Radine Trees Nehring, author of the popular "Something To Die For" mystery series, has a new book out titled A River To Die For, the fifth in a series that is simultaneously a love affair with the Arkansas Ozarks and a tour through our hills and hollers, one crime at a time.
All of the "Something To Die For" mystery series are set at popular tourist destinations in Arkansas. A Wedding to Die For, for example, is set mainly at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs and was, incidentally, honored as an "Arkansas Best Book" by the Center for the Book at the Arkansas State Library and nominated by the Mystery Writer's Trade Association, Deadly Ink, for best USA mystery novel of 2006.
The recurring characters in the series are Carrie McCrite, a widow, and retired Kansas City Police Major Henry King, who decided to live the Ozarks, like so many of us, as the first step on a journey of personal discovery. Carrie's and Henry's friends--who often work with them to expose criminals and bring justice--are made up of both new citizens and folks whose families have been in the Ozarks for generations. The series features crimes that are strongly colored by this unique area and its history.
During a recent exchange, I asked Radine how she developed the characters in her books. "I enjoy spending time with characters who learn, grow, and change through challenges, and who present human strengths of value to us all," she said.
"The way characters find strength will vary, and my major character, Carrie McCrite, includes spirituality in her list of strengths, while Henry King, her husband by book five in the series, isn't that close to any religion. Though they come from different places in demonstrating strength, compassion, and eventual victory over whatever evil is presented in the plot, I think they both have ideas of value to offer us.
"I also wanted to write about humans meeting challenges and triumphing in the end. Traditional mystery novels are really medieval morality plays. Bad things happen, evil is vanquished, good rewarded, justice served, and everything comes out pretty much all right in the end. In order for that to work, the adversary has to be worthy, not a wimp that gives up easily. A true mystery novel provides all that"
Radine's new book, A River To Die For, begins when Carrie's husband Henry plans a camping trip to the Buffalo National River and invites Carrie's son Rob and Henry's half-sister Catherine to join them. In the mean time Carrie has refused to go and Henry is left to his own resources. During their stay at the park, Rob and Catherine disappear under mysterious circumstances that involve an archeological site, caves, and looters, who are a real life problem at the park. Carrie and Henry, along with Carrie's friend Shirley, search for them and…well that's the mystery.
Readers will find A River to Die For, and all of the "Something to Die For" books, entertaining, clever, and sweetly romantic as Carrie and Henry tour the Ozarks, one crime at a time. Available at better bookstores everywhere, including one in Berryville.