To Hell in a Handbasket by Beth Groundwater is the second book in the “Claire Hanover, Gift Basket Designer” mystery series. Publisher: Five Star, May 2009

In this sequel to A Real Basket Case, Colorado Springs gift basket designer Claire Hanover takes a spring ski vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado, with her family. The vacation quickly goes to hell in a handbasket when the sister of her daughter’s boyfriend’ is killed on the ski slope. Others think an out-of-control snowboarder slammed into her, but just before the ski patrol arrived, Claire saw another pair of ski tracks that veered into the young woman’s.

Claire passes her findings on to an initially skeptical sheriff’s detective. Confusing clues point to alternative scenarios for the young woman’s death—which was definitely no accident—and put Claire’s daughter, Judy, in the path of danger. As the spiral of intrigue winds tighter and other deaths occur, Claire must draw on inner reserves of strength to conquer not only the conspiracy but also the winter elements. And, like a mother bear, she must fiercely protect her independent-minded cub from harm.

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and getting to know Claire and her family.  I like how Claire would do anything to protect her family, even if it meant a love loss for her daughter.   I look forward to reading more by this author.  My rating: 4 stars

*new-to-me author

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