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The Serpents Trail (Maxie and Stretch #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  837 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Multiple-award winning author Sue Henry introduces a new series starring Maxie McNabb-an independent retiree whose adventures across the country in her motor home are destined for murderous roadblocks...
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by NAL Hardcover (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Julie
Enjoyable cozy with a level-headed sleuth and cute dog. It also captures the bittersweet of old friends parting so well.

This was a reread. I remember liking this one a lot, and hating the second. We'll see!
LindaW
Sep 02, 2013 LindaW rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Maxie and Stretch mysteries by Sue Henry and the first of her books that I've read. Since we were headed out in our camper for a couple of weeks, I thought this would be appropriate to read at the campground. The main character is an older, independent woman who lives in Alaska. After her husband dies she travels to the lower 48 in her RV with her mini dachshund to see the sights, visit family and friends, and to get away from the Alaskan winters. It is early Fall when h ...more
Rae
Jun 11, 2013 Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it's summer and I am trying new murder mystery series. And what I am learning is I am a dithering old person who nobody takes seriously.

Really??

I am going to try another book in this series because I did rather enjoy the main character --- who is just a few years older than I but speaks of herself as an 'old' grandma type, even though she is not living an old grandma existence. She is driving around in her Winnebago with her mini-daschund and packing some heat (for safety purposes, of cour
...more
Kathy
Oct 28, 2009 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I picked this up because it was set in Grand Junction, with side trips to Salt Lake. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to keep me interested... it didn't help that I was listening to it (vs reading) and the reader kept mispronouncing place names. For example, Fruita Colorado was pronounced "Froo-ee-ta". Kind of took the fun out of it.
Pamela
"Things do tend to come full circle, though not always in the way you expect."

Surprisingly, a good old fashioned, whodunit; The Serpent's Trail is the sort of mystery akin to an episode of Murder She Wrote, in that, the amateur-sleuth is a capable, mull-everything-over, low-key woman of senior years who never gets in a hurry and doesn't scare easily. The vibe is similar, but with some unique character/element distinctions.

"Like Indian paintbrush, I can grow almost anywhere, and I've always like
...more
Sheila
Jul 22, 2017 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wom-2017, tower
Maxie goes to visit her friend and get much more than expected during the visit.
sharon gima
Mar 21, 2017 sharon gima is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Have enjoyed every Sue Henry book I've read. No it's not grad school literature (!) but it's great for a one night stand with Kindle on the pillow. Just wish each book was available in my library in Kindle form. Oh well..
Dyana
Nov 17, 2014 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Sue Henry book and I liked it, but am reserving further judgement until I read a couple more - hence three stars. This book was a cozy mystery and part travelogue on places our heroine is visiting. Maxie McNabb is an independent, free-spirited, level-headed 63 year old woman who travels around in a Minnie-Winnie Winnebago with her mini-dachshund named Stretch. She summers on the Kenai Peninsula, spent last winter in New Mexico and loves exploring the lower 48 states. Maxie rece ...more
Ellen
Maxie McNabb and her dachshund Stretch board their mini-Winebago to travel from their home in Alaka to Colorado where Sarah, Maxie's best friend since their college days, is dying of advanced heart disease. Sarah requested that Maxie come for a final visit as she has some very important matters to discuss with her dear friend. Maxie arrives nearly too late as Sarah has been rushed to the hospital. As Maxie sits with her dying friend, Sarah tells Maxie that she has written everything down for Max ...more
Cathy Cole
Jan 27, 2014 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
I was in the mood for a soft-edged, intriguing mystery filled with excellent characters, and that's exactly what I found in The Serpents Trail. Already familiar with Sue Henry's Jessie Arnold mysteries set in Alaska, I wanted to see what a wandering sixtysomething widow with a small dog and an RV could do.

Maxie McNabb is in the minority in the crime fiction community of characters. She's in her sixties. She's widowed after two happy and fulfilling marriages and has no inclination to go that rou
...more
Nancy
Feb 17, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked up this book, I saw the name Sue Henry and immediately remember the Jessie Arnold series that I had started last year and thought that this was another in that series. Well, no, I was wrong; this is a series that involves Maxie and her dog, a mini-dachshund named Stretch, traveling in their trusty Winnebago.

When twice-widowed 63-year-old Maxie gets a call from an old friend living in Colorado, she decides that it is time to take a little trip. Sarah is her dearest college fri
...more
Kimberly
Jan 06, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my top 5 fav books. The whole series was great. There are 4 books in the series, and I wish Sue Henry (one of my fav authors) had kept the story going on into more books. This is a cozy with a bit of thrill. I loved that you have an older lady who lives in Alaska but takes her RV, along with her weenie dog Stretch, into the lower 48 for travel and adventure. Along the way in each book she visits a different state, a different murder. Or rather murder seems to find her. She is always the smart ...more
Lena Jo
Sep 08, 2013 Lena Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved! Can you believe I grabbed this book out of a .10 box because the back of the book said the lady was going to Grand Junction, CO - a place where I lived for a couple of years. It is a cozy - not my normal read but hey. For .10 it could fall apart out by the pool and I could throw it away. A real bizarre thing about this book. I am always doing a search for authors who include dogs in their stories - since my first book, Special Run, is about a dog. Totally unrelated I had downloaded a book ...more
Cat.
Nov 28, 2013 Cat. rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I have not read anything by this author before. I'm not sure I'll read any others. This one is set in Grand Junction, which is why I picked it up. The "detective" in the series is Maxie McCann, a 63-year-old Alaskan widow, who travels around with her dachshund much of North America in an RV. Clever concept, and there is plenty of info about RVing included.

The mystery surrounds the death of an old college friend of hers in Junction just after she arrives in town. Maxie has been named executor of
...more
Samantha Smith
I love camping and the outdoors and I love, love, love dachshunds. So how could I not read this book. I really like the concept of the book, a retired lady traveling around the country in her RV with her best-friend Stretch the dachshund. Maxie is a lady I would like to meet. She is an independent and energetic lady with a good outlook on life. I enjoyed all the description of the scenery (makes me want to go on vacation) and I liked the set up of the crime. The mystery is definitely a cozy myst ...more
Sue
Jul 28, 2008 Sue marked it as to-read
Cozy Mystery. With her mini-dachshund, Stretch, by her side, 63-year-old retiree Maxie McNabb cruises across America in her Winnebago, indulging her wanderlust. So when Sarah, a dying friend in Grand Junction, Colorado, calls and asks Maxie to come visit, she does. Unfortunately, when Maxie arrives, Sarah is in the hospital and soon dies from very unnatural causes. Who would kill her? Maxie remembers Sarah's penchant for secrets and hiding places and begins puzzling out the answer, but the close ...more
Carole
Nov 07, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Twice widowed sixty-something Maxie McNabb and her traveling companion mini-dachshund Stretch have discovered the pleasures of RV traveling. Longtime resident of Alaska, Maxie has been wintering in the western state of New Mexico since starting her RV days. She seems to get mixed up in murder everywhere she goes. This story is no exception; her longtime best friend Sarah calls her begging her to start her trip early because she has found out that she has only weeks to live and she wants to have ...more
Susan
Feb 18, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
A friend recommended Sue Henry to me, and I enjoyed this novel about Maxie, a 63-year-old widow, who travels the country in her Winnebago with her little dog. It was a good mystery with no sex, but it did have some swear words. I liked it being set in Colorado and Utah and recognized some of the places, especially Salt Lake City. However, I did get a little bored with all of the descriptions of the scenery and I'm not as much of a dog lover as she apparently is and got a little bored with the do ...more
Laura
May 04, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Essentially, this book and I were not meant to be BFFs.

While Maxie and Stretch were fun, and Maxie's lifestyle is an unusual and refreshing choice for a cozy mystery series, I had a difficult time reading this book. At least half of the sentences seemed to run on too much for a comfortable reading experience for me. It felt like they could have ended about 10 words earlier, it kept pulling me out of the flow of the story.

However, my Mom and three of her friends have all read and adored this se
...more
Ryan Mishap
Bought this at the very National Monument where it is set, which turned out to be the most delightful thing about this unexciting mystery. The ingredients are all there for a decent amateur detective story but Henry's pacing and structure is messed up. For instance, she starts with our hero fidning an open door to her friend's house...and then proceeds to divert from this exciting development to give us nearly the entire background of the hero when she should have dribbled it out as the story we ...more
Patricia
Feb 25, 2010 Patricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like the way this author expresses herself--the reading is easy. The outcome wasn't predictable, necessarily, but some of the plot twists were. I didn't enjoy all the "chamber of commerce" or "travel brochure" blurbs about different places she visited, and found I kind of scanned at least a fourth of the book. I will read book 2 in the series, however, and see what I think about that one.
BeParticular
This is my first time reading Henry. I was drawn to this series because the protagonist is a 63-year-old, twice-widowed female. Maxine was an enjoyable character and the settings of Alaska, Colorado and Utah were well drawn. What I didn't enjoy was the mystery. None of the other characters sparked my interest and I figured out the murderer pretty early on. Not likely that I'll pursue other books in the series. Too bad, because I did like Maxine.
Trish
Aug 18, 2008 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
In a spin off from Sue Henry's Alaska series, she takes two of the secondary characters - Maxie McNabb and her dog Stretch - and sends them out of Alaska on the road, in this case down to see a friend in Colorado, where murder and mayhem inevitably ensue. Enjoyable. I haven't read enough of the original series to have met the characters in that context, but it works as a stand-alone mystery
Gerry
May 22, 2011 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading about this independent 60+ year old woman, Maxie who travels the country along with her dog, Stretch in a Minnie Winnie camper. It makes me think I'd like to do that someday myself!
Like some other people, the descriptions can get a bit long - so I breeze through those parts that don't interest me.
Maxie travels to Colorado to visit her friend who is dying. Her friend is concerned about something but Maxie gets there too late to find out what it is. Maxie has to figure it out!

Penny
Jun 22, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Sue Henry's Maxie and Stretch books. First of all I can identify with this independent older lady who travels with her dachshund in her Winnebago from her home in Alaska. In this particular story she goes to Grand Junction, Colorado where she has to solve the mystery of how her college friend has died. The descriptions of the area surrounding Grand Junction are very good and it brought back memories of visiting those same places as a child. The mystery was good and I love Stretch!
Pam
Sep 23, 2007 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TITLE/AUTHOR: THE SERPENTS TRAIL by Sue Henry
RATING: 4/B
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF CD'S: Mystery, 2004, 7 cds
CHARACTERS: Maxie & Stretch -- 63-yr-old retiree
traveling in RV w/ her dachsund, Stretch
TIME/PLACE: Present, Colorado
COMMENTS: Maxie goes to visit her old friend
who's health is not good. She dies before
Maxie arrives but not naturally. Maxie is
executor of the will & discovers there
were recent changes. -- 1st in a series
Alicia
Think menopausal mystery, but less hip than 'Murder, She Wrote'. That's right: I made a pun about Jessica Fletcher. Which should serve as a cautionary tale about the perils of reading about a 60+ year old in a Winnebago with a Dachshund. I did learn interesting facts such as: a tiny Winnebago is called a 'mini-Winnie', & ....OK, that's it really. Some SLC landmarks figured in the tale too. Why did I listen to this? Because I needed a book for the car, & the library was closing in 10 minu ...more
Bonnie
Jun 09, 2008 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This mystery has a 63 year old lady who drives a Winnebago---fun! It's set in Grand Junction where we had just visited my cousin last week. We have a picture of the two of us on a hike when we were about twelve, and it turned out to be taken on the Serpent's Trail. Reading this was like being in an alternate reality.
Whikmn
Jan 19, 2009 Whikmn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this much more than the last one. Her new character Maxie McNabb and her dachshund, Stretch travel from Alaska to Colorado in her RV. She's 63, alone and very independent off to visit a sick friend who dies just after she arrives. Her death is considered a murder and Maxie is determined to find out who did it.
Robin Nenninger
Maxie solves a mystery for an age-old friend who dies mysteriously. Lots of description about the Colorado Grand Junction area and Salt Lake City. Many people did not like this but since I had not been there, I enjoyed it. She is 63 and travels around in a RV with her dog Stretch (you can guess what kind of dog Stretch is!)
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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

Maxie and Stretch (4 books)
  • The Tooth of Time (Maxie and Stretch, #2)
  • The Refuge (Maxie and Stretch, #3)
  •  The End of The Road (Maxie and Stretch, #4)

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“Though weeks, even months, have at times gone by without contact, when we were separated by distance and occupied with busy lives and raising families, the thread of connection had continued true and deep, allowing us to pick up where we left off, as if there had been no time lost. Time had never been a part of the equation.” 0 likes
“There is nothing you can imagine that is quite as soulful as the eyes of a mini-dachshund staring up at the popcorn bowl to inspire an unendurable case of guilt.” 0 likes
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