by Liz Adair
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About the Book: Mandy Steenburg thinks her doctorate in education has prepared her to run any school district - until she tangles with the moonshine-making, coon-dog-owning denizens of a tiny district in Pacific Northwest timber country. She's determined to make a difference, but the local populace still looks to the former superintendent for leadership. When Mandy lands in the middle of an old feud and someone keeps trying to kill her, instinct tells her to run. And though she has to literally swim through perilous waters, she finds a reason to stay and chance the odds.
About the Author: A native of New Mexico and mother of seven, Liz Adair lives in northwest Washington state with Derrill, her husband of 48 years. A late bloomer, Liz published her first mystery (The Lodger) just as AARP started sending invitations to join. After writing three in the Spider Latham series, Liz moved into romantic suspense with The Mist of Quarry Harbor. Liz took a break from suspense to write Counting the Cost, a novel based on family history. The book won the 2009 Whitney Award and was a finalist for the Willa Award and Arizona Publisher Association's Glyph Award.
Liz is back writing romantic suspense with Cold River and feels that's where she belongs. "I remember when I was a young mother with all those kids and a slender budget," she says. "I was so grateful for books that let me go places and meet people who carried on adult conversations That's what I want to write--cheap vacations."
Heeding advice given to writers not to quit their day job, Liz works as a forensic scheduler on schedule delay analyses. She also serves on LDStorymakers' Board of Directors, is a member of American Night Writers Association and the Skagit Valley Writers League, and chairs the annual Northwest Writers Retreat.
Kay's Kritique: I love curling up on a chilly day with good mystery and Liz Adair's Cold River delivered over the Thanksgiving Weekend with a "couldn't put it down" read. Having several projects I was working on, I kept having to take a break to read another chapter, finally staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it. Not many books grab my attention like this one did - If you like a good mystery with a little romance, you'll definitely want to pick up this one up - great setting, quirky characters and a story that will keep you guessing until the end.
Cold River has already received the required votes to qualify for the 2011 Whitney Award Nominations - Congratulations Liz!
Other Reader Reviews:
Click here to read the full review by Julie Coulter Bellon - . . . The thing I liked best about this story is that is was such a slow burn with the mystery and the romance. It all starts out so innocently, but the warmer we get to figuring things out, the hotter the plot seems to burn. It wraps you up like the water surrounding a frog in a pot, turning up the heat until you hadn’t even realized it’s all about to boil over. Very well done.
Probably the next best thing is that we are given an in-depth Northwestern setting with quirky characters in a charming town. I don’t know that I’ll ever hear someone say herbs again and not think of Mrs. Berman. The setting was just so well done and I could easily imagine the cabins, Qwik E Mart, and school district offices. It was obvious that the author loves this part of the world because it was so evident in the beautiful and lyrical descriptions . . .
Click here to read the full review from Wendy, Fully Authorized: I don’t normally read romantic suspense. I’m more of a cozy-type gal. However, when I heard the premise for Cold River I was intrigued. . . Hmm. A lady superintendent? A small school district in the Pacific Northwest? I’m so there.
I bought the book and read for an hour one afternoon while my daughters were at piano lessons. When I got home, I couldn’t find the book anywhere. It was incredibly annoying. I looked in all the usual places, but it did not reveal itself. I read two other books over the next few days, but in the back of my mind I was gnashing my teeth. “What happens to Mandy? Does she fall in love with Vince? Does Grange get over his grudge?”
I found it that weekend (on the bookshelf, of all places!) and happily plowed through the rest of the book to reach the satisfying conclusion. . . . Cold River is a great read, with wonderful characters and several unique twists (steel drums, for one) in the plot. I enjoyed it very much.