that Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. So when she finds herself clawing to the top of Angel’s Rest–a two-thousand-foot peak–to cover the latest challenge in a reality TV adventure show, she can’t imagine feeling more terrified. Until she witnesses a body plummet off the side of the cliff. Now Meg has a murder to investigate. And if the climbing doesn’t kill her, a murderer just might. (Goodreads)
Scene of the Climb is the first book in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series by Kate Dyer-Seeley. I have really enjoyed this author’s writings (notably the series – Sloan Krause Mysteries) under the name of Ellie Alexander. So here I am starting this new to me series and I must say – I am very pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this first book in the series and in fact, I was not able to figure out whodunit until the very end…just the way I like my cozy mystery reads!
Meg Reed is a recent grad in journalism and has secured a job at Northwest Extreme Magazine. A real coo BUT what the editor-in-chief Greg Dixon does not know is that Meg really isn’t an extreme sports enthusiast (at least not in any participating sort of way that is). So when Meg is asked to take over a colleague’s assignment to cover the final leg of Race the States, a reality show filming the finale in Oregon, Meg is both extremely excited and a lot trepidation. As the race activities continue – there is one climb that Meg is expected to participate in. Yikes – what is a girl to do when they are not personally equipped with proper hiking gear and very fearful of heights. Go shopping and get very pink hiking gear ☺. Fast forward to one of the hikes with the three remaining participants. Meg is to follow the three race participants on the hike to aid in her writing of the article. But tragedy strikes and Lenny falls to his death (with Meg seeing the fall down the mountain) …and then there were two to participate in the race.
I found the path to the eventual discovery of the killer twisted with many red herrings. Equally pleasing was the background story we got a glimpse of regarding her father’s death. There is certainly a mystery there to solve. I suspect that will be a slow burn throughout the series? There were many potential suspects for Meg to sift through, which kept me engaged throughout.
Lets not forget some of the other lovable and unique characters – least of which is her Gam – a new age woman running a very funky bookstore -> Light and Love Bookstore. The name just says it all. What reader wouldn’t want to spend some time there? And her best male friend, who everyone sees that he is crushing on her – but Meg is clueless. Another aspect that kept my attention was the detail in describing the countryside where the story took place. I really felt like I was in the area.
There was a nod to my home country and a typical comment on the slang of the country that had me chuckling – “Eh”.
“Gathering himself, he introduced his cameraman, Andrew, a shaggy, overweight sweaty guy in his thirties, who stood to shake our hands. His grasp was clammy. ‘Sorry about that,’ he said as he wiped his hands on his cargo shorts. ‘It’s roasting in here – eh?’…I pegged him as Canadian with his signature, ‘Eh’.”
I did not suspect the killer and the twist and reasoning came as a total surprise to me. If you want to read a good cozy mystery set in a wonderfully depicted location, with engaging and quirky characters – then I suggest Scene of the Climb. I know I cannot wait to learn more about Meg and her next extreme adventure article. As well, might there be a romance in the making for Meg? And will she finally get her own place and leave Jill’s couch? Time will tell.