She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new Emma Lord novel, The Alpine Uproar, and reported the following:
A cursory scan of The Alpine Uproar’s page 99 will tell the reader that death in a small town touches everyone, though not always in the same way. Despite the sense of community and interconnection, there are lapses of mutual understanding. Emma Lord, the local newspaper editor and publisher, protects herself by putting up emotional barriers, reacting with professional detachment despite her genuine grief for the young man’s family. Sunny Rhodes is a kindhearted but unsophisticated woman whose verbal gaffe is not atypical of small-town residents who are suspicious of anyone who seems “different.” Leo Walsh, Emma’s ad manager, is a California transplant and a veteran of many wars, including with the bottle. He handles the awkward situation with humor that has a hint of gentle reproach. The scene doesn’t reveal much of the storyline, but it’s consistent with the tone of the Alpine series: For better or for worse, small towns are very different from big cities. Emma has spent almost fifteen years in Alpine, but she’s still an outsider. On the surface, she blames this on the natives, but while this is partially true, deep down she knows that no matter where she lives or what she does, fitting in is not her style. The role of journalist as professional observer suits her to a T. Only Emma can figure out if she can knock down those barriers and find that special place where she belongs.Read an excerpt from The Alpine Uproar, and learn more about the book and author at Mary Daheim's website.
Daheim has been an Agatha Award nominee, winner of the 2000 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Achievement Award, and her mysteries regularly make the USA Today bestseller list and the New York Times top thirty.