Once again, to the show that she is as good a detective as her Uncle Monk, and the younger P.I., Gratton, of Doyle and Howe Detective Agency, China Bohannon, young office manager, bookkeeper and bottle-washer, takes on a case that gets her in over her head.
It is 1896 and Spokane, Washington, is experiencing the worst winter in the city's history, when she is approached by flamboyant and wealthy German immigrant, Sepp Amsel. He hires China to investigate the kidnapping of Anka, the sister of his mail-order, bride-to-be, Jutte Kalb. He already believes the abduction was a set-up to "bamboozle" him out of thousands of dollars.
Since Uncle Monk and Gratton are out of the office, when the case was laid in China's lap, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. However, she has only two-three days to find Anka and solve the case before matters get worse.
Dealing with freezing weather and blizzards, China in her own plodding way, learns there is more to the kidnapping than meets the proverbial eye. Within a few hours, four murders occur, which at the time don't seem relevant to her investigation. Unfortunately, to her dismay, they do.
I won't go into detail as the reader must learn for her or himself what China discovers and the trouble she invariably steps into, including wounds and narrow escapes.
Earlier, I mentioned four deaths that occur as the story unfolds. The reader will have to wade through this mystery to learn who is the fifth victim and how the person met their demise.
Author Carol Crigger does an excellent job of setting up what is an intricate plot and believable story line. This is the best book in the series and I look forward to reading the further adventures of China Bohannon. Well done.
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