The Serpents Trail is the first in a new mystery series by Alaska author Sue Henry,
starring retiree and avid RVer Maxie McNabb – an independent widow whose adventures in her
Minnie Winnie motorhome are destined for murderous twists and turns.
Maxie and her
mini-dachshund, Stretch, were introduced in Dead North (2002), the eighth book in Henry’s
established 10-book series starring Alaskan musher Jessie Arnold. To kill time while
waiting for her burned-down cabin to be rebuilt, Jessie agreed to pick up her contractor’s
motorhome in Idaho and drive it north on the breathtakingly scenic Alaska Highway,
accompanied by her Husky lead-dog, Tank. Author Henry created Maxie to befriend Jessie and
help her solve the mystery of a runaway they encountered along the way.
In this first book
of her own spinoff series, 63-year-old Maxie is cruising down the Alaska Highway in a
brand-new Winnebago. She’s always been a gypsy at heart – and with her dog at her side in
their cozy home on wheels and the open road ahead, she’s never been happier. Maxie’s
traveling from her home base in Homer, Alaska, to visit her one-time college roommate who
is terminally ill in Grand Junction, Colorado. When she arrives, however, she finds the
house ransacked – and Sarah delirious and near death in the hospital. Sarah insists she has
left a secret message in the house for Maxie to find. When Sarah dies, Maxie learns that
she is her friend’s executor. Not only must she find Sarah’s secret, but she also needs to
cope with Sarah’s surly adopted son; an illegitimate daughter who she never knew existed; a
mutual friend from college who always loved Sarah; and the discovery that Sarah did not die
of natural causes.
Liberally sprinkled with Maxie’s down-to-earth observations about RVing,
life and the characters she meets, The Serpents Trail is an entertaining, well-plotted
“cozy” mystery. Also evident are the author’s trademarks – detailed descriptions of natural
landscapes and careful research. Sue Henry has lived in Alaska for 30 years and has done a
lot of RV traveling. Following a book-signing tour in Colorado this year, she plans to
travel to New Mexico doing research for Maxie’s next adventure, The Tooth of Time, which
she describes as “a tangled mystery involving weavers and dyers (no pun intended) in Taos
and Cimarron.” Sue Henry is a former college administrator with a talent for telling tales.
Her first Jessie Arnold mystery, Murder on the Iditarod Trail, won both the Anthony and
Macavity Awards for Best First Novel. She is currently working on her 11th Jessie Arnold
mystery, again set in Alaska: Murder at Five Finger Lighthouse.
The Serpents Trail,
hardbound, $23.95, is available at bookstores nationwide.