Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Review: Scene of the Climb by Kate Dyer-Seeley (Pacific Northwest Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and a fun story
Cons: Pacing could have been better
The Bottom Line:
Hiking accident
Or was it murder?  Find out
In this fun debut

You’ll Fall for This Debut

My efforts to add some exercise and fitness cozies to my reading list started months ago when I got Scene of the Climb.  This debut sounded like fun even though I’m not a super big hiker.  And there the book sat for months until I picked it up to read it last week.  I’m glad I finally got to read it because I enjoyed it.

Recent college grad Meg Reed is living on her friend Jill’s couch and desperately trying to find a job in journalism.  She’s reached the point where she will take any job, which is why she takes a job for Northwest Extreme magazine, which focuses on outdoor activities, something Meg rarely does.  Still, she pretends to enjoy them so she can land the job, hoping she can fake it.

After a couple months doing filler, she lands her first big assignment when Race the States comes to Portland to film their finale.  Meg’s assignment is to interview the contestants on this reality TV show and cover the production, which involves hiking some of the mountains in the area.  Meg is not thrilled since she hates heights.  It doesn’t help when, on a day designated for filming background, Meg sees one of the contestants plunge to his death.  While Lenny wasn’t well liked since he was a jerk, who hated him enough to kill him?

Now I’d love to say that this was a perfect first novel from new author Kate Dyer-Seeley.  Unfortunately, the plotting could have used a little more work to iron out a couple of kinks, mainly the pacing, which was off.  Part of that was because we needed some time to set up Meg getting the job.  Once the story gets going, the book is filled with plenty of events that shine the spotlight on just about all the suspects at some point.  The ending is certainly logical, however it felt a bit rushed.  Still, I was hooked the entire time and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Part of what hooked me was the characters.  Anyone who has a fear of heights worse than mine is a realistic character.  I loved and sympathized with how Meg responded to her assignment and what it brought her way.   The suspects were all fully developed, which added to the mystery since I could picture any of them doing it.  And the series regular characters are strong as well.  There is a potential love triangle set up, and I can tell you I already know which side I’m on.  I can’t wait to read future books to see if Meg is smart enough to pick the right guy.

Plus there’s the matter of the final page.  I saw it coming, but I can’t wait to find out how it plays out in future books.

While not perfect, Scene of the Climb was a very enjoyable debut that promises more great adventures to come.  I’m looking forward to seeing where Meg’s new career takes her next, and I’m sure you’ll be along for the ride as well.

Here are the rest of the Pacific Northwest Mysteries in order.


  1. I definitely agree! I enjoyed this one despite it's flaws and can't wait to see to see where the series goes!

    1. It's always nice to hear someone else feels like you do about a book. Especially in this case where there are flaws but you couldn't help but like it anyway. So thanks!

  2. I enjoyed this one as well, and had a similar reaction (gave it four stars on Amazon). I was, a looooong time ago, a young reporter and she reminded me of me.

    1. Sounds like the character is fairly realistic, in that case.

  3. I have received this one for review, too...it's been sitting here for at least 2 months now, and I'm so wanting to read it but haven't made it that far yet. Thank you for sharing your review! I'm looking forward to reading it.

    1. Make time for it before the sequel comes out! You'll want to read that one, too.