In the first in a proposed crime series, bartending ski bum Stacy Curtis is an engaging protagonist, new to the mountains of Vermont but caught up in a local murder that leaves a very rich man dead. As an official ski bum, Stacy has fled a disastrous relationship, her cheating fiancé the last man she ever wants to see again.
The slopes of a local Vermont ski resort are a palliative to the Boston environment she has so abruptly left behind, but a lack of funds leaves the newcomer vulnerable. Making use of a set of master keys she has found at the gym, Stacy stealthily enters a mountain condo, hoping to sleep one night out of the elements. Instead of a safe place, Stacy finds a cold, dead body, a local man of some importance.
A quick, anonymous call to 911, and Stacy flees the scene, haunted by the gruesome sight in the condo. Sleeping in her Subaru seems a safer option for the moment, but she soon realizes even this attempt at shelter carries risks. There is no one to protect Stacy from intruders, her nerves jangling since the encounter with the dead body.
A quirky character who loves the outdoors and will deal with virtually any discomfort in order to hit the slopes the next day, Stacy has no taste for murder or the vulnerability she finds sleeping in her car. One alternative is to rent the room advertised by the local sheriff and his wife - although Stacy is concerned that her phone call the night of the murder will come back to haunt her. But common sense wins out over fear, and the home of a sheriff seems an unlikely place to be confronted with danger.
Her story set in the winterscape of a Vermont resort during the impending Christmas holidays, avid skier Wendy Clinch writes with authority and attention to detail. She has the humor of Sue Grafton and the appreciation of nature of the true sportswoman, lending her mystery both authenticity and personality.
As Stacy draws closer to the killer, romance blooms on the slopes and the sheriff entertains some suspicions of his new boarder. In a blend of mystery, the wry observations of a ski bum and the encroaching plunder of corporate interests in nature’s bounty, Stacy Curtis is an engaging character, quick of wit and ready to settle into her new environment as a murderer lurks just around the corner.