Forgotten Trail by Claire Kells @kathkells @crookedlanebks

Posted November 7, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Forgotten Trail by Claire Kells @kathkells @crookedlanebks Forgotten Trail by Claire Kells
Series: National Parks Mystery #3
Published by Crooked Lane Books on November 7, 2023
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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When a guest turns up dead at the newly-opened Pinnacles Grand Hotel, ISB agent Felicity Harland finds herself summoned to a peculiar scene. A gentle breeze blows in from the balcony window, belying the violence of a man stabbed to death in his hotel room. It’s clear to Harland that this murder was personal, especially when the victim’s wife admits that she wanted him dead.

But Harland isn’t so sure that this was a domestic dispute gone bad. When she hears about the Park Service searching for a missing person out on the trails, she sets out with her partner, Ferdinand “Hux” Huxley, to see if the two cases are connected.

I love mysteries and a National Park setting so this seemed like a great series to read.  I picked up this third book in the National Park Mysteries and planned to read the first two from the library.  For the start of the 4th of July weekend I did. I used an unusual method for reading.  I was able to get the audio and ebook from the library.  I started  Vanishing Edge on ebook and the next day when I was running errands finished it on audio.  Then I listened to An Unforgiving Place on audio and finished it on ebook at bedtime.   I haven’t done that switching that way before.

I enjoyed the first two books which set up the characters and abilities.  Felicity Harland was an FBI agent for 7 years. Then she had a bad injury where she broke her back. Now she works in Investigative Services for the National Parks.   She is smart and capable.  She does pretty well with gathering evidence and making good deductions.  She is smart and knowledgeable about the wilderness areas where she works.  However, she is stupid not to carry her gun with her when she is hunting murderers and talking to possible suspects.

In Vanishing Edge, she works a case in Sequoia National Park in California.  She is based in California.   Hux is a park ranger, retired Navy SEAL, who works with her on the case.  For An Unforgiving Place, Hux is training to join the ISB and they go to Alaska to solve a case.

Forgotten Trail is back in California in Pinnacles National Park.  There’s a hotel just opening in the park.  A man is murdered while there with someone not his wife, and she’s missing. The wife is there however.

Between investigations, Harland has been working cold cases, which also gives Hux time to do his training.  One of the cold cases is a double homicide at this same park leaving a 4 year old boy without his parents.  They come in and start processing the crime scene and investigating.  The FBI comes in for awhile but doesn’t spend much time.  Harland and Hux continue their investigations, searching for the missing girlfriend and for information about the old case.   Technology is something else where this partnership could use some improved skills.

The case was interesting and we knew some things before our team.  Their deductions were clever and they were persistent where the FBI and local park rangers were not.   I enjoyed the cases and the setting of the park.

The other background to the series is the possible relationship between Harland and Hux.  She is technically his supervisor, so she is focused on being professional. But that’s not how they feel.  They get along very well.  Harland was injured when she fell in the Australian wilderness when traveling with her husband.  Her husband went to get help and was never found, presumed dead.  It’s been 3+ years now. Harland has been working through her emotions from that but hopefully she is ready to give Hux a chance now. It will be fascinating to see where things go next.

Anne - Books of My Heart
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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 23-COYER

Posted November 7, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “Forgotten Trail by Claire Kells

  1. I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in this series and this sounds good! I definitely need to pick this one up soon. I love the different National parks as the setting.