~Download Kindle ♃ To Hell in a Handbasket (Claire Hanover, Gift Basket Designer) ☳ PDF or E-pub free
~Download Kindle ⚖ To Hell in a Handbasket (Claire Hanover, Gift Basket Designer) ☪ In this sequel to A Real Basket Case, Colorado Springs gift basket designer Claire Hanover takes a spring ski vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado, with her family The vacation quickly goes to hell in a handbasket when the sister of her daughter’s boyfriend’ is killed on the ski slope Others think an outofcontrol snowboarder slammed into her, but just before the ski patrol arrived, Claire saw another pair of ski tracks that veered into the young woman’s Claire passes her findings on to an initially skeptical sheriff’s detective Confusing clues point to alternative scenarios for the young woman’s death—which was definitely no accident—and put Claire’s daughter, Judy, in the path of danger As the spiral of intrigue winds tighter and other deaths occur, Claire must draw on inner reserves of strength to conquer not only the conspiracy but also the winter elements And, like a mother bear, she must fiercely protect her independentminded cub from harm
TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET Is One Heck of A Good ReadI was a little hesitant to pick up this book, because I don't ski, and I thought it wouldn't keep my interest I should have know better because Beth Groundwater, an Agatha Award finalist, is an excellent mystery writer, and she proves it again in this novel The second in the Claire Hanover series finds her on the ski slopes with her family Whats starts as a nice domestic vacation turns dark when a family friend is killed while skiing in an apparent accident But Claire has some serious doubts, and even after a witness is killed right after talking to Claire, the police seem reluctant to tie the deaths together By the time they finally begin to connect the dots, Claire's entire family is in danger, particularly her daughter, whose boyfriend may be linked to an international criminal gang Can Claire solve the secret behind these killings, or will she join the growing list of victims?This story will keep you on the edge of your ski lift until the end The skiing scenes are done well, (even I could follow them), the characters are well developed and you can even get a lesson in basket design if you need a fresh gift idea Beth Groundwater also writes the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series, where she puts her knowledge of the great outdoors to good use. I’ve just finished reading the second Claire Hanover mystery, and I’d have to say Beth Groundwater’s main character really is strong enough to keep my interest through a whole series A fascinatingly resourceful amateur detective, with the cleverness of Miss Marple, the sore knees of the middleaged, and the physical prowess of an emptynester who plans to keep skiing forever, Claire has the confidence to believe what she sees and to tell it like she sees it Just because no one else saw the ski tracks doesn’t mean they’re not there Just because no one else sees the danger doesn’t mean she shouldn’t protect her daughter Just because…So she walks into police stations and describes exactly the sort of details that someone unaccustomed to such places would notice—the presence or absence of family photographs, the pictures on the walls… She walks into a night club and learns the right words for the music by making mistakes—okay, so daughter’s embarrassed, but Mom’s taking charge She leaps into action, rightly earning the nickname Mama Bear And the reader follows along, all the time amazed and impressed and, if you happen to be me, just plain wishing I werelike her.I guess Claire’s kind of a niche hero, perfect for us moms with kids fleeing the nest, and ideal for the recipients of gift baskets She makes me want to ski again She believes in ibuprofen She’s real and she’s fun And she’sthan capable of leaving me eagerly awaiting her next adventure. It’s snow accident when a young woman’s icy demise sends Claire’s vacation to hell in a handbasketSkiing with her family in Breckenridge, Colorado, gift basket designer Claire Hanover hears a terrified scream cut the frigid mountain air She is horrorstricken to find Stephanie Contino, the sister of her daughter’s boyfriend, dead on the slopes While everyone else assumes the death was an accident, Claire is suspicious of the extra ski tracks that cross dangerously into Stephanie’s path But the police are skeptical of foul play, even assigns point to murder.When incriminating clues put her daughter Judy in danger, Claire investigates and finds trouble around every mogul Between interviewing a daredevil snowboarder and giving ski lessons to a drug boss, she uncovers a chilling conspiracy that could turn deadly for her family.Dollycas's ThoughtsHang on to your ski poles, this is a wild run!! Watch out for out of control snowboarders, flying bullets and families keeping secrets.Claire finds herself right in the middle of the drama as she tries to protect her daughter while helping the police catch a killer Any mom knows you do not get between a mom and her kids We will lay down our lives to keep our children safe no matter if they are 5 or 25 Claire is a strong courageous woman and her daughter Judy is following in her footsteps Of course not all of us have a friendly drug dealer we can call to help us get information and what he wants in return is hilarious The picture that forms in your mind will have you laughing out loud.Husband Roger touched my heart He and Claire are trying to rejuvenate their love after the stress of incidents in the first book in the series, A Real Basket Case He knows that he can't keep her from investigating so he helps her as much as he can He also tries to squeeze in some romantic moments along the way.I have learned my lesson about Beth Groundwater stories:* When you start reading you will not stop until you reach the end.* Her characters are real and constantly evolving and pull you right into their lives and hold on tight.* They take place is wonderful scenic places.* I use the word wild a lot when describing her books.* These are not cozy mysteries! They are edgy mysteries full of suspense!* Bits of humor and tries at romance keep the story with the right feel for cozy lovers.* Think cozy mystery on steroids!I love the way Beth writes and have loved every one of her stories I highly recommend escaping into this book as soon as possible! When I first picked up To Hell in a Handbasket, I thought it had all the requirements of a good cozy mysterya great title, a protagonist with a quirky occupation (she makes gift baskets), and a synopsis that sounded like cozy mystery heaven Now that I've finished the book, I believe that I would label ita thriller than a cozy Why? From the first page to the last, amateur sleuth and gift basket designer extraordinaire Claire Hanover is chasing and being chased by bad guysreally bad guys I envisioned this book would be about a little old lady who sits at home and solves mysteries using clues she finds in gift baskets Not so! Right from the start, Claire is tumbled into the apparent murder of her daughter's friend on a ski slope From there, the action goes uphill (and downhill, as the characters chase each other around on the Colorado ski slopes) Claire not only tries to help a local detective solve the young woman's murder, but she becomes embroiled in severaldeaths, and must work frantically to prevent additional murders There are numerous chases, gun fights, dead bodies, kidnappings, captures, and all sorts of excitement that, to me, suggest that this book would make a great action/adventure movieor at least a television movie of the week Personally, I prefer a quieter,cerebral cozy mysterywhere the heroine solves the crime after the fact from the comfort of her own home However, for those of you who like lots of action in your mysteriesthis one is for you. I'm getting to be a mystery addict (well, a cozy mystery addict anyway) After reading a lot of Lillian Jackson Braun (The Cat Who mysteries), I saw this book relating to gift baskets A gift basket mysetry Makes me think of The Cat Who and Debbie Macomber already~ Although, giftbaskets don't make a very prominent appearance in the book.This story follows Claire, who's on a family vacation at a ski hotel But, at the start of their vacation, her daughter Judy's boyfriend's sister Stephanie dies Or was killed And it's to solve this question that Claire starts investigating And the further she goes, thedead bodies turn up It looks like the danger is much greater than first expected Plotwise, this story was decent It's a very linear plot, so there's not much opportunity to figure out what's going on before Claire does I think it's because the whole book is told through her perspective, the reader can only figure out things the same thing as her (which means we end up making the same mistakes in deduction too).What really drew the book together would be the characters Claire isn't a young attractive citizendetective She's a selfdescribed mama bear who will do anything to protect her daugther But yet, she has some really interesting friends, like the Leon crime lord (who may be my favourite character in the book I'd like to readabout him) who help her gather information (even though she's somewhat of a pest to the local detective) In some way, it's not clear if her investigation helps or hinders the official one, seeing as she makes judgements based on what's best for her family rather than to find out the killer And like most stories, there were characters that annoyed me Most notably, the daughter Judy She's repeatedly described as stubborn/headstrong and while I'm like that, she just makes this virtue seem like a vice Maybe it's because I'm not convinced of the love between her and her boyfriend, but she just seems like a disrespectful child to me Maybe (ok, not maybe, I am) I'm conservative, but I don't think you should talk back to your mom like that and so often But then again, most children do stuff like that, so I could understand (very little though)Altogether a pleasant read If I see the first book in the series, I'd probably be tempted to buy it, since the few references to the first book make it seem interesting Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.First posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile I received an autographed copy of this mystery for Christmas from my daughter and her husband who had met the author while on a skiing trip to Breckenridge, CO, the setting for the story (Thanks,kids!)Being the obsessive reader that I am, I checked out Groundwater's debut mystery, A REAL BASKETCASE, and enjoyed that very much But in this second outing in the series, Groundwater's writing has really come along and she has written a tense, exciting mystery with lots of action and realtolife characters Claire Hanover, the main character, is a gift basket designer and menopausal mother whose daughter, Judy, is poised to leave the nest and Claire is struggling to let go She is also trying to mend her relationship with her husband while on vacation in Breckenridge after being caught in an embarassing situation in the first book The Hanover family is skiing with Judy's friend, Stephanie Contino, the sister of Judy's boyfriend, Nick, when a bloodcurdling scream rings out Stephanie has crashed into a tree and is dying It is obvious that another skier had crossed paths with her and caused the accident Was it the wild and crazy snowboarder they saw flying by just before? Or was there another skier whose tracks came out of the woods? Claire does some investigating on her own, but theshe learns about the Contino family, thethe mystery deepens and theworried she gets about daughter Judy's relationship with Nick Quite the pageturner! Claire Hanover was happy and excited about her ski vacation in Breckenridge There was so much to look forward to during the vacation days Claire was looking forward to romantic evenings with her husband Roger This was Claire’s chance to reconnect with her daughter Judy who had been away at school Judy’s boyfriend Nickolas Contino was also in Breckenridge with his family Nick’s sister Stephanie had accompanied Claire, Roger and Judy and everyone was having a good time until as the title states everything went to hell Stephanie was critically injured on the trail and Claire was suspicious that the injury was not an accident.When Claire begins investigating on her own against the advice of the police, her husband and her daughter the whole situation becomes terrifying Claire begins to feel that all is not as it should be with Nick’s family and even goes so far as to suspect that Stephanie’s father had a part in her accident.Judy resents Claire’s hovering attitude although any mother could sympathize If a mother feels her daughter is in danger what can she do but try to protect her Claire finally convinces Detective Silverstone that her daughter is in real danger Judy is becomingandheadstrong and determined to lead her own life and ignore her mother’s pleas.This is a smooth moving mystery with much excitement along the way. Claire Hanover, her husband, and her daughter Judy are in Breckenridge skiing Judy has been away in France for college and this is an opportunity for the family to spend time together Except Judy's new boyfriend, Nick Contino, and his family are also staying in Breckenridge The book opens with Nick's sister, Stephanie, joining the Hanovers on the slope The skiing turns tragic when Stephanie dies from hitting a tree, but Claire notices a few things that causes her to believe somebody purposely ran Stepanie into that tree Because Stephanie had skied ahead of the rest, they did not see what happened But there was a hot dog snowboarder who is either the prime suspect or a witness Claire begins to ask around while Judy is comforting Nick and his mother Nick's father, Anthony, seems increasingly despondent over Stephanie's death Judy and Claire have struggles as mother and daughter, which only gets worse when Claire feels that Judy is in danger and is in protective mode But none of the Hanovers could have imagined the truth behind Stephanie's death and just how dangerous it will get for all of them.I loved having a realistic middleaged woman who is assertive and wrestling with an emptynest for the main character She was well balanced between the aches and pains that come with an active person getting older and a gutsy woman who will go to any length for her family Claire's husband, Roger, is a good guy with a level head who balances Claire They make a cute couple stealing some romantic time Judy was my least liked character Occasionally she would actlike a huffy teen than a blossoming woman who attends college in Europe The breakout character was Leon, the crime boss Claire met previously (book one) and turns to for information on what she suspects is going on Leon is dangerous, but seems to respect Claire on some level I also liked Detective Owen Silverstone who is leading the investigation into Stephanie's death Claire and the detective manage to understand each other with only a few tense moments, which is a refreshing alternative to the common cop boyfriend or the adversary cop.The Colorado high country and ski slopes and portrayed intimately and faithfully Beauty, cold, snow, and wilderness all give a good backdrop for the action Their is plenty of action with close calls, hair's breadth escapes, and chases that moved this to amateur sleuth status in my mind.The plot has international implications, which gives itof a dose of heightened drama than a typical murder mystery without a cop as the central character The investigation process moved along smoothly and kept my interest fully engaged The reader is doled out pieces and information along with Claire, and that doesn't allow for getting ahead of Claire much in figuring out the overall puzzle The investigation and revelations were nicely done, fostering the maximum reader investment by the climax.The climax had its edgeofyourseat moments that were well thought out and executed The wrapup had its touching aspects and felt complete This was a great adventure murder mystery that will be hard to top I am already looking forward to the next book in the series to see where Ms Groundwater will take Claire and what she will throw at her Ratings: Excellent Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list Series: 2nd in Claire Hanover MysterySensuality: mild foreplay mentionsMain Character: Claire Hanover, parttime gift basket creatorSetting: Modern Day, Breckenridge ColoradoObtained Through: from publisher for an honest reviewMysteries and My Musings Book Bloghttp://www.mysterysuspence.blogspot.com I have a bone to pick with Beth Groundwater! I read the first book in the series and it was good and enjoyable and so I decided to read the next one Dirty trick, this one is outstanding and so good that I started it after dinner and finished it about midnight the same night thus making me very tired for work the next day.It is such fun when a series just jumps up to the next level and this series did just that! Claire, her husband and her daughter are spending a week skiing as a family get together Claire is looking forward to spending some time with her daughter who is on vacation from school in Paris Things start getting complicated when the daughter wants to spendtime with her boyfriend than the family When the boyfriends sister dies on the ski slopes Claire has to help solve the mystery of what happened to her, and why.