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In Cold Pursuit: A Mystery From The Last Continent (Valena Walker #1)

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Sarah Andrews is well known for her popular mystery series featuring forensic geologist Em Hansen. With In Cold Pursuit, she builds on that foundation and introduces a new lead character in this compelling mystery from the last continent.

Valena Walker is a dedicated master's student in geology headed to Antarctica to study glaciology with the venerable Dr. Emmett Vanderzee
ebook, 352 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Minotaur Books
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3 1/2 stars. Valena Walker is living her dream of traveling to Antarctica to work on her master's degree. She has snagged an assistantship with a well-known and respected glaciologist, Dr Emmett Vanderzee. But as soon as she arrives, Valena learns that Vanderzee has been arrested for murder. In order to stay in Antarctica, Valena needs to clear the professor's name. To do this, she seeks out all the people who were at the camp where the death occurred. This takes her on the adventure of a life t ...more
Linda Wagner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. The concept is great, the setting is interesting, and the science should be good.
And it utterly managed to blow all of that. The science was tacked in there, with very little relevance to the story, and was overly simplistic. The characters were inconsistent and hard to keep track of. Even the setting got old. And judging from the sheer number of misplaced quotation marks and sentences missing words, a copy editor was desperately needed for this.
Dec 25, 2014 Kylie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This was the first book I truly struggled to read.
First, let me start by saying that this book is about a masters student who goes to Antarctica and is confronted by the knowledge that her professor had been arrested for murder. She was forced to play detective or get sent back to the states.

The book sounds incredible, suspenseful, and thrilling. None of the above are true. I found Sarah Andrews' writing less than gripping. It was a chore to finish the book. Once it started to get good or
Jan 21, 2016 Aj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely more of a 3.5. It's obvious from the minute go that the author knows exactly what she's talking about. If she didn't write in the intro that she'd been to Antarctica specifically to research this book, it would have been super obvious through the reading. It's also fascinating to read a mystery novel by a geologist because it's SUPER OBVIOUS that she was not in a whole range of humanities and/or creative writing classes. I don't find this to be a negative though, just really i ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
This book was pretty slow and hard to get into. It had very long sections of technical descriptions that I had to basically skim over. Also too many characters were introduced in a short time and a lot of times I didn't know what character they were talking about. In the end the mystery did pick up and I got a little bit into it, but it was too little too late. I would not recommend this book to a friend.
Feb 20, 2012 Lesli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Wah wah. Wah wah wah wah. I didn't make it far; but several things annoyed me immediately. Valena on one page doesn't want to seem TOO interested in making friends with one man. On the very next page, she's changing into a curve hugging fleece top before she goes to the mess hall for the very first time. Also, the dialog is stiff; and Andrews spends a lot of time telling not showing. Meh.
Apr 04, 2014 Gordon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate it when the title is the most interesting thing about a book.
Lots of interesting facts about Antarctica, and it's special (the original denotation of the word 'special') that the author was sent there to learn about Antarctica firsthand. It's obviously an argument for doing something to save our environment. Maybe that's why she was sent there, which is more than fine.

The characters were rather stereotyped, and too many kept walking onto the scene. I couldn't picture the places and their geographical connections: I'll have to get out a map. The writing wa
Toni Osborne
Book 11 in the Em Hansen mystery series

After reading this novel, I was surprised to discover it is part of a series, I found it could be enjoyed on its own. The author's long time protagonist Em Hansen has a very limited role, a token appearance, in fact, she introduces a new character: Valena Walker, a geology student. In this story we are plunged into a world that most of us only dream of visiting... Antarctica...

Upon arriving in Mc Murdo to study glaciology with the famous Dr. Emmett Vanderze
Rogue Reader
Sep 05, 2011 Rogue Reader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another stunner from author Sarah Andrews, this one with a new protag, Valena Walker, working on a master in geology, specializing in glaciology. In Cold Pursuit is set in Antarctica and I was caught from the opening pages as Valena is in transport to the South Pole.

Like Em Hansen, Valena feels herself apart and alone, someone who doesn't belong. So one aspect of the mystery is Valena's search for community, for inner peace and for her own identity. Valena has an almost sixth sense about people,
Nov 15, 2011 Rusty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a read! The author writes about murder and research in the Antarctic environment from the study of ice cores to observation and studying penguins. The detail is entrancing and the murder difficult to solve. Valena Walker is a young masters degree graduate student who finds herself in this hostile environment where she is to pursue glacial studies with her professor. However, her professor has been detained and then arrested for the murder of a journalist who died on a trip at a research sit ...more
K.A. Krisko
Feb 09, 2013 K.A. Krisko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I received this book as a gift from a biologist friend who's given me stuff I enjoyed before. This was another hit! I really enjoyed the unique setting and the careful and detailed descriptions of Antarctica and its various environments and history. Everything appeared to have been meticulously researched. I also enjoyed the no-nonsense approach to science and what it's telling us about our world - past, present, and future. I've known a few people who worked at McMurdo, and this book gave me a ...more
I always learn a lot reading books by Sarah Andrews - this time about glaciers, penguins and the Antarctica. However, there were too many characters in this book, too many suspects also.
From Publishers Weekly
Geology student Valena Walker receives a rude awakening when she arrives at Antarctica's McMurdo Station in this less than successful first in a new series from Andrews, creator of geologist-turned-sleuth Em Hansen (Eye for Gold, etc.). The scientist Walker was expecting to work for, Emmett
Joan Brennan
Jul 05, 2014 Joan Brennan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed the Em Hansen series. I expected this to be one of them and it turned out to be a new character. At first I was disappointed; there was a loose tie in to Em Hansen but it was really all about the new character. The entire book is set in Antarctica and turned out to be really interesting! I found myself looking things up on line just to see what else I could find out. There are moments where it seems to be almost too much explaining, but life on that continent is not at all in our re ...more
Loved this book! Gives great information about Antarctica that was interesting and close to my heart since I had been there. She interwove a mystery within the context of a professor and student scientists and mysterious murders. Slow to start but then a real page turned.
While I've read better mysteries, my purpose in reading this was really to learn more about Antarctica, and Andrews taught me a lot about my new-found interest. I've recently become enamored with the idea of going "on the ice" and wanted to know more without reading too many dry, boring details. There were spots where the prose started to sound a bit like a textbook, but I was okay with that, since I really did want to know more. This is the first in a new series by Andrews, with a couple of bri ...more
May 20, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Andrews received a grant from the National Science Foundation to travel to Antarctica and research the area and its inhabitants for this book. I have to say unequivocally that it was money well spent!

I enjoyed reading about life on this "last continent" almost as much as I loved the mystery, which I have to say kept me guessing until the very end!

I sincerely hated to leave Antarctica and all of its crazy inhabitants. I especially love the Tractor group -- they're a riot, as are the Kiwis.
Connie N.
Not bad, but also not terribly exciting or suspenseful. My biggest problem was keeping track of the characters. There were a lot of people at the base on Antarctica, many doing similar jobs, and it was confusing. I had to keep going back to confirm who was who. The best part of the book was the setting. Andrews kept it interesting, not getting too technical, just giving the reader a feel for the unusual location and trying to give us a taste of the strangeness and isolation while still being par ...more
May 07, 2009 Pbwritr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Another novel written by someone who went to Antarctica under the Artists and Writers Program. Really a detective story by a grad student who arrives to find her professor has been charged with murder and "taken off the ice." Fantastic rendering of McMurdo Station,the offices, people, weather, living conditions and socializing, as well as outer camps. A bit hard to believe that Valena would immediately try to clear her professor's name and from incongruent facts, piece them together to solve the ...more
Nov 29, 2007 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When graduate student Valena got to Antarctica, she discovered her professor had been charged with murder.

Suspenseful mystery, wonderful sense of place, engaging believeable characters. Although Em Hansen makes token appearances, this is not really another of that series.

It is always wonderful to read believeable novels about women in non-traditional occupations. Sarah Andrews also sneaks in scientific knowledge so leave her books better educated. I really enjoy them, and will continue to search
Jan 29, 2013 Bookman8 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A mystery set in Antarctica with an evironmental theme. Valena Walker a graduate student in glaciology, goes to antarctica to do research with her professor, only to arrive and discover that he has been sent home on murder charges. There are too many characters introduced that are not well described. Some nice descriptions of the antarctic experience, but the book needed maps to increase the enjoyment of the reading experience. This is not great literature, but it offers a change of pace.
May 11, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is the first book by Sarah Andrews that I've read. I enjoyed all her researched detail about the McMurdo Station in Antarctica - the clothing, shelter, vehicles, all the different types of snow and their formations. She actually got a grant from NSF to go down there and research her book for two months - cool! I think I'll like the books in which Em Hansen, forensic geologist, is the main character even more. Any kind of forensics is a draw for me.
Apr 10, 2014 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
having a hard time getting into this book. Going to re-shelve for now.
Nancy H
Sep 22, 2012 Nancy H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It is set in Antarctica, and written by Sarah Andrews, who is a geologist. She weaves science into her story so that you learn a lot of great information about this enigmatic continent, and at the same time enjoy a really good mystery. I have read other books by this author, and have thoroughly enjoyed them as well.
Mar 17, 2008 Velta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main character is not as well developed as Em Hansen in Andrew's other science based mysteries. I love the way that science is so well blended with very human stories and the descriptions of Antarctica are incredible. I almost got frostbite just thinking of walking to the latrine in one of the outlying stations. Wonderful read.
J. Ewbank
This book by Sarah Andrews is a very enjoyable read for me. It is a mystery but a mystery written In Antarctica, so you learn a lot about Antarctics, about which I knew nothing. Good characters and a good plot make the book well worth reading and enjoying.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Mar 21, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The plot probably wasn't all that amazing, but the setting made up for everything. If I had five or six lives instead of just one, I might like to spend one of them doing science in Antarctica. It's worth reading this book just for the representation of that scientific community and the wonders of Antarctica.
Jun 24, 2008 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother reading any of her other books. This one was good, in large part because of the setting: Antartica. (By the way, just saw an article that said 16,000 condoms were on the last flight before winter set in and only about 200 people stationed there :))
John Rasmussen
Aug 16, 2013 John Rasmussen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting story line, set in Antarctica, and the heroine of the previous series (Em Hansen) gets a cameo appearance through email. won't tell, because it really would spoil the ending. again Andrews has woven in some good geology into the story.
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Sarah Andrews is a geologist who writes mystery novels about a geologist.

She currently lives in northern California and invests her free time on community pursuits and flying, skiing, and sailing with her husband and son.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
More about Sarah Andrews...

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