Intrigue Infects the Iditarod

The Boy in the Snow

“The Boy in the Snow” is available from the library in hardcover and downloadable audio.

Jen McCormackEdie and Bonehead make a great couple.

They both love dogsled racing and eat a diet of mostly meat and fish, the rarer the better.

In M.J. McGrath’s novel The Boy in the Snow these two have flown south from their home on Ellesmere Island to Anchorage, Alaska, for the Iditarod, Bonehead to pull a sled and Edie to support the team.

While waiting for the race to start Edie makes a gruesome discovery that has special meaning to her in light of her own history. Instead of following the race she ends up entwined in a murder investigation involving Russian exiles known as the “Old Believers.”

Trapped on the ice
Many powerful people have a lot to hide in this story and some very strong motivations to do so, which gets Edie and her friend Derek into some treacherous situations. The author does a masterful job of describing the conditions out on the ice at one of the race stops and just what it looks and feels like to be trapped there with no coat or gloves or any hope of rescue.

And while this is not meant to be a funny novel the scenes where Edie teaches herself to drive had me in stitches. She is tiny, but determined and generally fearless.

Make it a cold one
Like many of the mysteries I read I chose this book because of the setting. Alaska is a place I’ve never visited, and arctic locales are oddly interesting to me. I like to read about how humans have adapted to the extreme conditions and how their lives are different than mine as a result.

If you too like mysteries set in frozen locations try The Explorer’s Code by Kitty Pilgrim; if tenacious female characters are your favorites check out any of Nevada Barr’s novels featuring Anna Pigeon.

Need more mysteries? Comment below or send me an email at

About Jen McCormack

Jen McCormack is the director of the Nashua Public Library. Previously she was director of the Tewksbury (Mass.) Public Library and assistant director and reference librarian at the Amesbury (Mass.) Public Library. She studied history at UNH and earned her master's in library and information science from Simmons College.

Comments are closed.