“The brisk narrative is bolstered by stellar dialogue … A smart and indelible crime tale with skillfully interwoven storylines.”
Kirkus Reviews (Complete review here.)
"The fine writing ... makes The Melancholy Howl more literary than mystery series and an absorbing read, even if this is your first Allison Coil mystery."
The Denver Post
“With The Melancholy Howl, Mark Stevens delivers another in his fine series of Colorado-based mysteries. In this, his fifth outing, Stevens tackles the effects, good and bad, brought on by the recent changes in Colorado law governing the cultivation and sale of marijuana. His profound sense of the landscape and his gifted storyteller’s voice shepherd a complex braid of plot lines unerringly among the cast of characters his growing legion of fans have come to love. Stevens writes with a rugged, sometimes spiritual, beauty that clearly rises out of a deep love for the land he now calls home.”
William Kent Krueger, New York Times best-selling author of Desolation Mountain
“Packed with beautiful descriptions of Colorado’s wilderness, razor-sharp dialogue and savvy insights on the state’s burgeoning marijuana business, Stevens delivers a commanding mystery and compelling portrait of intriguing characters grappling with timely issues. When Allison Coil comes across a man tied to a tree, she becomes entangled with dangerous smugglers and also finds that a friend of hers is missing. Very few authors do dialogue as deftly as Stevens does, and paired with poignant prose, interwoven plots, and smart twists, Stevens has given us yet another gem of a novel that’s impossible to put down.”
Christine Carbo, author of the Glacier Mystery Series including A Sharp Solitude
“The Allison Coil series hooks from the very beginning and only gets better with each new book. This one is no exception. The Melancholy Howl transports readers to the true Colorado: where behind every majestic mountain, inside every wild wilderness, and beside the so-called solid politician is a shadow hiding something dark and dangerous. The refreshingly stripped-down prose makes the novel move like a raft through class IV rapids. A thrilling, surprising ride alongside great characters. And a ride well worth taking.”
Erik Storey, author of the Clyde Barr thriller series including Nothing Short of Dying and A Promise to Kill
“Stevens offers a terrific ride! Masterful pacing, a rip-roaring plot, smart dialogue, and fascinating characters—the good guys and the bad—all make The Melancholy Howl a smoking-hot thriller that will keep you turning pages through the night. Those familiar with Allison Coil and her band of friends will love slipping back into their lives. And new readers will enjoy a chance to meet characters who are wonderfully drawn and just plain good company. A bonus—the book provides an intelligent and clear-eyed look at the pros and cons of Colorado’s decision to legalize marijuana.”
Barbara Nickless, author of the Sydney Parnell crime novels including Blood on the Tracks
“I don’t know what I enjoy most about Mark Stevens’ Allison Coil mysteries: his spot-on descriptions of the Rocky Mountains in all their cruel grandeur or his pitch-perfect dialogue. The Melancholy Howl is a wonderful addition to a captivating series and to the subgenre of outdoor mysteries.”
Paul Doiron, author Stay Hidden (The Mike Bowditch Mystery Series)
"In The Melancholy Howl, heroine Allison Coil sheds light on the dark side of Colorado's marijuana industry, while author Mark Stevens delivers plenty of outdoor action and smokin' hot suspense."
Margaret Mizushima, author of Burning Ridge and the Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series
"Stevens masterfully weaves his story back and forth, building narrative tension every step of the way—until you have to know how it all ends. His best book yet."
Stephen Singular, New York Times best-selling author