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The Alpine Advocate (Emma Lord #1)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  1,500 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
The debut of the Emma Lord murder mystery series.
After a year as publisher-editor of the Alpine Advocate, Emma Lord feels fine about her move to this small town in the foothills of Washington's Cascade Mountains. What she really needs for her paper, though, is a big story. And she gets it--when handsome Mark Doukas, grandson of rich, old Neeny Doukas is murdered. Emma disc
ebook, 240 pages
Published July 28th 2010 by Fawcett (first published October 24th 1992)
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Feb 03, 2009 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I have recently been sequestered in a guest room, without a television, in order to care for one of my cats who just had major surgery. Thank god for my extensive book collection - it has kept me sane.

I tell you about my cat and my book collection as an introduction for my review. I first read The Alpine Advocate over ten years ago. I love finding new mystery series. On my first reading, I liked the characters, the setting, the storyline...all in all this is a good read. But, on re-reading it te
Just too simple and explanatory for my taste. Written in the first person, the main character had to explain every little thing. Tedious and pedestrian.
Sheilagh Lee
Mar 12, 2011 Sheilagh Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosy-mystery
The Alpine Advocate
Category: Suspense, Murder, Cozy Mystery

By Mary Daheim

I’ve enjoyed reading this series the Alpine series for quite awhile by somehow I missed this particular book in the series. Luckily for me I found a copy of the 2004 book recently and was able to read it.

In this book Emma is running her newspaper the Alpine Advocate as in all the other books. Emma and the Sheriff Milo Dodge have gotten together but it is very casual and even Emma is not sure where that relationship is goin
Dec 25, 2016 Vicki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was hopeful since my library has many of the books in this series available for e-readers. Alas, my dreams were dashed several chapters into the book. The characters were poorly explained and the best I could do was Alpine was such a small town that everyone was related to everyone else. Or something. I apologize in advance if these characters were actually named for real people but I'm sorry ... referring to a patriarch of an established family and (I assume) a prominent citizen of this town ...more
JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
This book started off slow and boring, and I almost didn't stick with it; but I'm glad I did. It had a good plot and the murder mystery was done well. However, at the same time, it seemed there were so many characters that I couldn't remember who was who. Everyone was related to everyone, and there were so many of them. It felt like she was telling us about everyone in town, but after awhile I didn't even care. Also, Emma seemed to be pretty smart, but couldn't manage her newspaper very well, an ...more
Feb 25, 2010 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, onshelf, j-read
In the mood for some small town shenanigans and murder? This book is for you. You won't find pulse pounding thrills or crackling prose. This is a straight-ahead, pleasantly written, cozy mystery set in a little town that once existed, but was never like this.

There's a lot of setting up happening in the first half of this book. We're learning about Emma Lord, her son, her town, her former lovers, the eccentric staff of her newspaper, the equally eccentric population of the rest of the town, and a
The Alpine Advocate - G
Daheim, Mary - 1st in Emma Lord series

After a year as publisher-editor of the Alpine Advocate, Emma Lord feels fine about her move to this small town in the foothills of Washington's Cascade Mountains. What she really needs for her paper, though, is a big story. And she gets it-when handsome Mark Doukas, grandson of rich, old Neeny Doukas is murdered. Emma discovers that trying to get straight answers out of Neeny and his thin-lipped son is like poking a nest of sleeping r
Edward Creter
This first Emma Lord adventure has reporter Emma, owner of the Alpine Advocate (and little else) on a self-imposed assignment to figure out what happened at a gold mine where a man was murdered by a crowbar-wielding idiot. A young man is accused of the crime and he's on the run already. Did he do the deed, or is something else afoot? Good plotting and a good chase for whodunit, but I find Emma's comments on the young people being "typically" young a little on the offensive side, and the fact tha ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-cozy, 10-09, 2011
If you love a good cozy set in a small town, you'll love Alpine Advocate by Mary Daheim. Set in Alpine Washington, Emma Lord is a single, unmarried mother, who raised her son alone, and now is an editor of a small weekly newsletter, trying to make ends meet. When her son's friend comes to town, things gets complicated, since he's estranged with his family. There's hidden inuendos, family secrets, and a lot of bitterness between them. When Mark Doukas gets killed, it stirs up a lot of trouble. La ...more
Sep 10, 2007 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mysteries, cozy, series
Mary Daheim is a good writer. Her characters are interesting and her plots are each different. But that's sort of the problem. Some of her characters, like Judith's mom in the B&B series, are a little TOO interesting. I get awfully tired of Judith and her mom arguing. And some of the plots in that series are kind of off the wall. I mean, I like my mysteries to have some surprises in them, but too much is still too much. I was really unimpressed with the latest one I read.

That's why I was int
Dharia Scarab

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
Feb 09, 2014 Patti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emma Lord has always dreamed of running a newspaper, but the reality is a bit different than she had anticipated. The bills are rolling in and the money is rolling out in this small town in Washington where there isn't much happening which is newsworthy. Alpine is shocked when the son of a prominent family is murdered. Another murder follows and Emma is consumed with not only reporting the news, but in finding out who is causing it. There are plenty of people around who have a motive for the kil ...more
Rachel Crooks
It was difficult for me to follow the cadence of her writing - it just didn't flow. The plot wasn't predictable or silly and I really had no idea who the muderer was or even what the motive, but still, this book just left a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe it was just that the characters lacked warmth. It kept me reading until the end, but even two days later I am struggling to remember the details of the plot. Reading this kind of mystery after Dorothy Sayers is like settling for cheese in a can ...more
Mar 31, 2013 Teri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it's that ever-popular, typical woman sleuth whodunnit formula -- but I like those, on occasion, and I thought this was a fun read. Main character Emma Lord lives in the fictional Washington State timber town of Alpine, which is not all that unlike the northwest town I live in. She's 40-something, she runs the town paper and she's surrounded by a supporting cast of quirky characters, just as one would expect from this type of light mystery novel. I enjoyed the story and the local setting en ...more
Chris Curtis
I had a hard time getting through the first part of this book. The author jumped from one description to another too frequently with too many facts. Once the story shifted from an introduction to Alpine and it's residents and focused on Emma trying to solve the mystery it was much better. Still I found a lot of the characters to be dumb or unlikable. I like Emma but it bothers me that she is so smart about solving murders but so dumb at running her business. I have next two books on my TBR shelf ...more
Aug 16, 2010 Judy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first book in the Emma Lord series. A middle aged woman buys a weekly newspaper in a small town in Washington state and ends up solving a multiple murder. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy the story--which I didn't, it wasn't that I figured out the mystery in the first third of the book--which I did, it was more that I wanted to slap several of the major characters--repeatedly. I read this book as part of the Read the USA challenge on goodreads. Maybe the next books in the series are better. I h ...more
Diane Wachter
Mar 01, 2016 Diane Wachter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
HB-B @ 1992, 5/28/13. Adam Lord's friend, Chris Ramirez, from the University of Hawaii, is Emma Lord's house guest when he comes to confront his maternal grandfrather, Neely Doukas' treatment of his daughter, Chris's mother, who defied her father to marry a Mexican laborer, Chris's father. Cousin Mark is killed after he is said to have discovered gold on the family property. Emma Lord and Vida Runkel help Milo Dodge, the local sheriff solve the murder, and the mysterious disappearance 20 years p ...more
Mar 15, 2013 Mhd rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This large print edition was actually pretty nice to read...I think I'll try more in large print! The content, on the other hand, left much to be desired. Maybe later volumes in this series will be better developed. Good idea for amateur detective: small town newspaper publisher. I read the first 100 pages, skipped the next 100 pages, and read the last 168. i don't think I missed was pretty predictable and slow moving. Too many people doing dumb things.
Aug 27, 2011 Candy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the core mystery to this book was pretty decent, it had a few flaws. The characterization was weak - which made it even more difficult to remember the plethora of characters. The only interesting person at all was Vida, but she was only the sidekick - who really did most of the work. The beginning of the book was also very slow going, though it improved the second half, which leaves me some hope for the sequels.
Apr 06, 2013 VJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
It is amusing to read books set in the 90s. Talk of beepers and payphones and word processors instead of cell phones, tablets, and laptops seems so old-fashioned. However, this was a likeable readable story with interesting characters and a decent plot. The library e-book edition had some weird typos, but the writing was good.

I really enjoyed the bed and breakfast series by the same author and am looking forward to reading the rest of the Alpine series.
Lita Bouquard
Ok so maybe putting this on the books so bad shelf was harsh, but I definitely did not want to finish it. I probably could have forced myself to. There were way too many characters in the first 2 chapters and a whole history of the small town. I couldn't keep any characters straight. I felt no connection with the character- a newspaper publisher in a small town. Maybe if I had continued the story would have picked up but I quit before the murder happened.
May 14, 2011 Betsy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thank goodness. I finally finished The Alpine Advocate by Mary Daheim. This book was part of a group challenge so I had to force myself to complete it or otherwise I would have stopped about 50 pages into the book. I did not enjoy the story or the characters. I figured out the plot early in the book and really did not care who the murder was. Unless you like to waste your time, avoid this silly book.
Feb 01, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
If I could give 3 1/2 stars, I would for this one. It was good, but not great. I liked the characters of the small town, especially since I was very familiar with the setting. The mystery was engaging and I had most of the details figured out by the end, but the actual "who" of the "who dunnit" kind of came out of nowhere. So that frustrated me a little.
Bonnijean Marley
It took me a while to get interested in this novel, but it was a satisfying mystery. Reading about the production of the newspaper was like reading history. So much has changed in newspaper printing and production since the time period of the setting of the book. It was good enough that I'll keep a look out for the other books in this series.
Janet Ankiel
Oct 01, 2015 Janet Ankiel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A small town mystery, human failings and journalism's role

The author paints a realistic picture of small town America which is rapidly fading away. Well-drawn characters like Vida move the plot and provide humor for the reader. Twists and turns as Emma digs for some truths keeps the reader interested. Slightly dated but still a worthwhile "good read."
Apr 29, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good mystery set in a small town, the first in a series. Like all series this one starts out with a lot of background to cover and set up. This background is liberally laced with the clues in a murder mystery leading to the solving of the murders and a very old one.

I will be getting more of this series to see where the author takes the variety of characters.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I read this quite a few years ago, and don't really remember details. I only noted at the time that it was an interesting mystery involving Emma Lord, the editor of a weekly newspaper in the Pacific Northwest.
it's not great writing, the stories are parochial, sometimes preachy in the early books, and I emphatically don't agree with the author's political and religious views, but for some reason I like this series! Comfort reading maybe.
Discovered this series at the library. Easy read but not easy solutions. Sometimes the characters have insights that don't really make sense. Like the main character and the setting in Mountain town.
Debra Kellington
Jun 02, 2014 Debra Kellington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would rate this book a 3.5. It started slowly, but ended as a good mystery. The story has many confusingly named characters like Neeny, Eeny, Milo, Vida, etc. It took me awhile to get them all straight.
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Seattle native Mary Richardson Daheim has been fascinated by story-telling since early childhood. She first listened, then read, and finally began to write her own fiction when she was ten. A journalism major at the University of Washington, she was the first female editor of The Daily where she attracted national attention with her editorial stance against bigotry.

After getting her B.A., she wor
More about Mary Daheim...

Other Books in the Series

Emma Lord (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • The Alpine Betrayal (Emma Lord, #2)
  • The Alpine Christmas (Emma Lord, #3)
  • The Alpine Decoy (Emma Lord, #4)
  • The Alpine Escape (Emma Lord, #5)
  • The Alpine Fury (Emma Lord, #6)
  • The Alpine Gamble (Emma Lord, #7)
  • The Alpine Hero (Emma Lord, #8)
  • The Alpine Icon (Emma Lord, #9)
  • The Alpine Journey (Emma Lord, #10)
  • The Alpine Kindred (Emma Lord, #11)

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