Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great wrap up to series long stories
Cons: Series arcs weaken this book’s mystery
The Bottom Line:
Murder in a cave
As we reach end of series
Wraps up mostly well
Death Deep Underground
Having a series long story arc can be tricky. If you drag it out too long, the audience gets bored. And if you get canceled, you might leave your readers hanging. Fortunately, neither of those things happened with the Pacific Northwest Mysteries, which means fans will be happy with In Cave Danger.
Meg Reed’s next assignment for Northwest Extreme magazine takes her to Bend, Oregon. She’s supposed to write about the caves made out of lava tubes. The assignment has another angle to it since the use of the land is currently being debated and a bill could make private use of the public land legal.
Meg is part of a group will be given special tours by the rangers at the park. The legislation makes for a very tense welcome reception, but it doesn’t prepare Meg for the next morning. When the group makes their way down to the cave floor, they find a dead body. What is happening?
Since this story takes place a couple of hours from Meg’s native Portland, it takes a little while to get going. In fact, we are almost a quarter of the way into the book before Meg starts meeting the victim and suspects. That time is spent updating us on the series regulars and several ongoing storylines. As a fan of the series and characters, it was nice to find out what was going on with everyone, but someone new to the series will be bored.
And let’s be perfectly clear. By this point in the series, I true love these characters. The regulars are a fun group, and it is wonderful to spend time with them again. I really did intend to get to this book quicker than I did since the last book left us with things very much up in the air in Meg’s life. While this book does leave things a little open at the end for some of these threads, we can see where Meg might land and we have a sense of resolution to things even if all the details aren’t in place yet.
Meanwhile, there is a major mystery from Meg’s past that we need resolution to. Don’t worry, we get it here in spades. Fans will be thrilled with how things turn out, in fact.
However, it does impact the mystery introduced in this book. We have some good suspects and secrets, but at the end, I felt it was a tad weak. Ultimately, this is a minor issue for me, however.
And if Meg’s location inspires you, you’ll find some tips and information on the area featured in the book at the end.
While the door is open for further adventures with Meg, In Cave Danger provides a satisfactory conclusion to the series. Meg’s many fans will be happy with how things wind up here.
If you've missed earlier books, check out the rest of the Pacific Northwest Mysteries.