Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Iditarod & Henry's Murder on the Iditarod Trail

For those who enjoyed the Retirement Homes Are Murder recommendation from our retirement home post, we have another murder mystery for you.  But first, the news. 

From today's NPR article "Winning Musher Is Oldest Champion In Iditarod History:"
"Mitch Seavey scored one for the AARP-eligible crowd Tuesday night by becoming the oldest champion in Iditarod history," the Anchorage Daily News writes this morning. According to Alaska Public Telecommunications, the 53-year-old Seavey crossed the finish line at 10:39 p.m. local time on Tuesday — 2:39 a.m. ET Wednesday. It has "checkpoint to checkpoint" coverage of the race posted here. The Daily News says Seavey and his team of sled dogs finished the 1,000-mile race in "9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, 56 seconds." His team was led by "Tanner, a 6-year-old, orange-brown husky." Before this, the oldest musher to have led his team to victory was Jeff King. He was 50 when he won the race in 2006, the Daily News says. Seavey and his son Dallas are now the oldest and youngest winning mushers in Iditarod history. Dallas Seavey was 25 when he won the race in 2012. Mitch Seavey has won the Iditarod twice.

Want some Iditarod fiction? Try Sue Henry's Murder on the Iditarod Trail:
The winner of Alaska's world-famous Iditarod -- a grueling, eleven-hundred-mile dog sled race across a frigid Arctic wilderness---takes home a $250,000 purse. But this year, the prize is survival. Only the toughest and the most able come to compete in this annual torturous test of endurance, skill, and courage. Now, suddenly and inexplicably, the top Iditarod contestants are dying one by one in bizarre and gruesome ways. Jessie Arnold, Alaska's premier female "musher," fears she may be the next intended victim, but nothing is going to prevent her from aggressively pursuing the glory and the rewards that victory brings.
Oh yeah. Agatha Christie meets Jack London.

 If you're not into mysteries, you could try something by Hatchet-man Gary Paulsen. His dog-sledding books include both Winderdancea non-fiction account of his Iditarod experiences, and Dogsong, a young adult novel about an Eskimo boy's epic sled journey:
Something is bothering Russel Susskit. He hates waking up to the sound of his father's coughing, the smell of diesel oil, the noise of snow machines starting up. Only Oogruk, the shaman who owns the last team of dogs in the village, understands Russel's longing for the old ways and the songs that celebrated them. But Oogruk cannot give Russel the answers he seeks; the old man can only prepare him for what he must do alone. Driven by a strange, powerful dream of a long-ago self and by a burning desire to find his own song, Russel takes Oogruk's dogs on an epic journey of self-discovery that will change his life forever.

And while there's no Iditarod in Jack London's The Call of the Wild, there is a lot of dog sledding action, so you might want to give that a shot as well:
The story takes place in the extreme conditions of the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush, where strong sled dogs were in high demand. After Buck, a domesticated dog, is snatched from a pastoral ranch in California, he is sold into a brutal life as a sled dog.

UPDATE:  there's a good review of Murder on the Iditarod Trail on the St. Thomas Dog Blog.

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