Cover Image: Cold Wind

Cold Wind

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Best known for her cozy mystery series, Shelton has moved into darker territory with her rural suspense series "Alaska Wild Mysteries". Cold Wind is Book 2 in the series. Set in Alaska, in a hamlet located near Juneau, Shelton skillfully introduces both the puzzle and tells us more about her protagonist, Beth River.

Readers of Thin Ice will remember Beth is still hiding from a terrifying experience of being held captive for three days. As with many people who are recovering from severe trauma, Beth is denying the truth that she is not back to normal. The scars, both visible and invisible, have eroded her trust in herself, and above all in others. She wants to believe she is well; visions of the kidnapping are proving otherwise. Beth is not only a trauma survivor, she is a best selling thriller writer, and former journalist. As part of her cover, she now helms the The Petition, the local paper. While writing in her 'shed/news office' she hears a strangled ululating sound. She opens the door to find two children, covered in mud and stoically silent. The adventure begins.

As with most suspense novels, the secondary characters all have back stories that beg to be told. Not to take away from Beth. She is vivid and believable, as is the plot of Cold Wind. I look forward to more books in this series.

Highly recommended for all readers of suspense fiction.

Full disclosure: I received the ARC from netgalley and Macmillan in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you for this opportunity.
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Beth Rivers is in hiding. She’s a thriller writer who came close to the same fate as her characters. Kidnapped, held for three days, injured badly, and suffering memory loss, she left the hospital and chose as her hiding place, the most remote area she could find—Benedict, Alaska. So far, it’s worked. Only a handful of people know how to reach her and most of them don’t know her location.

She’s settling in and making friends. Alaska doesn’t seem so foreign as it did at first. She’s the editor for the small newspaper and is writing another book.

Years ago, a mudslide cut off part of the area. Now, a new slide has opened up roads again. Two young girls, mud-covered, and seemingly mute by choice, show up at the newspaper office. No one knows who they are. A trapper, rarely seen in town, now is noticed, and a woman’s frozen body is found in his storage shed.

Just like the mudslide uncovered formerly hidden roads, it’s also uncovering secrets from the past. Randy, owner of the mercantile store in town, is in the middle of all of them.

All in all, there are several mysteries to solve. And Beth is remembering more about her kidnapper. If only she could remember his face so she could stop wondering about everyone she meets.

This is book two in the series. Beth is learning more about living where the weather can change in a moment, where a reliable truck and always-ready gear are a necessity, and where people are willing to help, given the chance. This multi-layered tale will have readers turning the pages as fast as they can, to find out who is causing all the problems but wishing for more when the book is done.

Shelton also writes the Scottish Bookshop series (five books and a mini-mystery), the Country Cooking School mysteries (5), the Farmer’s Market books (6 plus a mini-mystery), and the Dangerous Type series (3). Many have been reviewed at KRL.
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Cold Wind is a great second installment in this wonderful series.  I love that the atmosphere plays such a big part in this series. Even though the solid writing, the cast of interesting and unique characters, and strong mystery are reason enough to read Cold Wind, the Alaskan wilderness puts it over the top.  

I highly recommend Cold Wind to anyone looking for a book that will keep them turning the pages.  If you haven't read the first book in this series, Thin Ice, you might want to go ahead and give it a try first. It's not necessary, but I think it will help you have a better backstory on Beth.
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After reading Thin Ice I knew I’d be picking up the next book in the series. The setting of Alaska always intrigues me and it provides a perfect backdrop for a murder mystery.

In Cold Wind we meet up with our main character Beth and once again her backstory that was prominent in the first book ties into the current mystery.  As much as I enjoy her character her decisions can be frustrating at times.  There were definite moments I yelled what are you doing?!  While one can can understand wanting to get to the truth of of what’s going on that doesn’t mean you get to trample on other’s privacy.

The mystery was engaging but I have to admit the conclusion was over the top for me.  Thin Ice is my favorite of the two books but I will definitely be picking up the next in the series when it comes out.  Thank you Minotaur books for my DRC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Cold Wind by Paige Shelton

Beth Rivers is still in Alaska.  The unidentified man who kidnapped her from her home in St. Louis hasn’t been found yet.  She can’t go home until he is caught.

This was a very exciting mystery.  Lots of dead bodies, lost children, and people hiding.  It gave us readers a picture if what living in  Alaska is like..  Many interesting characters.  Kept you guessing, right bro the end, who the killer was.

Thank you Net Galley for sending me an advanced reader’s copy for review.
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This series is really growing on me. In the first novel, I noted that the protagonist seemed to have too many convenient life experiences and characteristics to make her totally three-dimensional and I still feel that to a degree. But, also like I found in the first book, the secondary characters are really wonderful. The setting is intriguing and the cast of characters keeps you coming back for more.

One thing that has really piqued my interest in this series is that we explore not only the mysteries that lurk in Beth's past (both that of catching her attacker and finding out what happened to her father), but the other characters also have secrets in their pasts that the reader wants to learn about. (We're told early that many of the people who populate this small, Alaskan town have come here to hide.) Plus, of course, there is a mystery of sorts that needs to be resolved in each entry. In this book, the mystery that Beth investigates is solid. It's a little convoluted towards the end, but it still works. 

All in all, I recommend this series. I'd suggest starting with the first because the character development is definitely one of the strengths of the series, but you could probably read this one as a standalone with no problems.  I look forward to the continuation of the series!
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The second installment in this series takes us back to Alaska where Beth still resides. I was hoping we’d have some resolution on her kidnapper. Well written story but I find Beth’s impulsiveness in conflict with her experience as one who had been kidnapped. Main characters in cozy mysteries tend to have this type of impulsive behavior because nothing ever ends up hurting them in that genre. Since this series is not a cozy which is the authors usual genre, I’d like to see her break completely off the formula. Fingers crossed we’ll finish Beth’s story in the third installment.
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Thin Ice is the first book in this mystery series set in Alaska. I suggest you begin with it first, it sets up this excellent series.
Elizabeth Fairchild is the pen name of Beth Rivers, a highly successful mystery writer.
She was stalked and kidnapped and her assailant still has not been caught, so she is hiding out in Alaska after her severe trauma.
The tiny town of Benedict is really beginning to fell like home to Beth. She is writing again and becoming friends with the residents.
After a mudslide, two mud covered young girls show up in town. They don't speak, so no one knows what happened to them.
The slide also uncovered an area that leads to a previously unknown house and storage shed.
A woman's frozen body is found in the shed.
Beth helps the investigation, to find out who the victim is, and what happened to her.
They must find the answers as the cold winter weather descends upon them.
This was a suspenseful and intricately plotted mystery.
The characters are delightfully eccentric. Beth has an impulsive personality, it is always interesting to see what she'll do next.
I absolutely love the setting, how they must deal with the hardships of the remote area and harsh weather.
And the ongoing mystery as to who attacked Beth and why is fascinating.
Thank you St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for the e-ARC via NetGalley.
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I requested this for review then requested book one from my library. I think, though, that it would work fine if you jumped in with this one. Book one wowed me; it was suspenseful, engrossing, and had intriguing characters. "Cold Wind" didn't wow me but I liked it, and I'm on board to read book three, if there is one. I hope there will be. The setting, an isolated small town in rural Alaska, was fascinating; the characters interesting, if sometimes overly quirky; and the writing engaging.

Now, the story did drag at times, and I just don't buy the motivations and behavior of some of the suspects and guilty parties. Honestly, while the mysteries were interesting, the solutions were weak and not entirely plausible. What did engage me was Beth's recovery journey and her mother's antics. It was engrossing getting into Beth's head and seeing and feeling her thoughts and emotions. She's trying to regain her memory, navigate this new environment she's living in, re-learn how to trust people, and get back her writing mojo. Beth is fascinating and full of flaws. So is her mother; she's on a hunt for Beth's kidnapper and nothing slows her down. Not even pesky things like laws. I fully expect her to be arrested at any time. She loves Beth fiercely though and will do anything to protect her daughter.

Meanwhile, Beth helps with the local investigations, sometimes with the blessing of the police and sometimes not. The book was a mix of cozy mystery, police procedural, and suspense. Beth did work as a police secretary and dispatcher many years ago and the Benedict police chief sometimes asks for her help but he also tells her when to back off. She doesn't always listen though. Her behavior was questionable at times; she shared info freely, broke into houses, grilled people, and didn't always think before acting. All of this did help with the various investigations but I have to wonder how well some of it will hold up in court when the cases get there. Yes, I know they are fictional but I can't help but wonder.

Overall, "Cold Wind" was interesting, exciting, and engaging. While the plausibility was weak and the pacing occasionally erratic, Shelton kept me engaged and intrigues. I do hope there will be more in the series.
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Cold Wind by Paige Shelton is book two but this was the first for me. I was able to get caught up quickly. I am planning on reading book one.
This is a well written mystery that has you on the edge of your seat. It has great characters, some are quirky. And you will feel as if you are in Benedict, Alaska.. I couldn't put it down. to the jaw dropping end.
I was given an ARC by NetGalley for an honest review.
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This is one of my most anticipated reads this year! The book has a lot going on in it however it’s quite easy to keep track of. It takes place in Benedict Alaska and it is the story of Beth Rivers. She is a successful thriller writer who is hiding out in Alaska. Come to find out everybody in Benedict has a reason for wanting to be so secluded. You have a mix of police investigation and some amateur investigation and on. However it works for this town.
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Cold Wind is another "second book" that provided enough background that it wasn't necessary to have read the first book.
from description: "Beth Rivers is still in Alaska. The unidentified man who kidnapped her in her home of St. Louis hasn’t been found yet, so she’s not ready to go back."

 Benedict, Alaska seemed a safe place for Beth to  stay hidden because her kidnapper is still at large.  Secure in the fact that only a few people know about Beth and her situation, she is able to continue writing her thrillers under a pseudonym.

When two eight-year-old girls knock on the door to her office, Beth realizes that they either cannot or will not explain who they are or how they got there.  They are silent.  

Oh, and the body of a woman is found in a trapper's shed.  Beth gets busy trying to solve both mysteries.  She wants to find the girls' parents and to discover who the dead woman is why she was killed.   

I liked most of the book, but found the plot complications too far-fetched.  Not that you know this until the conclusion, but still.

The characters and setting appealed to me, but the resolution was disappointing because I couldn't get past all the coincidences in the explanation.

Netgalley/St. Martin's Press

Mystery.  Dec. 8, 2020.
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Well this was definitely not a cozy!  But it's not really a grisly police procedural either - instead walking a line somewhere in the middle.  Beth is the main character who has some law enforcement in her background, an aptitude for investigating thanks to her obsessed somewhat unstable mother, a flourishing career writing thrillers, and a seriously traumatic backstory.  This is the second book in the story and I had no trouble figuring out Beth's story or who was who in Benedict.

The mystery is multi-layered.  Who is the body in the shed and what is the identity of the two little girls who appeared out of nowhere.  There are past tragedies and general unhappiness involved as well as lots of unanswered questions compounded by the fact that people in Benedict keep themselves to themselves.  Parts of the conclusion seemed somewhat out of left field but that didn't keep me from enjoying the read and wanting to know just what would happen next.

I really like the town of Benedict and am looking forward to going back.  I can't wait to see more of Orin, Gril, and Viola and I hope Ellen returns in the next book.  As well I can't wait to find out if any of the mysteries from Beth's past are ever solved.
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Wow! about sums up this book.  I started thinking it would be an okay read, then as I got further into it, I fell down the rabbit hole!  I could not put it down.  In spite of not having read the first book (which I have on hold at the library), I literally carried this book everywhere I went!  

The plotting is amazing.  The author kept me spellbound by the cold Alaska wilderness and by the darkness of some of her characters.  This book was amazing and I heartily recommend it.  

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for the opportunity and pleasure of reading and reviewing this book.  I won't be forgetting it anytime soon!
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t’s just as good as the first. Beth is getting more acclimated to Alaska and the people in town. She is doing some writing too. When two young girls show up after a mudslide, then a previously unknown trapper’s cabin is found, with the body of a dead woman in it. It seems that Randy, who runs the local general store, is somehow involved, and Beth turns her skills toward answering all of these questions.
The book introduces some new characters and updates readers on those we met in “Thin Ice.”
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I don't think I can possibly say enough good things about this book. The author does a good job giving you the backstory so, you can read this as a standalone. The storyline is fast paced and atmospheric. I definitely felt like I was right there in Benedict, Alaska. I found the book to be a little dark and gritty and the characters  complicated. This is just one riveting read.
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COLD WIND (ALASKA WILD MYSTERIES #2)
BY PAIGE SHELTON

This is book two in this new Alaska Wild Mysteries series and throughout reading this I couldn't tell I was reading a series book until I read the very last page and the ending didn't seem like an ending. So I suppose that this can easily be read as a stand alone. I really enjoyed reading this novel. The writing really flowed and the chapters were really short and ended on a cliffhanger. Yes. I really loved this so much I am going to purchase the first book in the series and read it next. It takes place off the grid where Juneau, Alaska is the nearest city. The appeal of the setting taking place in the Alaskan wilderness is what drew me to give this a try. I usually don't read series very often but I am surely going to follow this one.

Paige Shelton is an excellent writer. I like that she keeps her chapters short ending with me having to read the next one. I usually fly right through short chapters with anticipation luring me into finding out the rest of the story as each chapter ends with suspense and I can't put the novel down. I really like Beth who is the protagonist who coincidentally happens to write thrillers and is the small town's journalist. I know from this book that her mother is very supportive of her and that when her grandfather was the police chief she often assisted him in solving crime. She knows the police chief in this little village with a population of about 500 people. She must have gotten abducted in the first book in this series so she is keeping a low profile and uses a pen name to write her novels. I was given small nuggets of the back story but just enough to not interfere with this story. But she has fled to where she is and likes it there.

Throughout the story the season is Winter and the temperature is freezing cold and it snows a lot. A lot of people get lost in the wilderness due to the elements and it is easy to get lost. I read this very quickly and now I have a new favorite author to follow. This was interesting for so many reasons and I love cozies. I would highly recommend this to family and friends and if you are looking for a taut suspense that keeps you turning the pages but is also light. I get tired of the really dark murderous plots so I have to say all in all that this was a pleasure to read. Now I am off to purchase Book #1 in this series.

Publication Date: December 8, 2020 Available Now!

Thank you to Net Galley, Paige Shelton and St. Martin's--Minotaur Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

#ColdWind #PaigeShelton StMartin'sPressMinotaur #NetGalley
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From my blog: Always With a Book:

This is the second book in Paige Shelton's Alaska Wild Mysteries series and I loved it just as much as the first one, if not more! This series has such a dark, gritty feel to it and is completely atmospheric, too!

There are so many things I love about this series, but one that really stands out is how we have a combination of an amateur sleuth and a police procedural. I love this and think it really works well here. I also love that our main character, Beth, is a writer. She is such a fascinating character to begin with, but with all that she has been through, it just adds to the intrigue. Now that some of her memory is coming back, there is a little more tension surrounding her and of course, she can't help but insert herself into the mystery surrounding the young girls and the frozen woman.

While this can be read as a standalone as the author does give just enough backstory to fill you in on what has happened in the first book, I highly suggest reading it. It will make for a much richer reading experience as there is a plot line that is carried over and will be continued into the next book(s). This is what I love about series - that one continued plot line that builds over the course of multiple books. In this case, it is the basis for Beth moving to Alaska in the first place and that is explained in the first book. We get a little more detail here in this book and are left with a bit of a cliffhanger on that end.

I really enjoy this series and am eager for the next book to be released. This is the perfect read for this time of year...the cold, Alaskan setting makes for a chilly, tense read and I cannot recommend this one enough!
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Cold Wind (Alaska Wild Volume 2)
by Paige Shelton
Cold Wind-Summary
Beth Rivers is on her way to her job as the only employee of the Petition, Benedict, Alaska’s, weekly newspaper, when she strikes up a conversation with Randy Phillips, proprietor of the Mercantile. After a bit of conversation, Randy reveals the night before he heard sounds he’s never heard in the six years he’s lived in Benedict. Randy describes the sounds as screams that were neither human nor animal. As they talk, Randy wants to know if the body of a man found months ago on the beach, which is several miles from town, was ever identified. It hasn’t been, as far as Beth knows, and that signals the end of their conversation. Randy walks into the Mercantile and Beth drives over to the shack that is the home of the Petition.
Beth keeps the door to the shack locked. She arrived in isolated Benedict months ago, seeking a safe place to hide and recover from the head injury sustained after escaping from her kidnapper. Even though her kidnapping happened in the lower forty-eight, she’s still on edge about her experience. But at-large kidnappers aren’t the only reason she locks the door. Beth Rivers is also the well-known novelist Elizabeth Fairchild. Only the police chief, Gril, knows Beth’s true identity. Beth uses her time at the Petition’s office to work on the paper and her next novel. Locking the door gives her time to hide her work-in-progress and keep her identity a secret. People know to knock and identify themselves when they want to see Beth.
Except for the person or persons knocking on her door now. The only response to Beth’s “whose there” questions is more knocking. She’s searching for a weapon when she hears the same noise Randy heard the night before at his isolated home. In spite of her fear, Beth opens the door and discovers two muddy little girls standing on the stoop. The little girls can’t speak but are able to write their names-Annie and Mary.
The police chief can’t get any more information from them, but he does have information for Beth. The frozen body of a female was discovered in a shack outside of town. Are the two little girls tied to the body in the shack? If yes, then how? If no, where did they come from? Who is the woman in the shed? How did she get there? How long has she been dead? Is there a killer living in Benedict? 
Beth is determined to help find the answers, especially when it comes to the two little girls. But as she unravels the events surrounding Annie, Mary, and the mystery body in the shed, her own secrets begin to slip as local fans of Elizabeth Fairchild begin to recognize the author in their midst.
Recommendations
Cold Wind is an enjoyable read. The characters are quirky and engaging and the plot pulled me in and kept me guessing. (And I really liked the cover. ) The still-missing kidnapper and the questions involving Beth’s father are good lead-ins for the next book in the series. Recommended. 

Copy provided by Netgalley

#Netgalley, #coldwind
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This is an amazing mystery novel! The character development was great, which is not always the case with a good mystery. I really enjoyed learning Beth’s personality and flaws and watching her character grow. Even the minor characters were well developed and felt like they played a bigger part in the story. Though this is a good mystery, it is more than that. It’s a story of trust or lack of, growth, and friendships. It draws the reader in from the first page, and doesn’t ever lose pace. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. The suspense was there. The storyline was great. The writing style was spot on. This is a great, well developed mystery/thriller that I would highly recommend to anyone. 4/5⭐️
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