Elena Taylor

A Cold, Cold World

A female sheriff tries to fill her late father’s boots and be the sheriff her small Washington State mountain town needs as a deadly snow storm engulfs the area in this dark, and twisty mystery.

“Riveting …” Library Journal Starred Review

Eddie Shoes Mystery Series

Available in eBook & paperback

About the Book

A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery

The world felt pure. Nature made the location pristine again, hiding the scene from prying eyes. As if no one had died there at all.

In the months since Bet Rivers solved her first murder investigation and secured the sheriff’s seat in Collier, she’s remained determined to keep her town safe. With a massive snowstorm looming, it’s more important than ever that she stays vigilant.

When Bet gets a call that a family of tourists has stumbled across a teen injured in a snowmobile accident on a mountain ridge, she braves the storm to investigate. However, once she arrives at the scene of the accident it’s clear to Bet that the teen is not injured; he’s dead. And has been for some time . . .

Investigating a possible homicide is hard enough, but with the worst snowstorm the valley has seen in years threatening the safety of her town, not to mention the integrity of her crime scenes – as they seem to be mounting up as well – Bet has to move fast to uncover the complicated truth and prove that she’s worthy of keeping her father’s badge.

“A terrific ensemble cast in a total immersion setting! When the brutal environment is as diabolical as the bad guys, intrepid Sheriff Bet Rivers must battle impossible odds in this page-turning mystery. Fans of CJ Box and Julia Spencer-Fleming will adore this novel – it’s whipsmart, completely cinematic, and full of heart. Not to be missed!”

― Hank Phillippi Ryan 

USA Today best selling author of One Wrong Word

The Buzz

“Smart, action-packed suspense.”
Lisa Gardner
#1 New York Times bestselling author
“Atmospheric and addictive, Elena Tayor’s All We Buried is a suspenseful slide into the heart of a remote mountain town where the residents are as deep and dark as their glacial lake. You’ll stay up all night to finish this novel.”
Nichole Christoff
Author of The Kill Chain
“Let’s hope this is the start of a long-lived series!”
Jenny Milchman
USA Today bestselling author of Cover of Snow and Wicked River
“In this seductive mystery Sheriff Bet Rivers homecoming to Lake Collier after the death of her father raises secrets as deep and cold as the glacial lake in which the body of a young woman is found.”
Nina Sadowsky
Author of The Burial Society and The Empty Bed

Join the Community

Elena Hartwell

Elena Taylor spent several years working in theater as a playwright, director, designer, and educator before turning her storytelling skills to fiction. Her first series, the Eddie Shoes Mysteries, written under the name Elena Hartwell, introduced a quirky mother/daughter crime fighting duo.

With the Sheriff Bet Rivers Mysteries, Elena returns to her dramatic roots and brings readers much more serious and atmospheric novels. Located in her beloved Washington State, Elena uses her connection to the environment to produce tense and suspenseful investigations for a lone sheriff in an isolated community.

Elena is also a senior editor with Allegory Editing, a developmental editing house, where she works one-on-one with writers to shape and polish manuscripts, short stories, and plays. If you’d like to work with Elena, visit www.allegoryediting.com.

(Photo credit: Mark Perlstein)

Her favorite place to be is at Paradise, the property she and her hubby own south of Spokane, Washington. They live with their horses, dogs, and cats. Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

A Story About


Sheriff Bet Rivers starts out her career with a difficult case, a Jane Doe floating in the local lake. That was tough enough, but A Cold, Cold World pits Sheriff Bet Rivers against cold-hearted criminals and a monster storm. Everything is against her as she faces her biggest challenges yet.


Atmospheric and dark, the Sheriff Bet Rivers series includes a strong, independent female sheriff, a stalwart septuagenarian, and a loyal canine. Spend time in Collier, Washington, where the quiet small-town vibe sometimes covers the very worst of humanity, alongside an environment that can swallow a person whole, leaving not even ripples behind.


One of my favorite aspects of writing fiction is research. I love to learn about police procedures and the psychology of the criminal mind. While I use a lot of research for Chance Parker, homicide detective, in my Eddie Shoes books, it was both a challenge and a thrill to create a sheriff as the protagonist for All We Buried and A Cold, Cold World. I'm lucky to have experts in the field to call upon to fact-check my work. I'm grateful to all the experts who have helped me throughout my career.

Contact The Author

For media and press inquiries:

Marissa DeCuir
President & Partner
(615) 576-0709


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