The Serpents Trail
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The Serpents Trail (Maxie and Stretch #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  522 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Multiple-award winning author Sue Henry introduces a new series starring Maxie McNabb-an independent retiree whose adventures across the country in her motor home are destined for murderous roadblocks...
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by NAL Hardcover (first published March 19th 2004)
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This is the first of the Maxie and Stretch mysteries by Sue Henry and the first of her books that I've read. Since we were headed out in our camper for a couple of weeks, I thought this would be appropriate to read at the campground. The main character is an older, independent woman who lives in Alaska. After her husband dies she travels to the lower 48 in her RV with her mini dachshund to see the sights, visit family and friends, and to get away from the Alaskan winters. It is early Fall when h...more
Well, it's summer and I am trying new murder mystery series. And what I am learning is I am a dithering old person who nobody takes seriously.


I am going to try another book in this series because I did rather enjoy the main character --- who is just a few years older than I but speaks of herself as an 'old' grandma type, even though she is not living an old grandma existence. She is driving around in her Winnebago with her mini-daschund and packing some heat (for safety purposes, of cour...more
I picked this up because it was set in Grand Junction, with side trips to Salt Lake. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to keep me interested... it didn't help that I was listening to it (vs reading) and the reader kept mispronouncing place names. For example, Fruita Colorado was pronounced "Froo-ee-ta". Kind of took the fun out of it.
Cathy Cole
I was in the mood for a soft-edged, intriguing mystery filled with excellent characters, and that's exactly what I found in The Serpents Trail. Already familiar with Sue Henry's Jessie Arnold mysteries set in Alaska, I wanted to see what a wandering sixtysomething widow with a small dog and an RV could do.

Maxie McNabb is in the minority in the crime fiction community of characters. She's in her sixties. She's widowed after two happy and fulfilling marriages and has no inclination to go that rou...more
When I first picked up this book, I saw the name Sue Henry and immediately remember the Jessie Arnold series that I had started last year and thought that this was another in that series. Well, no, I was wrong; this is a series that involves Maxie and her dog, a mini-dachshund named Stretch, traveling in their trusty Winnebago.

When twice-widowed 63-year-old Maxie gets a call from an old friend living in Colorado, she decides that it is time to take a little trip. Sarah is her dearest college fri...more
Lena Jo
Loved! Can you believe I grabbed this book out of a .10 box because the back of the book said the lady was going to Grand Junction, CO - a place where I lived for a couple of years. It is a cozy - not my normal read but hey. For .10 it could fall apart out by the pool and I could throw it away. A real bizarre thing about this book. I am always doing a search for authors who include dogs in their stories - since my first book, Special Run, is about a dog. Totally unrelated I had downloaded a book...more
Samantha Smith
I love camping and the outdoors and I love, love, love dachshunds. So how could I not read this book. I really like the concept of the book, a retired lady traveling around the country in her RV with her best-friend Stretch the dachshund. Maxie is a lady I would like to meet. She is an independent and energetic lady with a good outlook on life. I enjoyed all the description of the scenery (makes me want to go on vacation) and I liked the set up of the crime. The mystery is definitely a cozy myst...more
I have not read anything by this author before. I'm not sure I'll read any others. This one is set in Grand Junction, which is why I picked it up. The "detective" in the series is Maxie McCann, a 63-year-old Alaskan widow, who travels around with her dachshund much of North America in an RV. Clever concept, and there is plenty of info about RVing included.

The mystery surrounds the death of an old college friend of hers in Junction just after she arrives in town. Maxie has been named executor of...more
Jul 28, 2008 Sue marked it as to-read
Cozy Mystery. With her mini-dachshund, Stretch, by her side, 63-year-old retiree Maxie McNabb cruises across America in her Winnebago, indulging her wanderlust. So when Sarah, a dying friend in Grand Junction, Colorado, calls and asks Maxie to come visit, she does. Unfortunately, when Maxie arrives, Sarah is in the hospital and soon dies from very unnatural causes. Who would kill her? Maxie remembers Sarah's penchant for secrets and hiding places and begins puzzling out the answer, but the close...more
A mystery for me. Loved RVing as a kid and can't help but love a mystery, so it's a double wammy. I only gave it three stars because it wasn't a showstopper. I liked it nonetheless.
A friend recommended Sue Henry to me, and I enjoyed this novel about Maxie, a 63-year-old widow, who travels the country in her Winnebago with her little dog. It was a good mystery with no sex, but it did have some swear words. I liked it being set in Colorado and Utah and recognized some of the places, especially Salt Lake City. However, I did get a little bored with all of the descriptions of the scenery and I'm not as much of a dog lover as she apparently is and got a little bored with the do...more
Ryan Mishap
Bought this at the very National Monument where it is set, which turned out to be the most delightful thing about this unexciting mystery. The ingredients are all there for a decent amateur detective story but Henry's pacing and structure is messed up. For instance, she starts with our hero fidning an open door to her friend's house...and then proceeds to divert from this exciting development to give us nearly the entire background of the hero when she should have dribbled it out as the story we...more
I love Sue Henry's Maxie and Stretch books. First of all I can identify with this independent older lady who travels with her dachshund in her Winnebago from her home in Alaska. In this particular story she goes to Grand Junction, Colorado where she has to solve the mystery of how her college friend has died. The descriptions of the area surrounding Grand Junction are very good and it brought back memories of visiting those same places as a child. The mystery was good and I love Stretch!
In a spin off from Sue Henry's Alaska series, she takes two of the secondary characters - Maxie McNabb and her dog Stretch - and sends them out of Alaska on the road, in this case down to see a friend in Colorado, where murder and mayhem inevitably ensue. Enjoyable. I haven't read enough of the original series to have met the characters in that context, but it works as a stand-alone mystery
Think menopausal mystery, but less hip than 'Murder, She Wrote'. That's right: I made a pun about Jessica Fletcher. Which should serve as a cautionary tale about the perils of reading about a 60+ year old in a Winnebago with a Dachshund. I did learn interesting facts such as: a tiny Winnebago is called a 'mini-Winnie', & ....OK, that's it really. Some SLC landmarks figured in the tale too. Why did I listen to this? Because I needed a book for the car, & the library was closing in 10 minu...more
I enjoy reading about this independent 60+ year old woman, Maxie who travels the country along with her dog, Stretch in a Minnie Winnie camper. It makes me think I'd like to do that someday myself!
Like some other people, the descriptions can get a bit long - so I breeze through those parts that don't interest me.
Maxie travels to Colorado to visit her friend who is dying. Her friend is concerned about something but Maxie gets there too late to find out what it is. Maxie has to figure it out!

GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF CD'S: Mystery, 2004, 7 cds
CHARACTERS: Maxie & Stretch -- 63-yr-old retiree
traveling in RV w/ her dachsund, Stretch
TIME/PLACE: Present, Colorado
COMMENTS: Maxie goes to visit her old friend
who's health is not good. She dies before
Maxie arrives but not naturally. Maxie is
executor of the will & discovers there
were recent changes. -- 1st in a series
I really like the way this author expresses herself--the reading is easy. The outcome wasn't predictable, necessarily, but some of the plot twists were. I didn't enjoy all the "chamber of commerce" or "travel brochure" blurbs about different places she visited, and found I kind of scanned at least a fourth of the book. I will read book 2 in the series, however, and see what I think about that one.
It was a good read that wasn't too heavy. The part that I liked the best is I lived in that town for 8 years and she really was there! The chrome buffalo was just being placed toward the end of our stay there. My dad protested the mony spent for art, that could be better spent in that economy, by placing a large cement "cow pie" under that buffalo. Awesome that she mentioned it!
Kind of nice to see a novel whose protagonist is a retiree. However, the author could do a lot more with this. A retiree has many years of wisdom and unsolved mysteries to reflect on. I imagine a retiree detective who can go back and find justice for others, right wrongs of the past, etc. I think the author could stretch herself a bit more and do more with this series.
Robin Nenninger
Maxie solves a mystery for an age-old friend who dies mysteriously. Lots of description about the Colorado Grand Junction area and Salt Lake City. Many people did not like this but since I had not been there, I enjoyed it. She is 63 and travels around in a RV with her dog Stretch (you can guess what kind of dog Stretch is!)
This mystery has a 63 year old lady who drives a Winnebago---fun! It's set in Grand Junction where we had just visited my cousin last week. We have a picture of the two of us on a hike when we were about twelve, and it turned out to be taken on the Serpent's Trail. Reading this was like being in an alternate reality.
Enjoyed this much more than the last one. Her new character Maxie McNabb and her dachshund, Stretch travel from Alaska to Colorado in her RV. She's 63, alone and very independent off to visit a sick friend who dies just after she arrives. Her death is considered a murder and Maxie is determined to find out who did it.
Sandy Weir
I should have really liked this book... the independent woman, her dog, traveling, visiting? But I think the recipe was just not quite right for me OR maybe there were just too many coincidences? I did finish it.. and I did enjoy it, but it is not the best of the author's work in my opinion.
My first read about Maxie McNabb, the 63-year old grandmother who drives through scenic country in her Winnebago with her dachsund and solves crimes. I liked her voice, but was jarred a bit by the mystery dynamic which gives hints and then pulls out the 'surprise' ending about whodunnit.
Sep 17, 2008 Leila rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Bev
fun - fast reading mystery - sort of like "Murder She Wrote" with a 63 year old widow doing the sleuthing. This story takes place in the 4 corners area - mainly Grand Junction Colorado and contains a lot of travel log type descriptions of the area - a bonus to the mystery.
The first title in the Maxie and Stretch mysteries finds Maxie coping with her friend Sarah's untimely death and, as executor of her estate, its aftermath. A long-kept genealogical secret is about to be exposed--if maxie can stay alive while she's figuring it out!
Cindy S
Loved the main character - Maxie, a 63 year old widow, traveling the road in a Winnebago with her dog-Stretch. She is visiting an old friend who passes away and leaves her with a mystery. A couple good twists and surprises keep you turning the pages.
This book is not the usual Sue Henry book. It does not take place in Alaska, but is about two characters from previous books, Maxie and Stretch. It was very enjoyable, but had no "edge of your seat" excitement. I found it to be a bit drawn out at the end.
Although Maxie isn’t a spy like Mrs. Pollifax, she is an independent older woman who uses her freedom to see the country in her RV, solving crimes along the way. This is the first Maxie and Stretch mystery, and it is available as an audiobook.
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Sue Henry is the author of six novels in her award-winning Alaska mystery series: Murder on the Iditarod Trail, Termination Dust, Sleeping Lady, Death Takes Passage, Deadfall, and Murder on the Yukon Quest. She has lived in Alaska for almost aquarter of a century, and brings history, Alaskan lore, and the majestic beauty of the vast landscape to her mysteries. Based in Anchorage, where she teaches...more
More about Sue Henry...
Murder on the Iditarod Trail (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #1) Dead North (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #8) Murder on the Yukon Quest (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #6) Murder at Five Finger Light (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #11) Beneath the Ashes (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #7)

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