Zero-Degree Murder

Zero-Degree Murder

by M.L. Rowland

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback)




Search and rescue expert Gracie Kinkaid risks her life on a daily basis to save strangers. But going up against a coldhearted murderer is one kind of danger she’s not prepared for…

As a volunteer for Timber Creek Search and Rescue, missing out on holiday festivities is nothing new to Gracie. After all, disasters don’t stop happening because of a cooked turkey. So when Gracie is called out on Thanksgiving for four hikers missing in the wilderness of Southern California, she packs up her gear and heads out to find them.

The mission quickly goes from routine to deadly. An early season blizzard sets in. The one missing person the team does find, famous actor Rob Christian, remembers being attacked by someone else on the trail, someone trying to kill him. And Gracie’s partner leaves to get backup, taking the radio—their only link to the outside world—with him.

Alone in the mountains, Gracie will have to use all her expertise to keep Rob alive. But with an unknown killer lurking somewhere in the dark, even that might not be enough to save them…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425263662
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/07/2014
Series: A Search and Rescue Mystery Series , #1
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A former search and rescue worker for over a decade, M. L. Rowland lives with her family on the Arkansas River in Colorado.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This exciting, seriously good adventure debut deserves a place in your book carts. With her spunky female leading the way, Rowland dishes out generous portions of adrenaline rush. While the mystery plot is slim, her adventure writing style has real flair."—Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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Zero-Degree Murder 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
Making the reader feel like they are in the middle of the action is a sure-fired way to draw them in and make them want to read more. Author M.L. Rowland does an excellent job of this in the first installment in her new Search and Rescue Mystery series. ZERO-DEGREE MURDER grabs the reader and holds their attention until the very end. Search and rescue expert Gracie Kinkaid is familiar with working on holidays as a volunteer for Timber Creek Search and Rescue. When four hikers are reported missing on Thanksgiving, Gracie and her partner, Steve, gear up and head out. An early season blizzard makes the search more difficult. They finally locate one of the missing group, famous actor Rob Christian. All Christian recalls is being attacked by someone. Steve goes to get backup taking their only radio and leaving Gracie to care for the injured Christian. Gracie has to use her expertise to keep them both alive as she comes to realize there really is a killer lurking somewhere on the mountain with them. Rowland, using her extensive rescue background and an eye for details, brings the scene to life. Readers can feel the cold, isolation and terror as the story unfolds. The story flows smoothly with twists and turns keeping on the edge of your seat guessing what will happen next. The characters are well-balanced, likable and very realistic. The protagonist is spunky and fearless when needed, but with her own flaws. The interaction among the search and rescue group plays out well and gives the story depth. ZERO-DEGREE MURDER is a tantalizing debut for a stunning new series providing readers with information and entertainment values. Gracie is a courageous protagonist you’ll want to see again and again. FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a life-long mystery fan, I’m always looking for something new and different to read. I live in the Pacific Northwest and love the outdoors, so when I found a new mystery involving search and rescue in the California mountains, I couldn’t wait to read the book. Now that I’ve read it, I can’t wait to read the next one in the series! I loved the protagonist, Gracie. She is all at once tough, highly competent, resourceful, strong-willed, pragmatic even in the face of her fears, and yet vulnerable in so many ways. The author does a great job of breathing life into all of her characters, and the descriptive writing was so vivid it often made me feel like I was there, watching the action play out. Also, getting to learn something about the search and rescue process and survival tips from someone who clearly knows her stuff was fun and interesting. Overall, I found the book to be well-written, unique, suspenseful, and so engrossing I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fiction of any kind, but especially mysteries, thrillers, and adventure novels.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
M.L. Rowland brings readers the first book in her new Search and Rescue Mystery series, Zero-Degree Murder. Readers may learn a little bit more than whodunit with this book. The survival and rescue techniques set this book apart. As a former search and rescue provider Rowland knows what she's talking about and it's apparent on every page. With a killer on the loose, a blizzard coming in and wayward rock star to protect, Gracie Kinkaid isn't having the perfect Thanksgiving. Readers will love the urgency of the plot and the genuine spirit of the heroine. A great first in a series book! What I liked: The search and rescue theme may not be completely new ground for the cozy sub-genre but it isn't a common one. I liked the theme a lot being a hiker myself. I love the outdoors in any weather and I thought this theme created all kinds of new avenues to explore for a cozy. It may have straddled the line between mystery and suspense a bit closer than I thought it would, but that didn't take a way from the originality of the plot and the way that Rowland was able to draw the reader in.  Extreme circumstances always have a way of getting under the readers skin quickly. In Zero-Degree Murder you not only have a possible murder with a killer still on the loose, but you also the extreme weather and safety issues to add to the urgency of the story. It really ramped up the action of plot. Rowland most certainly knows what she's talking about when she describes search and rescue techniques and survival tactics. I was really engrossed by the details and felt like I had been educated as well as entertained in this novel. Gracie Kinkaid is a great heroine. I liked her from the very start. She had moxie to be sure. She wasn't afraid to go out there and try to find the missing party. And she knew when they found Rob that she had to protect him and get him back safely even if she was out there with a murderer. I liked the way Rowland allowed Gracie to mull over the suspects and the clues and find new ways to think about the possible crime. If every amateur sleuth always got it right the first time that would be boring. But I thought Gracie's thought processes were very enjoyable as she puzzled it all out for herself and the reader. Rowland shows a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to what happens with Gracie next. There are so many ways the author could take this series. That's one of the things that I find enjoyable about reading a new author. Though I may have read books about the subject or theme before, each author has a different take or perception that is unique to them and I liked how Rowland thought.  What I didn't like: When the book first started out I wasn't sure Gracie was going to be able to pull this off. I thought maybe she wasn't a strong enough heroine. But as I continued to read Zero-Degree Murder I got better acquainted with her and thought her character growth allowed her to show her strengths. In the end I liked her a lot. I was also not sure this was a cozy in the true sense of the word because there was a lot more suspense than usual. Bottom Line: I liked this one a lot after I got started. I feel in love with the theme and with Gracie. Zero-Degree Murder may be that book that crosses the barriers between cozy mystery and suspense, but that's a good thing. It opens it up to a whole other audience that most cozies don't reach. It's a really good first in a series book and I'm looking forward to more from M.L. Rowland.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great, non-stop coaster ride. The action was non-stop. I didn't want to stop reading and I was sorry for it to end. The setting (southern California mountains) was unique and interesting and the plot was compelling (Gracie and movie star, Rob Christian, stalked by a truly creepy killer while trying to stay alive out in the wilderness. I thought the characters, even the minor ones, were well-drawn out and interesting, some of them fun, some not-so-fun!  This is a great read, the first in a new series. I can't wait to see what Gracie gets herself into (and out of) next! 
Indydb More than 1 year ago
love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a new murder mystery series. If the next editions are anything like Zero Degree Murder this new author will definitely deserve any accolades she receives. Excellently plotted, dynamic characters, well described locales, and a nasty villain make this a first time winner for the author. For those fans of murder mysteries and the Great Outdoors this book should be at the top of their reading list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I very much enjoy reading murder mysteries, particularly ones that become a series. I loved the character of Gracie and can't wait for the next book to come out. It mixes in just enough reality to make you believe the story but also enough excitement and mystery to make you want to keep reading. I read this book in record pace as I didn't want to put it down. If you like the work of Nevada Barr and the character of Anna Pigeon, you will love the work of ML Rowland and her character Gracie.
mstd More than 1 year ago
I have been looking for someone like nevada barr
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Gracie Kinkaid is the only female member of her Search and Rescue squad. When they are called out on Thanksgiving to find some missing hikers she is not surprised when she is not named the leader of the 2 person team, but she thinks it will be a routine mission so she doesn’t push the fact that she has more experience. Things go quickly awry when an early season blizzard hits the search area. They find one hiker who is hurt and he thinks someone tried to kill him and Gracie believes him. Her partner heads back to a place where their radio has reception to call for backup. This lives Gracie and the hiker alone on the mountain. She needs to use all of her knowledge to keep them safe all the while wondering if a killer it trying to find them and permanently cover his tracks. Dollycas’s Thoughts An excellent start to what is going to be a great series. Grace is between regular jobs but she volunteers with the Timber Creek Search and Rescue. She has the talents and training to excel at this but can’t settle down to an occupation that pays a salary. I think this sells the character a little short. It gives her time to go out on the rescues but she is clearly a very strong, smart woman that can handle herself. Maybe after this rescue her confidence will build. I know in stories like this the protagonist has to be an amateur but Grace could probably have quite a career in any of the emergency services. I can really see this character growing as the series continues. The suspense starts in this story from page one. Hiking in the mountains has many dangers from getting lost to slips or falls that could be deadly to animals looking for a human snack. Adding a killer to the trail amps everything up to a high level or terror. The author uses the short chapter format that also adds to the feeling that you just can’t put the book down. She also describes the scene and the scenery vividly making it very easy to picture in your mind. I have learned the author was part of a search and rescue team herself and her knowledge and experience shine through in this story. I highly recommend this one. The only drawback was that I read this during the frigid “polar vortex” and it takes place during a blizzard in zero degree weather so it truly gave me the shivers. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the next book in this series to find out what Gracie is up to next! I loved her and the other characters in this book. I didn't want to stop reading and didn't want the book to end. Exciting and suspenseful. A real page turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great first book, looking forward to the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this before. I liked it the first time around. I was looking forward to more from this author and with this character. It has been a while and so I decided to read it again. Now I realize why I liked it. It was a story about an adventure of rescue and survival. On top of that it was a mixture of human portrait. Great read most definitely recommended.
RplusR More than 1 year ago
An exciting adventure story As advertised, this is very much an exciting adventure story. Very much a page turner as the author switches viewpoints from heroine to villain to those concerned about the heroine. At first I thought that I wasn't going to like Grace, the heroine, but, as the story progressed, I warmed up to her. So, if you feel the novel gets off to a shaky start, have patience. The biggest negative is that one of the unsympathetic characters, not a villain but not someone you are suppose to like, is too overdone. This detracts from the realism of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
not know about the writer i was apprehensive to read it. once i started i could not stop. great story and kept me on the edge untill the end
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Zero-Degree Murder - A Search And Rescue Mystery Book 1 Author: M L Rowland Publisher: Berkley Crime Drama Published: 11-11-2014 ISBN: 9780425263662 E-Book: B00COOFQOA Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery Tags: Thriller, Suspense, Women Sleuths Sensual Level: Mild Overall Rating: Great Reviewed For: NetGalley Reviewer: DelAnne There is no such thing as a holiday for those who are members of a search and rescue team; as Gracie Kinkaid is well aware. This Thanksgiving she and Steve Cashman are sent out to find a party of four missing hikers. With a blizzard approaching they manage to find one, the well known actor Rob Christian. They find shelter for themselves and the injured Rob before Steve heads out looking for help taking the radio with him. Remaining behind to take care of Rob, Gracie realizes Rob's story of being attacked and seeing someone murdered are real. The killer now is coming after Rob and anyone who gets in the way of his prey. From the first word to the last Zero-Degree Murder - A Search And Rescue Mystery Book 1 is jam packed with action and suspense. I found M. L. Rowland's style so easy to follow and reminiscent of Navada Barr's Anna Pigeon series; another of my favorite authors that gives us glimpses of their areas of expertise. I read that M. L. Rowland had experience in search and rescue and could not wait to read this book to learn more about these people who risk their lives to help strangers. Much like Ms. Barr's work, Ms. Rowland has taken to time to give us an understanding of the effort and dedication Gracie and other members of the Timber Creek SAR are required to give to always be prepared to act at a moment's notice. The danger and suspense in this story kept me involved until the final scene. I will definitely enjoy reading the next book in the series Murder Off The Beaten Path. I can hardly wait for its release in October 2014. If you want to find a new series filled with strong, well-developed characters; an intriguing story that leaves you waiting to learn more of their lives, then this is the story and series for you. Start your adventure today and pick up a copy of Zero-Degree Murder - A Search And Rescue Mystery. You will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This boom was a great fast paced mystery. I really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy, suspenseful, fun, interesting read. I loved it!
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Gracie Kincaid can’t settle down with a job or in life, but she knows she’s a decent member of the volunteer Timber Creek Search and Rescue crew. Even though it’s Thanksgiving, she’s happier being alone. So when a rescue call comes in, she’s relieved. Due to her boss’ boss being a misogynist (and plain nasty), Steve Cashman is given the lead on their team of two, even though Gracie is more qualified to lead. They’re called out to rescue a hiking party which includes Rob Christian, a famous actor. When they find him, he recalls a fight and someone trying to kill him. Is the danger over or has the fight to survive just begun? ZERO-DEGREE MURDER started out a little slow for me, but picked up speed quickly. This book did feel like a second or third book in a series rather than the first. I wish we could have gotten more of Gracie’s story in detail. Maybe there will be a prequel or another book in the series which has a mystery regarding her past? The writing is very descriptive and you easily get a sense of the mood. The characters are good, but I wish I was able to better connect with them. ZERO-DEGREE MURDER is a good start to this series and I see a lot of potential for Gracie to grow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Could Have Used More Warmth   Gracie Kinkaid is spending a quiet Thanksgiving at home, so she is one of the few volunteers who responds when four hikers go missing up on the mountain during a Thanksgiving afternoon hike.  Unfortunately, she is paired with Steve Cashman, the one volunteer she can’t stand because he is always out to grab the spotlight.  And he will definitely be out to grab the spotlight in this case since one of the missing persons is famous actor Rob Christian.   Gracie and Cashman haven’t been on the trail too long before they find Rob.  However, there are no signs of the rest of the hikers and Rob is injured.  Worse yet, they are out of radio range and a snow storm is in the forecast.  However, what they don’t know is that there is a killer on the loose hunting them as well.  Will they survive?  Where are the rest of the hikers?   I bought this book expecting something more serious and suspenseful than the books I normally read but still on the lighter side.  After all, it was published by Berkley Prime Crime.  However, it is definitely not a cozy because it has plenty of foul language and violence.  I have to admit I’m sure both were realistic, but I didn’t appreciate them in the story.   Once I got into the proper mindset, I did try to enjoy the book for what it was.  It tried to be a thriller with plenty of point of view changes to let us know what everyone was up to.  Sadly, I felt the pacing lagged and the characters were a tad familiar.  And I’m still trying to figure out what the purpose of the first chapter was.  There were moments of great writing here and I definitely got caught up in the story at times, but it didn’t quite work like it should have.   Yes, part of my problem with this book was a matter of expectations.  But I still think the execution of what the author was trying to do could have been better as well.  It’s not a bad book, but it’s not all the great either.
mcm99 More than 1 year ago
This was a below average book. The plot was boring, there was really no mystery to it and the characters were quite shallow. I gave it more then one star because the author did successfully set the location, you reaalt felt that you were stranded on a mountain. Too bad it was with cardboard cut-outs for characters.