Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy


This has been a cooold winter. We have almost two months left, but I am ready for spring. I know that many of you have had your fill with so much snow. Where I am in South Carolina, it hasn’t snowed in almost two years. We’re missing it, but can’t it come with 65-degree temps? It might be time someone had a heart-to-heart with that Punxsutawney Phil weasel.

On evenings like this, I have two types of mysteries I like to read. First, there are the stories set in a warm climate like the Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald set in the Florida Keys. Or the Kinsey Millhone’s series by Sue Grafton in California, where if you wear a coat it’s only for fashion.

Then there are times when I want to go all in with the cold and get a book set in the snowfields of the great up north. This year, I read a good one and discovered a series that I’ll have to revisit.

Snow Blind, by P.J. Tracy and published in 2007, is set in Minneapolis where the story kickoffs with a snowman competition. The perfect winter environment. Detectives Leo Magozzi and Gino Rolseth take the afternoon off to represent their department in the city’s traditional snowman building contest. But the festive atmosphere is shattered when a child screams. The duo discovers the boy looking at a dead man’s face inside a snowman. A second body is soon found in another snowman and the scene becomes even more urgent when it’s discovered that the two are Minneapolis policemen.

The detectives biggest fear comes true when a third body inside a snowman is found in a small town in the northern part of the state. It confirms their fear that it’s a serial killer targeting law enforcement. The case is further complicated when they meet the town’s sheriff, a former English teacher on her first day on the job.

The banter between the detectives is spot on. And the disdain changing to we-have-to-make-this-work is an appropriate reaction when they meet the county’s police force. With help from the Monkeywrench’s computer geeks, a helpful clue is found on the internet.

This is book four in the series. There are so many twists that you won’t see the end coming. While I enjoyed the book and didn’t have any problem entering the world of the two detectives, Monkeywrench is not as big a focus as in the other books. They have me intrigued, so I may have to go back to another book to watch them work.

This is definitely a series that I will see about revisiting. But when you read this one, be sure to have your sweater nearby.

P.J. Tracy is the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Tracy Lambrecht. They have won the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book awards. I was sorry to learn that P.J. passed away in 2016but I’m happy to see that Tracy had carried on with the series.

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