Murder on the Iditarod Trail (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,874 ratings  ·  108 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...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 7th 2000 by Avon Books (first published 1991)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Call of the Wild by Jack LondonWhite Fang by Jack LondonInto the Wild by Jon KrakauerAlaska by James A. MichenerThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Alaska Tales
11th out of 146 books — 110 voters
One for the Money by Janet EvanovichThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersChocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeCatering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Cozy Mystery Series
156th out of 402 books — 1,250 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,665)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Clare O'Beara


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...more
Heather L
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...more
Melissa
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
Alexandra
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....more
Rosalie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Esme
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
Joy
Apr 07, 2009 Joy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Lisa
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...more
Susan
I really enjoyed this book. I found the descriptions of the dog race along the Iditarod trail very realistic and felt the cold, hunger and tiredness the racers felt. I almost liked the racing descriptions better than the mystery.

However, I think this book would have been better served if there was a character list at the beginning. I sometimes found myself confused about who a character was as the author would sometimes use the person's first name, then further on in the book, their last name. I...more
Heather
This was a fun read - a great setting for a murder mystery and fun to learn about the dog race and the Alaskan climate, geography, etc. the author did a nice job of character development. My only issue is that it ends rather predictably. I look forward to the next in the series.
Crazy Red-head
I really enjoyed it! I especially loved reading about those ultra cold snowy weather conditions when it was like 110 outside here this summer. I've always been interested in the Iditarod.....so it was a perfect match since I also love mysteries. I felt like I was there!! The descriptions were breathtaking....I love how she weaves the imagery. Reviews have compared her to Mitchner....I never cared for his style....WAAAAAAY too wordy even for me. She says it well & moves on.

Sue Henry's Jessie...more
Pamela Mclaren
This is the first book that I have read by ue 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. Fro...more
Deon Stonehouse
Sue Henry set her mystery right in the thick of the Iditarod. Mushers are starting to die in bizarre ways. State Trooper Alex Jenson is sent to stop the killings. He has a tough job on his hands; there is a lot of territory covered in an Iditarod race. His job is made even tougher by his attraction to one of the contestants. Jessie Arnold is having a good race, she might even be in contention to win this one. No way is she going to play it safe, she is going for the gusto. Between Jessie and the...more
Kristen
If you love easy reads, you'll enjoy this new series set in Alaska. Picture this: you're a musher in the Iditarod Trail in a cold Alaskan winter, when you encounter three dead mushers on the trail. That's what happened to Jessie Arnold, who wants to win the race and meet Trooper Alex Jensen, who's after the culprit and following the trail. After those three casualties, some accidents happen along the way, as the attraction is mutual between Jessie and Alex. But when the next target might be Jess...more
tuttle88
Starts off strong but trails towards the end (no pun)
Laura
For Mystery Mondays book group. I have to say, I found this one pretty boring. In an attempt to make it fast paced, most of the detail about the setting and the characters are lost. There are lots of characters and few of them are fully fleshed out, so it is hard to keep track of who is who (or care) and the mushers are constantly moving from checkpoint to checkpoint that are themselves pretty bare boned so it's hard to visualize. I can't say I'd recommend it, and lots of the group members seem...more
Alannah Davis
A mystery rich with the history and flavor of both Alaska and the Iditarod race. An excellent read.
Joyce McCombs
This was Sue's first book and the plot has some holes in it, but overall it was a good read. I read it at the same time the Iditarod was running, so it was fun to read a chapter and then hear reports of my favorite mushers going through the same checkpoints on the trail! As one of our book club members said, if it wasn't for the race being a character itself, it wasn't much of a story. I know other Sue Henry books are quite popular so she may have found her writing "legs" with those stories. I'l...more
Donna
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...more
Mascanlon
What an interesting mystery. We did an Alaskan cruise last year and on of our day trips was to a musher camp. We got a quick ride on a dogsled, well it was on rollers I believe but the dogs were thrilled to race along the trail pulling us all. This mystery covers the race each day along the way, with a little mayhem thrown in of course. You get a real sense of the conditions and strategy involved and of the spirit of the mushers. The plot is solid, lots of red herrings and the heroine is one I a...more
Anna
Having lived in Nome and traveled in the region I found the story entertaining, being able to easily picture what the author was saying. The story left a bit to be desired, as most mysteries do to me. The story followed a predictable plotline, after the grizzly start. Iditarod mushers are killed, Troopers are called in to figure it out, Trooper that lost a love finds another in a beautiful but humble musher, that love is the target, continue to end. I wasn't sad for the story to end and won't mi...more
Carol
This book is iabout a 1000 mile dog sled race in Alaska and is a mystery. I didn't really feel like the characters were developed well...not enough to make me about about them and it definately did not have me sitting on the edge of my seat while reading it. It did present some interesting facts about Alaska and dog sled racing, but I'm not sure that I'll read any other books in the series (unless I cns't get to the library--I already checked out the next book before starting this one, and it wo...more
Donna
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!
Jack
Mar 16, 2011 Jack rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: alaska
This was a good read for getting some backround on the Iditarod. The arthor was accurate in her descriptions of the race, its locations and rules and regulations. A series of murders set against this event was a good first novel in the series about ALASKA by Sue Henry. I really liked her State Tropper crime solver and wonder if his romance with the female musher will continue in the other books. Well, I do have a few more of hers in my pile of Alaska books.
Barb
I can see why this mystery won an Anthony and a Macavity award back in the 90's. It is a tidy little story with lots of suspense, good characters and an unusual setting - the Iditarod Trail. And who wouldn't love a hero who throws up from motion sickness after a bouncy Alaskan plane flight. I can relate. Loved it!
Baldwin_tina
(246 pgs.) I did enjoy the plot and learned quite a bit about the Iditarod. But I was unhappy with the use of repeated foul language and sexually explicit passages which added nothing to the story. Also (pg. 99) Henry refers to "autopsy reports" on three dead dogs. Post mortems for animals are called necropsies. Post mortems for humans are called autopsies. Pulp mystery quality. I would not recommend it because of the cursing and graphic sexual passages.
Kathryn
Likable characters,interesting setting, and intriguing murder mystery all contribute to an enjoyable read. Although the main character did not actually solve the murders with his own gray cells, the ending is plausible given the characters and setting. There were too many suspects to choose from and not enough clues. Perhaps Henry was going for realism and forgot that in fiction, we like half a chance to solve the crime ourselves.
Barbara
This is one of those books that falls into the "cozy mystery" category. I really enjoyed all the details about the Iditarod dog race.
However, there were so many characters, it got me confused early on. Sometimes first names were used and at other times last names, and then add more names when various mushers dog's names were being discussed.
I look forward to next book in the series.
I read 1991 version of book, 278 pages.
Dianna
I love these books! Jesse and Alex make great protagonists- I picked these up because a sweet old lady at the library was checking some out, and the librarian said "haven't you already read all the Sue Henry's?" and she said yes, and she loves them. I took that recommendation and I'm so glad! There's wonderful historical info about Alaska and the goldrush, and she paints Alaska so vividly! Makes me want to see it all.
Sandy
Audiobook: Starting a new series that takes place in Alaska (mostly for John's benefit), and the first book was great! Reading/listening about the ins and outs of Iditarod racing was very interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. It's amazing what those mushers and dogs go through! Just give me a book and a hot chocolate on a zero degree day and I'm good, no need to ride a sled being pulled by dogs for 1000 miles...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 88 89 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Taint In The Blood (Kate Shugak, #14)
  • Death in Bloodhound Red (Jo Beth Sidden "Bloodhound" Mystery #1)
  • Fool's Puzzle (Benni Harper, #1)
  • Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
  • A Real Basket Case (Claire Hanover, Gift Basket Designer, #1)
  • Thyme of Death (China Bayles, #1)
  • Desert Heat (Joanna Brady, #1)
  • Just Desserts (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries #1)
  • The Eagle Catcher (Wind River Reservation, #1)
46971
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...
Dead North (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #8) The Serpents Trail (Maxie and Stretch, #1) 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)

Share This Book