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Peggy Townsend Books In Order

Publication Order of Aloa Snow Mystery Books

See Her Run (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Thin Edge (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Peggy Townsend

Peggy Townsend is an American author and mystery books. She’s also an award-winning newspaper reporter who’s covered diverse stories from serial killers to street kids, and once chased an escaped killer through a graveyard in the middle of the night. She divides her time between a small cabin in Lake Tahoe and Central Coast of California and has two wonderful writing groups that keep her focused on her writing career rather than wandering off the beach or sitting at her home doing nothing. She has lived in a van for two weeks travelling from Central Coast of California to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

See Her Run

The first book in Aloa Snow Mystery series introduces to a former reporter Aloa Snow, who was fired from her job because she came up with a source for a story on Vietnamese nail salon workers. Her story was good, and it exposed the poor working conditions and how the Vietnamese salon workers were abused. However, Aloa’s fictional source tainted her work and left her a pariah in journalism.

Now Aloa is living in her dead grandma’s San Francisco house, which she may also lose for she can’t afford hefty taxes and coping with the anorexia she thought she had overcome. The only friends she has are a couple who own the local bar.

Though she doesn’t want a job offer from Michael Collins, a software designer and wealthy man, she desperately needs. She hasn’t seen him in more than 18 years, and he offers her a huge salary to investigate the alleged suicide of Hayley Poole, who died during his camping vacations in the desert. The story she examines would be for Novo, an self-sufficient newsroom founded by Michael. And despite the animosity between Michael and Aloa because of their past, Aloa nevertheless senses a good story, and bring some justice to Hayley, and salvation for herself. The investigation leads her to a world of corporate intrigue, competitive sports, and corrupt beliefs.

Aloa then receives unexpected help from a group of older people known as anarchists who had their success in the 196—1970’s and now spend their evenings at a local bar. Dubbed the Brain Farm, the men not only do they prove to be formidable investigators but also prove that their skills are still viable. They also add some humor to the story as they educate themselves about social media and technology. Peggy Townsend has woven a sophisticated plot and a richly diverse cast of characters. Aloa’s mistake railroaded her and left her adrift. Luckily the story helps her to tap into her journalism skills and prove herself not only to others but also to herself. Working again for what she trained for allows her to deal with her eating disorder, which the author intelligently explores. In addition the author’s sense of place puts the reader right in the middle of San Francisco and its environs.

See Her Run is a refreshing read with a flawed heroine who many readers can relate to. While we don’t have an unreliable narrator, instead we have a narrator with past demons and troubles that play a part in her psyche. Aloa isn’t only trying to figure out what happened with the case she’s working on, but she’s also trying to figure out her life and her problems. In life, we all have our struggles which play a part in our decision making and how we handle stress.

The Thin Edge

Peggy Townsend delivers an outstanding read in her second book in Aloa Snow series about an investigative reporter Aloa that may overshadow the first book in the series. The author’s attention to detail and plotting elevate the novel.

The most important point at issue in Townsend’s series is the heroine’s journey to reclaim her career and her belief of self-worth. Two years earlier, Aloa lost her job for inventing a fictional source for a report she did for the Los Angeles Times. While her story exposed how the workers where abused, her source tainted her work. Now a San Francisco resident and barely getting by, her redemption comes to her in form of Novo, an independent newsroom. Her previous story, covered in the first book in the series allowed her career back on track, though she’s always been under a cloud.

Aloa’s latest story melds both her professional and personal life. The Brain Farm, a group of ageing anarchists, who in some way adopted Aloa, requests her help. Tick demands her to prove that his estranged son Burns never killed Corrine, the wife to a retired FBI agent Christian who now has paraplegia after a fatal car crash. Burns had an affair with Corrine and was in the area when she was stabbed.

Sharpening her investigative and reporting skills, Aloa’s investigations lead her to a homeless camp from which four people have been killed and then to the church of the Sacrificial Lamb.

The Thin Edge is a story that moves at a quick pace with minimum violence as the author focuses mostly on character development. The appealing the protagonist calculates daily on how to manage her disorder that almost killed her years ago. She now has a family of her own- Brain Farm, Erik and his husband, Guillermo. Although these three are friends, they are more like a family to her. We should all strive to have friends like these. They care deeply for Aloa, and if she doesn’t show up at least once a day at the local bar, they will always come looking for her. This book finds San Francisco caught up in the midst of a Tule fog that envelope the city. Obscuring visibility the fog can be considered a good metaphor for the evil that hides in the plain sight.

There are multiple storylines in the book. One is the first murder case where the victim was married to the former FBI agent. However the author does a beautiful job of blending the different storylines, fleshing out the character as well as secondary cast such that the reader never gets confused.

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