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

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,892 Ratings  ·  171 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

Hardcover, 278 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 1991)
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Jul 20, 2016 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Jan 30, 2017 Maz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like I was on the Iditrod Trail along with Jess. This was a great read and I was intrigued with everything on the trail. ( google was in over time ) The touch of murder just added to it and you have to love the dogs and the damn hard slog it takes out of all the Mushers and everyone around them.
Jun 09, 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
Aug 20, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2017 Miki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think this writer could decide if she was writing a mystery or a documentary on the Iditarod. Short paragraphs about the characters alternated with sections that read like the narrative of a PBS special. I could almost hear the voice of Morgan Freeman reading the script. And for Pete's sake, pick a tense already! Back and forth, back and forth between past and present, often in the same paragraph...I was, and am, and shall be, rather seasick.
Donna Davis
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The setting is brilliant and that really makes this story. The mystery isn't as strong as the setting.
Clare O'Beara
Sep 18, 2013 Clare O'Beara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 19, 2011 Heather L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 04, 2009 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
David Ellis
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.

Feb 17, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Max Mercer
Mar 09, 2017 Max Mercer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like thrilling and suspenseful books you will love Murder on the iditarod trail by Sue Henry. During the famous Iditarod race mushers start mysteriously dying. Sgt Alex Jensen was sent to investigate the deaths. After three of the mushers have died he suspected all of the other mushers. But he soon realises that whoever is killing all of the mushers isn't a musher who just wants the prize money. Soon snowstorms stop his search which leaves the mushers defenseless.I like how suspenseful t ...more
Noah Bell
Mar 09, 2017 Noah Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my first times reading murder mystery, and I was not let down. Murder on the Iditarod Trail accurately describes what it is like to be a musher on the famous trail without being overly drawn-out or boring. The writer understands that the murderer doesn't just kill people, they plan out what they want to do, make a back-up plan, then execute the deed. The one thing that would have made this more exciting and much more fun to read would be that there wasn't much actual murder, just a few he ...more
Oct 30, 2016 Cyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 09, 2017 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to round up to 3 starts since she is an Alaksan author but really it was just ok. It was hard to keep everyone straight; sometimes they were referred by just their first names and sometimes just by last names. I found all the history and trivia distracting and the story that was left was just ok. I will read another by Sue Henry and hope she got better with experience.
Christine Bryant
Another great murder mystery writer. I hooked and I haven't finished my other series as yet. There's a murder in the first few pages so the book is off to the races so to speak. More murders are to come and who did it? I'll never tell. That would be a spoiler. You won't be bored.
Teresa Byrd
Jan 22, 2017 Teresa Byrd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written

So glad to have found another author bringing Alaska's beauty and mysteries to readers. Sue Henry introduces solid characters and like Dana Stabenow's Kate, musher Jessie is quite a woman. I look forward to reading more adventures and what the future brings.

Andrea Snow-weaver
A good murder mystery mixed with the adventure of the Iditarod race. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Maggie Shanley
Nice cold Alaskan mystery, I predicted the outcome, but the plot kept me turning the pages.
Jan 18, 2017 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alaska
Totally entertaining.
Lexi Fehl
Mar 10, 2017 Lexi Fehl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. I had to read an Iditarod book for school and I'm glad I chose this one. The book goes through a great mystery set during the Iditarod race. An Alaskan detective tries to figure out who is the murder while trying to keep everyone else safe. It becomes more personal when he starts to fall in love with a racer that could be in danger. Overall this is a great book with a great plot. I would recommend this book to 14 and above due to strong language.
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
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!
Gail Baugniet
May 19, 2011 Gail Baugniet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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