A Jeri Howard Mystery by Janet Dawson
Review: Private investigator Jeri Howard takes on a personal case, that of finding her brother who has gone missing … and may even be dead … in Cold Trail, the eleventh mystery in this series by Janet Dawson.
Brian had been missing for four days. When a murdered man is found in a partially burned out boat in Newman's marina, a MedicAlert bracelet near the body, the Sonoma County police believe it may be Jeri's brother. The man's hands are too badly burned to retrieve fingerprints, so the coroner asks Brian's wife, Sheila to identify the body. Sheila is accompanied by her in-laws, plus Jeri. It turns out the body is not Brian, which now makes him a person of interest in the murder of the John Doe. Jeri starts asking questions herself, first of Sheila, who admits that she and Brian had been at odds with each other lately. Too, he had been having trouble at the school where he taught, quitting and starting at a new school in another town. As a way of reconciliation, Brian had been planning a family camping trip, but when Sheila's own father fell ill, she took their children and visited him. Upon returning, she noticed all the camping gear missing and decided that Brian must have headed out on his own. But to where? With hundreds of campgrounds and hiking sites within just a few hours drive of Oakland, he could be anywhere. But why would he simply take off without telling anyone where he was going?
There is a great deal of underlying tension and suspense in Cold Trail as Jeri searches for her brother, the case getting colder with each passing day. She knows that Brian couldn't have murdered that man, but the fact that his ID was found at the scene suggests he must have known him, and thus may have known the killer, too. Fearing that that killer may also be looking for Brian makes her all the more anxious. The pacing of the narrative is relentless as Jeri, together with the reader, fears the worst. With sharply drawn characters and vivid settings, this solidly plotted mystery is a strong entry in this series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Cold Trail.
Acknowledgment: Perseverance Press provided an ARC of Cold Trail for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Death Rides the Zephyr
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), September 2013
ISBN-13: 9781564745309; ISBN-10: 1564745309
Death Deals a Hand
Perseverance Press (Trade Paperback), April 2016
ISBN-13: 9781564745699; ISBN-10: 1564745694
Location(s) referenced in Cold Trail: Oakland, California
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Cold Trail by Janet Dawson — A Jeri Howard Mystery
Publisher: Perseverance Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2015
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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