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Murder on the Iditarod Trail (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #1)
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Murder on the Iditarod Trail (Alex Jensen & Jessie Arnold #1)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,852 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
The winner of Alaska's world-famous Iditarod -- a grueling, eleven-hundred-mile dog sled race across a frigid Arctic wilderness---takes home a $250,000 purse.

But this year, the prize is survival.

Only the toughest and the most able come to compete in this annual torturous test of endurance, skill, and courage. Now, suddenly and inexplicably, the top Iditarod contestants are
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 7th 2000 by Avon Books (first published 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 23, 2016 Jean rated it really liked it
“I did, I did, I did the Iditarod Trail!” Sue Henry’s Murder on the Iditarod Trail, which was first published in 1991, is labeled as a cozy mystery, but to me it was much more intense than a cozy. Spread out over twelve days and one thousand miles, the famous Alaskan dog sled race provides an exciting backdrop for murder. When a musher is found dead on the trail, it appears to be an accident, but things begin to look more suspicious when more contestants die. In this ultra-competitive event, sta ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Dianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really, really wanted to like this book. I have read other books in the series but had to wait for this to come out in Kindle form just yesterday. I just finished it and am sitting here scratching my head. I know that others loved this book, and I wonder if they read it when it first came out and it may have been more germane at the time? I did learn a LOT - somewhat more than I wanted to know about the Iditarod Race.

Unfortunately, this left little time to really search for clues as to who had
Sep 05, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: library-book
I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars, but had to go with 3. It was good, but as others have mentioned, I had a lot of trouble keeping the characters straight. So many characters are introduced in a short space of time without really defining characteristics for all of them. Plus, the author will refer to characters by first name at times and by last name at other times, increasing the confusion. Yet, despite the large number of characters, the number of suspects quickly narrows down and t ...more
Apr 24, 2010 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspense
In Murder on the Iditarod Trail, the vicious weather of an Alaskan winter is not only the setting but also one the the main antagonists. The plot and characterization are competent, but what makes this a terrific, timeless book is the way the reader gets to go along vicariously on the grueling, two-week race.

With her expertise on the Alaskan wilderness in general and dog-sledding in particular, Sue Henry provides her readers with the gift of insight into a real world completely different from th
Donna Davis
Aug 27, 2012 Donna Davis rated it really liked it
A lot of so-called "Cozy" mysteries leave me cold, not cozy. I can't stand really implausible scenarios or cutesy gimmicks. Sue Henry's books, however, are interesting and literate, but the pulse is not so heart-pounding and frantic that it keeps me from falling asleep at night.

This one's setting is self-evident, and the climax will keep you on the edge of your seat (or bed), though. Once you're about 60 percent finished, don't pick it up again till you're ready to finish it!
Sep 29, 2015 Shelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The setting is brilliant and that really makes this story. The mystery isn't as strong as the setting.
Clare O'Beara
Oct 08, 2014 Clare O'Beara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, america-crime

This is a cracking good idea for a murder mystery - it is set amid the long, tough Alaskan race contested each year by champion mushers. There is enough information about dog sledding to satisfy anyone and great care is taken of the dogs themselves. They wear boots to protect their feet, and are vetted and removed if too tired. The mushers have to carry guns in case of enraged wildlife and as these are tough, determined people, tempers can run hot. One after the other three mushers are killed in
Heather L
Jan 28, 2013 Heather L rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2011
Note: My paperback version, published by Avon Twilight in 1993, actually only has 246 pages. This version is not listed at GR.

I wasn't sure I was going to like this one, especially based on comments from other members of the Cozy Mysteries group, but I did. I could not go to bed Friday night until I had finished--sprinting to the end almost as fast as the mushers the end of the race. I was sure of who the murderer was before I was halfway through the book, though a few well-placed red herrings
Jan 31, 2015 Erika rated it it was ok
I had to read this book for my job, and it wasn't the most entertaining thing to read. I've never read crime/mystery before this, so I disn't know if all books in this genre have major events (like many people dying) within the first 40 pages, and then the rest of the book is pretty slow and cheesy as the characters talk about who the murder could be. Most of the dialogue felt fake/forced, and a lot of times it didn't even move the story along whatsoever. There were so many characters and they w ...more
Apr 07, 2009 Joy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves mysteries, dogs, or the wilderness
Fully deserved the Anthony and MaCavity awards for Best First Mystery that it won in 1991. It has stayed in my memory as an awesome recreation of a deadly challenge and the mushers' responses. After watching the show on this year's heroic Iditarod race, I had to reread the book again.

See this description of the volunteers who open the trail:
"The snow machine drivers, dressed in layers of outerwear to repel the worst the Arctic can deliver, may cover the full thousand miles without a good night's
Pamela Mclaren
Aug 13, 2016 Pamela Mclaren rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This is the first book that I have read by Sue Henry and I have to say, I never would have thought of anyone coming up with a mystery happening on the Iditarod Trail. It was pretty good.

The book begins with the race and quickly some of the racers are either killed or injured. State Trooper Alex Jensen is sent out to find out what is happening but what he didn't expect is the attraction that he had for Jessie Arnold, a female musher who despite the incidents, continues her efforts on the race. Fr
Feb 17, 2016 Sara rated it liked it
The first of this series and set on the famous dogsled race. All the details make you feel as if you were at least watching a real race.
Nov 05, 2016 Spuddie rated it it was amazing
I was very pleasantly surprised at how quickly this book went and how hard it was to put it down each time I had to. It was first and foremost a story, but it imparted a lot of information about the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, and Alaska in general, that I sort of knew in a vague way. The landscape itself was a character in the book, and far from being tiresome in its descriptions of the race, the mushers, the equipment and the racing strategy, the minute details actually made the story all the more ...more
Oct 30, 2016 Cyn rated it liked it
As this was a debut novel, I cut it a bit of slack, there were some plot holes and the writing was occasionally inconsistent, that said, it was still pretty interesting! I knew nothing, or at least very little about the Iditarod other than it happens and where it starts and ends. I had no real idea of what an undertaking it is beyond the "whoa, that's crazy" reaction to the distance and the weather faced. The race itself really becomes a character and it is truly fascinating.
Dec 20, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wondered about the Iditarod...

I liked the descriptions of the race, the route, the efforts demanded of musher & dogs, & the honest search for the murderer. The love stuff was a little "pat," but hey, sometimes it works that way. Very enjoyable!
David Ellis
Nov 11, 2016 David Ellis rated it liked it
If the villain hadn't wasted so many hours sabotaging the other racers he would have easily won the race by a long shot instead of being minutes behind the leader. It reminds me of Dr. Evil who has a legitimate businesses making billions but he just needs to be... well... evil.

Jan 18, 2017 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alaska
Totally entertaining.
Joni Thornton nelson
Grab your parka.....

Pulls you right in to the race so put on your parka but beware of friends & foes because there is a murderer killing mushers. Excellent who done it, didn't really have much romance but that's fine with me.
Mar 01, 2012 Esme rated it really liked it
Murder on the Iditarod Trail ist der erste Roman der Reihe Alaska oder Alex Jensen & Jessie Arnold Mysteries von Sue Henry. Während des berühmten Iditarod auf dem Trail zwischen Anchorage und Nome geschehen merkwürdige Todesfälle. Es scheint sich um Unfälle zu handeln, aber es stellt sich doch heraus, dass da ein Mörder seine Hände im Spiel hat. State Trooper Alex Jensen übernimmt die Ermittlungen und muss versuchen, den Täter zu finden und darf dabei so wenig wie möglich das Hundeschlittenr ...more
Gail Baugniet
May 11, 2016 Gail Baugniet rated it really liked it
I purchased Murder on the Iditarod Trail - An Alaska Mystery by Sue Henry after visiting the Iditarod Museum while on vacation in Alaska. One of the ongoing attractions of Alaska is the Iditarod Trail Race which is run each year in March.

The winner of Alaska’s world-famous Iditarod – a grueling 1100-mile dog sled race across a frigid Artic wilderness – takes home the prize money and bragging rights for the year.

The race is run as a tribute to the original mail carriers along this trail between
May 08, 2008 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, alaska
I have an odd affection for reading about the Iditarod, and I'm blaming Scott O'Dell. So I've been looking at this series which is alternately referred to as "Alaska Mysteries" or "Alex Jensen Mysteries". Why have I avoided them you might ask? Well, I don't really like reading about main characters with my name for one. And to paraphrase my sister Rachel, you read the back and it seems like they might kinda suck.

Fortunately, they do not. The pace moves quickly and the characters are well drawn.
Nov 29, 2015 C rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I really enjoyed this. It's highly atmospheric, and there's a lot of great information/perspective of a musher's experience of the Iditarod. I really liked learning about the planning, training and strategy that goes into it.

Two of the murders were a bit grisly, but not terribly graphic. I would say it could be considered a cozy mystery.

I enjoyed the characters & story. Early on I had a hard time keeping track of all the mushers and it felt a bit "Who's on first," but of course as people d
Aug 11, 2011 Rosalie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cait S
Sep 27, 2014 Cait S rated it really liked it
I didn't really understand why books like these were listed as "cozy mysteries". I'm used to reading...blood and guts and horror mysteries so the idea of something "cozy" was a little strange. But now I totally get it. This is absolutely the kind of book you would want to curl up with. Easy to read, flows smoothly, keeps you interested the whole way.

The missing star comes from two things. First, this book is full of errors. One or two I usually don't pick up on but there are a ton sprinkled thro
Sep 11, 2014 Bad-at-reading rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, alaska
The Iditarod seems like an odd place to set a murder mystery, but in execution it's not terribly unbelievable. Organized sports are rife with intrigue, and a thousand-mile sled dog race through the Arctic wilderness is probably fairly dangerous anyway.

Seeing how most people know little to nothing about the event, the book is well-researched and full of factual information. Sometimes this comes off pretty well, with bits of history or strategy remarked on by characters at appropriate moments. A l
Aug 25, 2016 J.T. rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, thriller
I really wanted to give this book 3.5 stars, but had to go with 3. It was good, but as others have mentioned, I had a lot of trouble keeping the characters straight. So many characters are introduced in a short space of time without really defining characteristics for all of them. Plus, the author will refer to characters by first name at times and by last name at other times, increasing the confusion. Yet, despite the large number of characters, the number of suspects quickly narrows down and t ...more
Nov 12, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
What I enjoyed about this book was learning about the Iditarod, Alaskan history and geography, and the characters, especially Jessie Arnold. Ms. Henry did an excellent job realistically creating romantic tension between Jessie and Alex Jensen. Jessie, as an Iditarod racer and a woman, had issues that I think Ms. Henry described realistically and compellingly. I also appreciate the aviation pieces of the book, which are realistic and clearly show the importance of aviation in Alaska.

I want to rea
Casandra Klund
Jan 28, 2016 Casandra Klund rated it really liked it
This book is really interesting. Believe it or not I checked it out from the library 1/2 heartedly. Only because it looked similar to something I was forced to read back when I was in 5th grade (it was another book about the iditarod.) I had ended up liking that one, but this one sucked me in on a completely different level. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked.

I would say that for some people, the descriptiveness, especially when it comes to deaths, may be too much. However, that is p
Nov 09, 2015 Megargee rated it liked it
As if the annual Iditarod dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska is not difficult enough, someone is murdering the mushers. I found the account of the race much more interesting than the rather pedestrian mystery story.
I found it hard to keep track of all the many characters... mushers, race officials, state troopers etc. who may be referred to by their first or last name as well as whole name. It didn't help that some characters have last names that could be first names or that some wom
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Alex Jensen & Jessie Arnold (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Termination Dust (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #2)
  • Sleeping Lady (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #3)
  • Death Takes Passage (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #4)
  • Deadfall (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #5)
  • Murder on the Yukon Quest (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #6)
  • Beneath the Ashes (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #7)
  • Dead North (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #8)
  • Cold Company (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #9)
  • Death Trap (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #10)
  • Murder at Five Finger Light (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #11)

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