Sunday 26 March 2023

Ice Blonde (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #3) by Elaine Viets

The last thing Chouteau County death investigator Angela Richman wants to do during the holidays is her job. So it’s with some trepidation that she agrees to help the desperate Mr. and Mrs. LaRouche when they show up on her doorstep.

Their daughter Juliet is missing. She was last seen leaving a high school party just before midnight, and they’d like Angela’s help getting their trusted local detectives involved. The officer assigned to the case—Chouteau newcomer Det. Jace Budewitz—is far too blunt and impolite for their liking. And with the weather murderously cold, they can’t bear the thought that their little princess is in the harsh winter wilderness.

Discreetly investigating Juliet’s disappearance, Angela finds herself struggling to break through the silence from the rich teenagers who knew Juliet and their infuriatingly detached parents. She also discovers that their vicious bias against the local working class has cast a shadow over the case.

The more she digs, the less Angela can comprehend the lengths the one percent will go to protect their own. Angela must work quickly as she searches for answers with the acute awareness that Juliet LaRouche edges closer to becoming just a memory…  (Summary via Goodreads)

Ice Blonde is the third book in the Angela Richman, Death Investigator Mystery series by Elaine Viets.  Even though because of its size it is considered a novella, this story is full of entertainment.  Ice Blonde is 154 pages long and the story that Viets tells will have you thinking it is a full length book.

In Ice Blonde main character Angela Richman is approached by one of the wealthy families in her neighborhood called the Forest.  The LaRouche's sixteen year old daughter did not return home after attending a party held by a prominent family.  Juliet was not dressed for the weather and her parents were worried.  This situation is not in Angela's wheelhouse as she is contacted when there is a dead body and currently that was not the case with Juliet.

A very large search party was quickly organized and while everyone was out looking for Juliet in the freezing cold temperatures, Angela was talking to Juliet's friends to see if she could find Juliet alive.  Juliet's one friend, Daisy, believes that Juliet is just at one of her hiding places and doesn't take Angela seriously....that is until they have visited all of Juliet's hiding places and come up empty.

Unfortunately Juliet is found dead in a shallow creek and it will take at least two days for her body to thaw so that Angela's friend, Katie, can perform the autopsy.  Once the autopsy is completed the cause of death will be a shock to everyone !!

As I stated earlier even though Ice Blonde is considered a novella, the story is jammed packed with an exciting story.  Readers will be on the edge of their seats while they read this latest book.   

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