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Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite
After surviving a forest fire, a private investigator begins hunting for the woman whose disappearance caused the deadly conflagration to ignite in the exciting sleuth mystery novel, Three Strikes, You're Dead (An Eddie Shoes Mystery) by Elena Hartwell. On the first day of a mother-daughter getaway in the Cascades, Eddie takes an early morning hike. Once she reaches the peak, she detours onto a side path and accidentally takes a tumble into a ravine. While trying to re-orientate herself, Eddie discovers an injured man lying near a roughly assembled canvas shelter. As Eddie attempts to assist the stranger, the tarp bursts into flames and immediately spreads to the woods. While the flames race towards them, the stranger gives Eddie a rosary and a picture of a young woman. He urges her to find his kidnapped daughter and silently dies in Eddie's arms. With her own life at stake, Eddie leaves his body behind, barely escaping the blazing inferno. Once in the safety of town, Eddie tries to convince the local law enforcement to find the unknown man and his missing daughter. Not sure she is being taken seriously, Eddie takes matters into her own hands. With the help of her parents, Eddie begins her investigation into the alleged abduction. With nothing but a photograph and a religious relic, can they discover who the woman is and who took her? Will Eddie and her parents be able to rescue her before it is too late?
Three Strikes, You're Dead (An Eddie Shoes Mystery) by Elena Hartwell is a fast-paced murder mystery infused with a sense of urgency and laced with a thread of humor. The story is set in the beautiful town of Leavenworth, Washington, giving the plot an excellent contrasting backdrop for the drama that unfolds. The location and inhabitants are perfectly tailored and relevant to the tenor of the plot, giving it a genuine presence and the townspeople a realistic demeanor. Each of the characters is unique and personable, brimming with flaws and charm. Eddie is a delightful balance of perseverance and empathy, which gives her character clarity and balance. With outstanding characters and a thrilling plot to entertain them, those who are fans of sleuth mysteries will fall in love with Eddie Shoes and her outlandish family. Although it is the third book in a series, it makes a fabulous stand-alone read and is a nice asset to have in your library.