Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer Seeley
Source: kindly sent by the author
Description: 23 year old Meg Reed has always wanted to be an investigative reporter just like her father. However, the day she gets her sparkling new journalism degree is the day the paper she wants to work for announces major layoffs. Desperate for a job and a way to stop sleeping on her friend's couch Meg does some exaggerating about her outdoor skills in an interview. The good news is she lands the job. The bad news is she now has to use those outdoor skills she made up. While she's hanging to the side of a cliff that she has no desire to be on she sees someone flying over the side. Now it's time for Meg to use those investigative journalist skills and get to the bottom of what happened.
Why I Picked This Book: I love a good cozy and the outdoors-y premise of this one sounded unique.
Pros: I had two concerns when I started this book. The first that Meg's age was going to be used as an excuse for her to act like a bratty child and the second was just how big the lie was that Meg had told to get the job. Turns out I had nothing to worry about! For one thing, while Meg may be impulsive and inexperienced she is not immature. She's not perfect. She doesn't always make the best decision or act professionally but her character feels real and not like someone who just needs to grow up. The lie isn't actually a lie. It's an innuendo and some careful wording and then not correcting assumptions. I'm pretty sure I did something similar when fresh out of college! Or if I didn't, I would have. I also like that this isn't a book that could be set anywhere. I really got a very clear idea of what the world Meg lives in looks like without over the top description. She talks a lot about the weather and the look of Oregon which was a lot of fun. I think if you were from the Pacific Northwest you would enjoy it even more. The mystery itself was well done. I had some hints as to who the killer was but the motive both felt real and was a surprise. Meg's job worked well for a mystery because it enabled her to actively investigate without it feeling odd. While she did venture into situations that could cross into the To Stupid To Live territory it was at least logical as to why she was investigating on her own. I liked that even though she didn't back down from investigating the show and the murder she also kept the police involved. Also, the hint dropped at the end of the book about the next mystery has me excited to read the 2nd in this series!
Cons: The Race the States competitors were pretty one dimensional and I had a hard time getting particularly involved with them. They're distinct enough that I remembered who was who but I never really got a feel for more than the very surface description. Other than the investigating part Meg doesn't do much actual reporting. While she appears at a Race the States events she doesn't seem to do much interviewing or picture taking or actual writing. This doesn't bother me in this book because the job is brand new and it's the first in the series. However, it would annoy me if in book 3 she still hasn't actually done any actual work. I have hopes that this will not be an issue though.
Overall: This was a fun new cozy with a great sense of place and a really promising main character. There were a few flaws but it didn't keep me from enjoying the book and I definitely will be looking for the 2nd in the series.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! Book 2 is already on my wishlist.
Would I Recommend this Book?: A good cozy that isn't too cozy or silly. If you're looking for a good cozy this is one to pick up!