Cover Image: Winter's End

Winter's End

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Member Reviews

This was a great addition to the series. I love that the book is set in Alaska, a place I have visited a few times. The setting is really well done. The mystery was great and I really enjoyed the characters. They need a bit more developing but I hope that will happen in future books. Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more in the series.
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I wish there were half stars -- this would have been a 3 1/2. This series about a Missouri woman and celebrated author in hiding in Alaska after an attack is holding up well,  But I feel as if it has run its course, and although the title suggested "End," the ongoing plot doesn't seem to have wrapped up. In any case, the characters are strong and likable, especially in this entry, in which Beth Rivers has a dog, makes new friends (and loses one), and gets involved in a two-family feud. Fans of the series should be pleased.
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Dollycas's Thoughts

Benedict, Alaska has a unique tradition due to the vastness of the area and the savage winter months. When the warmer weather of spring returns the annual Death Walk commences. Each citizen must check in downtown. Failure to do so means a visit from members of the community to check if they are still among the living. Newcomer Beth Rivers takes part in her first Death Walk and after checking in travels with her friend Orin and dog Gus to visit an elderly resident who has not appeared in town. They arrive to find the man alive but in a pretty bad state. While Orin leaves to arrange for him to be transferred to the doctor in town Beth stays to try to get some fluids into the man who is clearly dehydrated.

Sometime later Police Chief Gril returns to help Beth and tells her Orin has disappeared. When they return to town she also learns another of her new friends is missing too. Just what Beth needs in her life, more missing persons. She has been searching for her dad and her mother came to Alaska for a visit and took off without saying where she was going. She is also still recovering from her own traumatic event involving another missing man that needs to be caught. Beth also has the eerie feeling someone is watching her. On the upside, there is a new tenant at Benedict House, and boy can they cook!

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Beth Rivers is a wonderful protagonist. She moved to Alaska to escape, to hide, from a man who kidnapped her and kept her locked in a van for 3 days before she was able to free herself. She was injured and hospitalized and with a little help, she left the lower 48 and touched down in Alaska to check in to Benedict House until her kidnapper could be caught. As a successful thriller author, using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild, she can write anywhere. Even in the wilderness of Alaska. Now with this 4th book, Beth is more settled. She has a routine and has made friends. Just a few know her true story but she has fit right into this unique town that is mostly made up of misfits, each with their own distinct story. Ms. Shelton has created a whole group of multifaceted characters including several new characters for this book. They all have layers that are slowly peeled away as the story/series continues. They are all intriguing in their own way and really draw you into the story.

There are several lines of mystery entwined together. A family feud, missing persons, a dead body, a mysterious individual, a weird landmark, and more all come together within these pages. The author has written a fast-paced riveting novel full of mystery and suspense. The location is almost a character in itself. I was able to clearly visualize every place our protagonist traveled. From where she lives at Benedict House, to the shed where she writes, the nearby library, the compounds at each end of town, and even the airport.

Winter's End is another fascinating read from Paige Shelton. I escaped right into it and had a great time with the residents of Benedict, Alaska.

I have enjoyed every book in this series. I do recommend that you read them all in order to fully appreciate the character growth and development. Plus they are all fantastic reads. The best thing is that Beth's story continues . . . but we have to wait until December when Lost Hours will be released. Ms. Shelton, can you see me tapping my foot? I am excited and impatiently waiting until that day.
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Winter's End is the 4th Alaska Wild thriller mystery by Paige Shelton. Released 6th Dec 2022 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's 272 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is an engaging thriller/mystery series set in a very remote part of Alaska. Main protagonist Beth is a writer on the run to try to reclaim her security and heal herself from a violent abduction by a stalker fan. She's also the local reporter/news publisher and as such, something of a magnet for local happenings. The setting is beautifully drawn, stark and brooding. The plotting and tension arc never felt forced or too slow. The author is adept at her craft and the flashback interludes from Beth's point of view worked very well with the 1st person point of view. Although it's the 4th book in the series, it works very well as a standalone, and it's not necessary to have read the other books when picking this one up.

The language is slightly rough, but wasn't completely over the top or gratuitous. There is violence and psychological tension in the narrative, but again, I never felt the author threw it in without reason. There is potentially triggering trauma (the main character was abducted, held, and tortured for days which is mentioned several times in the story).

The unabridged audiobook version has a run time of 9 hours and 8 minutes and is capably narrated by Suzie Althens. She has a husky alto reading voice which suits the remote Alaskan setting and happily, her voice fades into the story and became unnoticeable to me after a chapter or so. She's adept with characters of both sexes and a wide range of ages, and the sound and production quality were high throughout the recording. I broke the book up in sessions synced between ebook and audio and found that functionality worked very well.

Four stars, an enjoyable and engaging read. With four books extant at this point, and a 5th due out in late 2023, it would make a good candidate for a binge/buddy read. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Thank you Netgalley and Minotaur Books for the gifted book!

The fourth book in the Alaska Wild series, it is now spring in Benedict, Alaska and the town is gathering for the annual Death Walk to see perhaps who did not make it through the grueling winter. And anyone who doesn't show up gets a search party sent after them. Beth and her friend Orin set out to check on an elderly man. Their arrival at his cabin is just the beginning of a series of puzzling events that includes Orin disappearing, Beth's new almost friend being found missing, a male resident in the female only convict recovery home, and Beth continuing to puzzle together the pieces of her history into digestible information.

I love how incredibly atmospheric this series is. Each book has transported me to Alaska with Beth as she braves the perilous conditions put forth by man and Mother Nature. The mysteries in each of the books is compelling and is enough to suck you in, but I am also continuing to get more invested in Beth's overarching story. I think that the way the author is doling us out little tidbits in each of the books is the perfect amount to whet our appetites for what is to come. I can't wait for book 5!
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Spring has arrived in Benedict, Alaska, and with it, the annual Death Walk. The people of Benedict gather and then disperse into the wilderness to check up on their neighbors. Benedict is isolated, on the edge of the Alaskan wilderness, and not everyone may have survived the long, dark, brutal Alaskan winter. Beth Rivers moved to Benedict months ago to hide from her still-at-large kidnapper and has integrated herself into the town. She is present at the Death Walk and she, along with her friend Orin, and her dog Gus are sent to check on an elderly resident living alone in an isolated cabin. Once Orin and Beth reach the cabin, they find the elderly resident in bad shape.  Orin leaves the old man in Beth’s care while Orin goes for help. It isn’t until the police chief shows up that Beth learns Orin has disappeared. 
Orin isn’t the only one unaccounted for; Kaye Miller, a young woman Beth was becoming friends with, as also vanished. As Beth does her own investigating into Kaye’s disappearance, Beth is pulled into a long-running family feud between the Oliphant and Miller families. Kaye was married to Warren Miller but had struck up a friendship with Cyrus Oliphant. Now Kaye is nowhere to be found, and the Millers blame the Oliphants. As the investigation progresses, lies and secrets are forced out into the open, and Beth is forced to fight not just for her life, but the life of another as well. 
I’ve really enjoyed this series, for several different reasons. One is the setting. Alaska is one of my favorite places in the world. Another is watching Beth Rivers fight to overcome her traumas and make a new life for herself. I’ve also enjoyed watching how the people of Benedict accept Beth into the town and she forms fast friendships with several of them. Shelton’s writing pulled me in from the first page and kept me up past my bedtime, but I read this novel in two days. Highly recommend.
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Winter’s End by Paige Shelton
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Winter’s End is the fourth book in the Alaska Wild series. It’s the end of winter and that means it’s time for the towns annual “Death Walk”. A time to get eyes on every single resident in town to make sure everyone survived winter. 
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This book was a fun installment into Beth’s life. There were a few things in this book I wasn’t expecting but I really enjoyed. No spoilers though!
I liked that Beth got to see where Orin lived (spoiler, it’s NOT the library!). 
I loved Al’s character! 
We got two great doggos in this book, cheers to Gus and Finn.
And a great mystery, a few people unaccounted for at the death walk. Then a murder. Two families with a decades long feud. And a person all in black hiding out in the woods that Beth keeps catching glimpses of, who IS it?!? 
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4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it all! I will just keep coming back to Benedict Alaska, I have grown to love these people so much.
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The fourth installment of the Alaska Wild series finds Beth has survived an Alaskan winter. With the snow manageable,  the residents of this small town do a count of people to figure out if anyone died during the winter. During this Death Walk, Beth finds out that her new friend’s husband is missing, and she starts wondering if her friend is missing too. 

The Alaska Wild series is always fun, with plenty of twists and turns and competent characters. An intriguing plot is carried throughout the books of Beth’s backstory, along with her healing while living in a remote area. The process might be slow, but it doesn’t bog the books down and adds to her character growth.

This review is based on an advanced reader copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.
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The Alaska Wild series by Paige Shelton is not a survivalist series, and, yet it is. This mystery/crime series set in the isolated small town of Benedict, Alaska presents a challenge where every person who lives there must respect the weather and the terrain to survive. It’s not a place for the faint of heart. It’s smart living, without smart devices. Cell phone reception is spotty and there are only a few landlines in the town. It’s a good place to get lost, or rather not be found. Beth Rivers has been counting on the isolation of Benedict to protect her from a man who kidnapped, tortured, and intended to kill her back in her home state of Missouri. That man, Travis Walker, is still on the loose and eluding the authorities. Beth has gone from her persona as best-selling mystery writer Elizabeth Fairchild to just plain Beth Rivers, another seeker of anonymity in the wilds of Alaska. Only a few people in Benedict know of her background, with just as few outside of Benedict knowing her where-abouts. In Winter’s End, Beth is seeing shadows of a man whom she fears may be here worst nightmare come to claim her.

Beth has made it through her first winter in Benedict, and it’s now springtime, the time residents do the “Death Walk” to determine who has and hasn’t been smart and lucky enough to have another winter under their belt. Although it sounds like a morbid event, it’s a time for the community to gather and see one another, after a long time of being confined to their homes. Most see it as a celebratory time. Even people who are reclusive, deliberately living away from everyone else, come to check in. Two such reclusive families are the Oliphants and the Millers, families who live in the same area of outlying wilderness and who have feuded for years. Beth knows one of the Millers, Kaye, as Beth had given Kaye one of her friend Elijah’s sled dogs when he suddenly left Benedict months before. Beth had been on a walk with Kaye and their dogs just the previous day.

On “Death Walk Day,” the residents of the town and the area arrive in Benedict and check their names off a printed list. When it appears all residents who are going to show up have, the list is perused for names left unchecked, and those people’s homes, either in town or out in the country, are visited by groups to determine their well-being. The first person found missing was 94-year-old Al, who lived by himself in an isolated cabin. Beth and Orin, the town librarian (and much more) discovered Al in his cabin but not in the best of shape. When Orin goes back to town to get help in bringing Al down the mountain to see the doctor, Orin disappears.

The other person missing on “Death Walk Day” is Warren Miller, Kaye’s husband. It’s shortly determined that his wife Kaye is also missing, and her name was checked off on the list by someone else, person unknown. When one of these two ends up murdered, a tragic story of hate and love must be untangled, and Beth is right in the middle of untangling it. Beth had unofficially worked with her grandfather in law enforcement in Missouri before he died and she started her writing career, and she had a special gift for reading a criminal scene. She’s also trying to solve the mystery of where Orin is and what he’s up to. Then, there’s another curiosity in the story, a male parolee staying at the Benedict House where Beth rents a room from Viola, the manager and person overseeing the half-way house. This is the first time a male has ever stayed there, as it’s supposed to be a half-way house for female non-violent convicts. But, he seems like a nice guy and can cook like nobody’s business.

So, there’s lots of intrigue and mystery in this latest book of the Alaska Wild series. It never seems disjointed though. It’s a smooth series of events that all end up sorted, with plenty of surprises. Paige Shelton has created and developed quite a few interesting characters for this series, and readers will learn backgrounds of several in this story that explain their current set of circumstances. Beth will personally receive a couple of big shocks that the readers will enjoy. I am wondering if the series will last much longer with the amount of plot and character forward movement here, but there is certainly room for Beth to have more mysteries to solve and more personal growth to experience. I know that I’m hoping to read many more stories in this favorite series, as I love the Alaska setting and the community of Benedict I’ve gotten to know.

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an advanced copy of Winter’s End.
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I received a complimentary copy of WINTER’S END by Paige Shelton. Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur Books for the chance to read and provide an honest review.

WINTER’S END is the fourth installment in the author’s Alaska Wild series. In the first book, THIN ICE, Beth Rivers has come to Alaska to keep herself safe. She was abducted by a man and managed to escape a couple days later, but in the process she had a serious head wound and between that and the trauma, she doesn’t remember what happened to her. She has come to a small town in Alaska, renting a room in a halfway house, mostly keeping her identity under wraps in this isolated setting.

In WINTER’S END, it has come to the time of year when the thaw is starting and the annual death walk is to be held. In spite of the name, this is actually an upbeat occasion where everyone from the surrounding area comes into town to check in. Anyone who doesn’t show up must be sought out to make sure they made it through the winter. When it is one of Beth’s friends who doesn’t make it to the walk even though someone checked off her name, family secrets and rivalries come to light as they try to find out where she is and what has happened.

I really enjoy this series of books. They are quick and easy reads with a good blend of a concrete mystery in each book and some overarching story lines with the answers slowly coming to light about Beth’s abduction. The people in this Alaskan setting make for fascinating characters and it is a very different type of life to read about. This book was once again a quick binge read and I thought that the mysteries that played out were done well and there is a lot accomplished in a short (less than 300 pages) book.

This is a fun series for the mystery fans and I would recommend them. The book would work as a standalone, but I would generally recommend going ahead and starting from book one since you will get more from the story if you know the relationships and the original storyline of Beth’s time in Alaska.
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Springtime comes to Alaska and with it a tradition that is somber in nature called the Death Walk.  Once the winter ends citizens get together as groups so they can make their way through the community to see if anyone might have been stuck at home and the shape they are in.  Beth along with Orin head toward an elderly citizens home, they find him alive but he's not in the best condition.  Orin leaves to get help but isn't who returns to the cabin.  Gril shows up and it soon becomes apparent that Orin has disappeared.  Beth and Gril learn that he had been doing some secret research and wonder if that has anything to do with his disappearance.  Meanwhile Beth is still searching for her father, she thinks he is in Mexico, so she can continue to work towards healing.  Follow along to see if Beth can figure out what happen to Orin and whether she finds her father.  This such a great series, the characters are well-written and relatable.  I look forward to seeing what happens next!
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Another great installment in the Alaska Wild mystery series and I am looking forward to reading book #5 when it gets published. I love Beth's character and all of the time Paige Shelton put into creating Beth's back story; this character has endured major trauma and yet still cares enough about the people in her new home town to be worried when she doesn't see them for a day or two.
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Reading this series has become a familiar friend. Great characters, mild drama, and now dogs! I recommend this for readers who don't like a lot of gore but still want the suspense.
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What an enjoyable mystery! This was very engaging, suspenseful, intriguing, and an overall compulsively readable. I felt that the pacing was great and I didn't feel lost at all. I recommend this one!
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Number four in Shelton’s Alaska series following Beth Rivers in tiny-town Benedict, Alaska.  Beth — a famous novelist in hiding in Alaska after a traumatic kidnapping that occurred before the first book in this series.

This episode starts with the annual Death Walk — where every citizen is expected to come to town and “be seen” after the long winter to make sure everyone made it through. 
Add a longstanding feud between two families, a budding friendship for Beth that ends abruptly when her friend goes missing, some rumors of gold, and a charming new criminal who is “assigned” to the halfway house where Beth is living and you have the recipe for an easy-to-read, fun, cozy.  (My) Favorite town characters — Viola, the tough-as-nails manager of the halfway house; Orin, the peace-sign flashing librarian and computer genius; and Gril, the relocated Chicagoan grizzled police chief continue to be involved, and I enjoyed getting to “say hello” through my reading.

In truth, I have no reason to believe that anything in this series is particularly realistic about living in a small town in Alaska.  I don’t have any real reason not to believe it either.  It doesn’t really matter; I like the community, I like the specific characters, I like the plots, and I always have a fun time reading them.  Oddly enough, I don’t particularly enjoy her other series, but I really love this one!
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Winter is finally thawing in Benedict, Alaska, and Beth is about to experience her first Death Watch. In the process of checking in with everyone after the long winter, she will meet more residents of this small and wild town that she is coming to think of as home. Unfortunately, a woman she has recently befriended is found dead, but it wasn't nature's elements that killed her.

I look forward to the beginning of December every year because it means a new book in Paige Shelton's Alaska Wild series. I read another series by Shelton, but this is my favorite series. Winter's End is book 4 in the series and you will enjoy it more if you start with Book 1 Thin Ice (read my review).

I was really sad about the murder in this book even though we had just met her. It would be nice for Beth to have a friend close to her age to do things with. 

We learn more about Viola's past and get to see a bit of what Orin does for the government. But a lot of the story focused on two families who have been feuding for a couple of generations. 

My review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Friday - https://www.girl-who-reads.com/2022/12/winters-end-by-paige-shelton-review.html

Winter's End is an enjoyable and quick read. I worried that this might be the last book in the series especially when some ongoing mysteries seemed to be wrapping up. But the ending made it clear that there were more stories to tell. And I for one will be anxiously awaiting next year's new release.

If you are looking for a murder mystery that has more depth than a cozy mystery but lighter than a hardboiled noir, then this is an excellent series to pick up.
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Loved it. I want to read the previous ones and any to follow. Alaska is the last frontier and the usual rules don't apply. Interesting characters and clever mystery. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary.
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I love this series.   This is the fourth installment and it is just as good as the first.  There are always two stories running through these books.  First is the backstory for Beth and how she came to be in Benedict, Alaska.  As I like to think of it as the middle of nowhere.  Her family and an incident in her past has put her on the run, hiding her true identity from most.  And the second story is a stand alone mystery, which in this installment involves some missing folks come the end of winter.  In this part of Alaska, many people get snowed/iced in for the duration and the town goes on a “Death Walk”, where the town accounts for everyone that might be stuck at home.  A few people become unaccounted for and the search is on to find out why.

I like Beth and the other quirky townspeople and it is interesting to see how they live in this isolated town.  As Beth is hiding from her troubled  past, she continues to connect to the townspeople and help solve murders and mysteries.  The books aren’t fast paced, but that is due to development of the characters and the setting.  I often feel like I am there in Benedict as I read along.

This book could be read as a stand alone, but I really think the whole series is a win and worth your time.
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Winter’s End is the fourth book in Paige Shelton’s Alaska Wild mystery series and it’s a very satisfying read. Shelton writes vividly about life in Alaska: the weather, the isolation, the beauty. The stories take place in Benedict, a small town that seems to be just a ferry-ride away from Juneau, but is rather isolated. There are a lot of references to how hard it is to get a cell signal  - and just forget about television reception and internet access, other than at the library and a couple of other places around town.

The main character, Beth Rivers, is actually a well-known writer of mysteries/thrillers. She is living in Benedict under a different name so that she can recover (mostly psychologically) from a terrible experience, having been kidnapped by a stalker-fan and held in a van for a number of days before she escaped. As a result, she has been slow to trust other people and is constantly afraid that her kidnapper will find her. Only a few people in town know her story. She has now been in Benedict for almost a year and has started making a few friends and has begun to trust a bit more. The action takes place in June, at winter’s end, as the title states. The sense of relief felt by the locals at having survived another long hard winter is palpable. There is a central mystery that involves a young couple who didn’t show up for the annual “Death Walk”, an accounting of everyone, after the long winter. If people don’t show up, members of the community go and check on them or search for them. This was a great way to showcase how the community cares about each other. In this particular book, a long-term feud between a two families who live in compounds outside of town features largely.

Winter’s End *could* be read as a standalone but I’d recommend reading at least one of the previous books in the series first, or you might be a bit lost, despite the author’s excellent efforts at filling in some backstory. I’ve only read book two, Cold Wind, and I felt like I was missing some relevant background info about Beth’s parents and about Elijah - but I still really enjoyed the book. I will probably go back and read book three to see what I was missing.

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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It’s good to be back in Alaska, Benedict, and with these characters. I love the addition of dogs in this one. I really enjoy the mysteries that she finds her self involves her self in and the ways she determined. I have so much fun reading this series. Beth is such a relatable character, the things she does try to find answers and the love she has for these people. 
3.5 stars

Thank you to Minotaur Books and Netgalley my review copy.
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