Review: Slayer by Kiersten White

A fantasy set in the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” Universe

Slayer

by Kiersten White

Narrator: Madeleine Maby

Genre: YA Fantasy

Setting: Buffy Universe

Source: Audiobook, Library

Publishing Date: 2019

404 pages (12 hours)

Synopsis: Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

My Thoughts

Before I started the book I hadn’t realized the book was actually in the Buffy universe. That was something I really enjoyed. I liked the glimpses we got of Buffy and I liked that this book is mostly from the Watchers point of view. The book starts after the TV series ends, I think. (I haven’t watched any Buffy for a long time.) Might need to re-watch some of it since I really did enjoy it.

I thought this book had lots of promise. A watcher becomes a slayer! That sounds so great. I also liked the idea of hearing from the watcher side of things.

Too much angst

This book was a little too angsty for me. That’s why I don’t enjoy YA books very much anymore. I must confess I’m tired of all the teenage angst most of them have. I don’t mind reading about young protagonists, but I want some of the second-guessing themselves, constantly changing their mind and worrying about how they look all the time as well as the forbidden lovers trope kept to a minimum. This had a little too much of all that for me especially at the end. (However, this is more my problem than the book’s problem! But it is why I don’t read many young adult books.)

Characters don’t listen

I was also irritated when Nina wouldn’t listen to people. Sometimes you need to go your own way or follow your instincts, but if Nina had listened more and thought about things she wouldn’t have made some of the choices she did. Artemis, her twin sister, also irritated me by not listening to people—especially not listening to Nina whom she was supposed to love so much and whom Artemis had spent her life protecting. That was really irritating.

Bottom line

I listened to the audiobook and I thought the narrator did a good job. However, I probably won’t continue reading this series. It’s just not the series for me.

My Rating: B-
Narrator Rating: B+

Review: Emma: An Audible Original Drama by Jane Austen

Emma Thompson & a full supporting cast perform a Jane Austen classic

Emma: An Audible Original Drama by Jane Austen
Emma: An Audible Original Drama by Jane Austen (Anna Lea, Adaptation Author)

Series: None

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Classic

Setting: Surrey, England

Source: Audible, Sep 2018 member benefit

Note: I received this book for free as an Audible Original Member Benefit. That didn’t influence my review.

Narrator: Emma Thompson with a full supporting cast (see below)

Publishing Date: 1815 (2018 for the Audible version)

Duration: 8 hours, 21 minutes

Synopsis: This Audible Original production of Jane Austen’s Emma is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Walliams & Friend, Morgana Robinson’s the Agency), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine.

Before she began writing, Jane Austen wrote, ‘I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like’ and thus introduces the handsome, clever, rich – and flawed – Emma Woodhouse. Emma is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage; nothing, however, delights her more than matchmaking her fellow residents of Highbury. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected.

This lively comedy of manners, with its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, is often seen as Jane Austen’s masterpiece.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd. 

My thoughts

I really enjoyed this presentation of Emma. Each character is voiced by a different actor and they do a great job. I love Emma Thompson as an actor and she is the narrator of this story. She did a wonderful job. I was totally immersed in the story. I haven’t listened to many dramatizations before and want to listen to more now that I’ve listened to this story.

It’s been a long time since I read this book by Jane Austen, but I’ve always remembered it as a favorite of mine. Jane Austen is always a good observer of society while also creating a very enjoyable story. I like that Austen writes about a character who’s not likable whom we end up liking, because she has learned a lot during the course of the book.

Emma

Even though Emma isn’t very likable during much of the book she’s certainly a force to contend with! I like that she grows and matures a lot and is self-aware enough to acknowledge and learn from her mistakes. She has to learn there are consequences to her actions. She learns some harsh lessons, but is a better person for it. She’s not the same person she was when the book began.

Bottom line

I very much recommend this dramatization.

My Rating: A

Dramatization Rating: A

Have you read any books by Jane Austen? What about full cast dramatizations? Do you like them?

Review: Critically Endangered by N.S. Austin

Post apocalyptic story–a human survives with the help of dogs

critically-endangered by n.s. austin
Critically Endangered
by N.S. Austin

Series: Endangered #1

Genre: Science Fiction, Post Appocalyptic

Setting: Future Earth

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2016

342 pages

Synopsis: Karen, a veteran and semi-retired professional demographer, watches from the safety of her home as the world she knows crumbles around her. She views the horror of humanity’s annihilation via cable television and the internet, until they too are gone. There is no time to understand the inexplicable sickness that takes everyone. Karen’s daughter dies in her arms. Her husband and son never return. When she gets sick it is almost a mercy. 

And then she wakes up. Tillie and Raider, her dogs are all that is left. Whatever has caused the near extinction of human life, it has spared the rest of the animal kingdom. On her first trip out she finds a planet that is unalterably changed, not with a bang but with a whimper. Karen gathers a pack of canines as companions and helpers. Among her furry partners are two very special German shepherds that appear to be more than just man’s best friend. 

My thoughts

This is a post apocalyptic book and I haven’t read one for a while. The book is very readable and I quickly read it and enjoyed it. Not everything about why and how were answered by the end of the book, but that’s okay.

I Like the Cover!

The cover of the book is what first drew me in. I’m loving reading books about dogs–especially dogs trained to help humans in various ways. I thought this book might be about a search-and-rescue dog. I found it was a much different kind of book once I read the synopsis, but I was intrigued.

A Few Quibbles

This book does wrap-up the story by the end of the book. I like when a book is a complete story and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but I thought this book was a little too neat and gave a lot of information away. Another quibble with the book: I didn’t think it needed a prologue. However, these are minor things and didn’t keep me from liking the book a lot.

The Dogs

The book has lots about dogs and I love that. The dogs are Karen’s constant companions, helpers and friends. They help keep her safe, but they also help keep her sane when she doesn’t find any other survivors. Each dog she finds and helps also help her. I love that aspect of the book.

Self-Published Book

This is a self-published book and I thought the author did a good job with it. The cover is excellent. That’s one of the first things I look at when I see a self-published book. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but too many self-published books have terrible-looking covers. I like that at the end of the book the author talks about her self-publishing process.

My Rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

Distopian urban fantasy set in the SW United States with lots of action, great characters and a good story

An Easy Death
by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy, dystopian, alternate history

Setting: Texoma (combination of Texas and Oklahoma), Western United States, Mexico

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: 2018

336 pages

Synopsis: Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive. 

My thoughts

I’ve read quite a few Charlaine Harris books–the Aurora Teagarden series, Lily Bard series, Sookie Stackhouse series as well as other books she’s written. This is one of my favorites that she’s written. The book has an interesting story, engaging characters and really good world building.

Gunnie Rose

Gunnie Rose is so much fun to read about. The book is written in first person and Ms. Harris really does a great job making Gunnie Rose unique. Part of doing that is the language and also the way she talks and thinks:

“I don’t want to have nothing to do with you,” I said. My mother would have given me the evil eye for bad grammar, but she wasn’t there and I was out of civil.

Lizbeth Rose aka “Gunnie Rose” is a gunnie who makes her living using her guns to protect other people and/or caravans of goods–basically anyone who will pay for her for protection.

It was going to be that kind of day. Brushed my teeth, didn’t die. Stepped outside, didn’t get shot. Ate breakfast, didn’t get poisoned. Got in our hotel, nobody waiting.

Alternate history

I like the way Charlaine Harris weaves in history we’re familiar with into this world. For example, the Russian Revolution occurs, but much of the west coast of the United States is now the Holy Russian Empire where what was left of the royal family escaped. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President of the United States, but was assassinated in the 1930’s.

Bottom Line

This book has lots of action, magic, great characters and a twisty story. And an important aspect for me–I really want to read the next book!

I’m very happy that the second book in this series–A Longer Fall–is slotted to come out in January 2020.

My Rating: B+

Have you read this book or any other books by this author? Did you like them?

Review: Hurricane by Janet Edwards

Hurricane by Janet EdwardsHurricane by Janet Edwards

Series: Hive Mind #3

Genre: Science Fiction

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2018

394 pages

Synopsis: Being a telepath means there is always a new challenge.

Eighteen-year-old Amber is the youngest of the five telepaths who protect the hundred million citizens of one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but this time a simple case leads on to something far bigger.

This is a case where Amber’s team have to face the unknown and break all the rules they usually follow. Lucas must take centre stage, while Amber has extra burdens she can’t share with anyone. She has a personal mystery to solve, and questions she wants answered, but curiosity is a dangerous trait in a telepath.

My thoughts

I’ve read all three books written in this series so far. Janet Edwards continues to be one of my favorite authors. I love her Earth Girl series which I read a few years ago and am so happy to have found this series. It’s in a completely different world than the Earth Girl series, but no less interesting.

Strong characterization is one of the hallmarks of Edwards’ writing. I like that I feel I “know” so many of her characters. Of course, Amber is the main character in these books and I have the most insight into her and her thoughts. She’s not always happy in her position as one of the five telepaths of the Hive. However, she’s fully aware of her importance to the Hive and that she must put aside any ambivalence and do her job. She’s slowly growing into her role and slowly coming to terms with her new life.

Another of Edwards’ strengths is her strong world building. The Hive is such an interesting place and in each book we find out a little more about this world. In this book we discover that not only are there other Hives throughout the world, but there is also a small community living outside Amber’s Hive known as the sea farm. People at the sea farm may live their entire lives Outside. This is a mind blowing idea for Amber and her team. Amber and some of her team have been Outside in previous books and have gotten more used to working out there, if necessary, but none of them can imagine wanting to live Outside the Hive. The idea that some people actually want to live Outside is very strange to them all.

Crimes are taking place at the sea farm and since Amber and her team are the only telepath unit that can work Outside they have to travel to sea farm. I found the sea farm very interesting. Janet Edwards has expanded the world building to include these people as well as others in other parts of the world who farm and fish and provide food for the hives. There is even some travel and interaction between these groups.

I like that these books are not only science fiction, but also adventure stories and mysteries. Although this isn’t my favorite book of the three books in this series I did like it and look forward to more books in this series. I felt the mystery wasn’t quite as strong as in the first two books. However, I’m looking forward to learning more about this world and maybe why most people live in Hives. And I want more adventures with Amber and her team!

My rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Thread the Halls by Lea Wait

thread the halls by lea waitThread the Halls by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #6

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Coastal Maine

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

320 pages

Synopsis: This Yuletide season, there’s no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick’s being needled by his mother–movie star Skye West–to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother’s long list of wishes, Patrick’s becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye’s Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

My thoughts

Note: This is a review I wrote at the end of 2018 for a book I read in December. I’m finally getting it posted! And I’m saying that I’m giving people an idea of a book to read for this Christmas…lol.

I wanted to read this book before Christmas 2018 so I’m glad I’ve done that. I enjoy reading holiday or winter mysteries. And I’m liking this series. I read three of the books during the last six months of 2018 and they’re very good.

Samplers and Maine

I love the sampler information and quotes at the beginning of each chapter in all the books. They’re so interesting and often poignant. Most of the samplers were stitched by young women who lived in New England and many in Maine. The Maine coastal setting is also fun to read about. I have relatives in Maine and we have often spent time along the beautiful Maine coast. From what I’ve seen through the years Haven Harbor certainly rings true as a Maine coastal town.

The Mystery

The mystery in this book was interesting. I had some ideas about it, but didn’t quite figure things out which is a good sign. I like when the author is able to keep me guessing. The characters in the books are engaging and interesting–both the returning characters and the new characters who show up in this book.

Hollywood Characters

I did find the actions of some of the Hollywood people off-putting. The lack of feeling for a murdered colleague is probably true-to-life for some of these people so not a bad thing, but sometimes put me in a bad mood! I certainly understood Angie’s feelings about having to set aside her Christmas plans to help out Patrick and his mother Skye. This isn’t my favorite of the three books, but I think I was channeling my own frustrations about not getting some things done for Christmas and could totally feel Angie’s frustration…lol.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Doggirl by Robin Brande

Doggirl by Robin Brande

Series: None

Genre: Young Adult, Dogs

Setting: High School

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2011

251 pages

Synopsis: I BELIEVE IN SIGNS. 
And this one said: “Dog trainer needed immediately. Must provide own dog.” 
I snatched the paper off the announcement board before anyone else could see it. 
BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT TIME. 

Meet Riley Case: An expert with dogs, lousy with people. She’s been keeping a low profile at her high school–well, except for that incident with the birds–but when the chance comes to use her talents as a dog trainer to help the drama department win a national competition, she knows she can’t stay in the shadows any longer. 

Funny and tender, with plenty for any animal-lover to love, DOGGIRL and her dogs will steal your heart.

My thoughts

I loved this story about a high school girl who trains her three dogs. After she finishes college she wants to train dogs for movies. She gets her first job for the dogs in a school play.

I heard once that people know what they want to be by the time they’re ten years old. I’ve known since I was four.

My parents brought home the movie Babe, and forget it, that was it. I’ve watched it like 8,000 times now. The pig, the dogs, the duck, the sheep–someone had to teach each and every one of them how to perform all those tricks.

Riley is a great character. She doesn’t really understand people, but she understands and loves animals–especially dogs and they love her. The dogs in this book are wonderful. I would love to know all of them! I don’t read many young adult books, but reading this book made me happy.

Fig, Jack and Heidi

The dogs in the book–a Great Pyrenees named Fig; a Border Collie named Jack; and a Dachshund named Heidi–stole the show for me. I’d love to meet dogs like them. Fig has actually saved Riley’s life a couple of times. Jack knows the meaning of many words

If you like dogs, or school plays or just want to read a story that will make you happy you should read Doggirl.

My Rating: A-

Have you read this book or any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

  • 52 books in 52 weeks hosted by the mommymannegren.com blog — A teen as the main character
  • Review Writing Challenge hosted by Shari @ Delighted Reader blog
  • They Call It Puppy Love Challenge hosted by Barb @ Booker T’s Farm (February challenge)

Review: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Series: Heartstone #1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Dragons

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: 2017

352 pages

Synopsis: A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

My thoughts

I saw this book on Goodreads and I was intrigued since I haven’t read a romantic fantasy for a while. This is the author’s debut book and it’s patterned after Pride and Prejudice. That was easy to see and for the most part I thought it worked well. I enjoyed the fantasy world created by the author.

I would have liked more backstory about this world and its creatures–about why they were together on this world. Did they all evolve there or did some of them–perhaps the humans–arrive from somewhere else? Since there are more books in this series perhaps some of these questions are answered.

I liked reading about the dragons, wyverns, gryphons, direwolves and all the other creatures in this world as well as the humans. This is a medieval type world with horses, carriages, fortresses, great estates and prominent people. Aliza Bentaine, Alastair Dared, Akarra and so many others are great fun to read about. I thought the ending was a little rushed, but it’s a satisfying ending and there are more books in the series.

My Rating: B

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett

Single Malt Murder by Melinda Mullett

Series: Whiskey Business Mystery #1

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Scotland

Source: Audiobook, purchased

Narrator: Gemma Dawson

Publishing Date: 2017

278 pages

Synopsis: When Abi inherits her uncle’s quaint and storied single malt distillery, she finds herself immersed in a competitive high-stakes business that elicits deep passions and prejudices. An award-winning photojournalist, Abi has no trouble capturing the perfect shot—but making the perfect shot is another matter.When she starts to receive disturbing, anonymous threats, it’s clear that someone wants her out of the picture. But Abi’s never been one to back down from a fight.

Arriving on the scene with her whisky-loving best friend, Patrick, and an oversized wheaten terrier named Liam, Abi seems to put everyone in the bucolic village on edge—especially her dour but disturbingly attractive head distiller. Acts of sabotage and increasingly personal threats against Abi make it clear that she is not welcome. When one of Abi’s new employees is found floating facedown in a vat of whisky, Abi is determined to use her skills as an investigative journalist to identify the cold-blooded killer and dispense a dram of justice before he strikes again. But distilling truth from lies is tricky, especially when everyone seems to have something to hide.

My thoughts

Another book I read in 2018, but am finally reviewing now!

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. It takes place in Scotland and is about a whiskey distillery. The mystery is interesting and kept me guessing. I figured out some of it, but not all of it which is always nice.

Audiobook

I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator–Gemma Dawson–is excellent. She did an excellent job with all the different voices and really increased my enjoyment of this book.

Abi, Liam and other characters

Abi inherits her uncle’s distillery in Scotland when he dies. Her uncle raised her after her parents died so she was very close to him. However, she had never visited him in Scotland. She was busy with her career as a photojournalist traveling the world and she resented the fact he’d sold their home in London to buy the distillery. After he dies she wishes she had found out more about his life in Scotland and had visited him there.

Abi is a good character–not perfect, but not stupid or irritating either! Her wheaten terrier Liam is a great character, too. I like a number of other characters, too. Abi’s best friend Patrick comes with her to Scotland and helps her. And it’s understandable why some of the distillery employees don’t like Abi since she never visited her uncle in Scotland. They’re also worried about what will happen to the distillery since she doesn’t know anything about whiskey. And there’s a whiff of romance in this first book.

Threats and Sabotage

Even before she travels to Scotland someone delivers a threatening message to her and that continues after she’s in Scotland. She also discovers someone is sabotaging the distillery. Abi doesn’t know anything about single malt scotch, but she’s determined to honor her uncle’s memory and his faith in leaving the distillery to her. She wants to find a buyer for the distillery who will continue to make special single malt scotch. The sabotage at the distillery continues and the threats to Abi escalate. A murder occurs at the distillery. Abi isn’t sure who she can trust. A good mystery indeed!

A good cozy

I like Abi and I like finding out more about the distilling of scotch and about Scotland. I look forward to reading the next book in the series! The fourth book in the series–Died in the Wool (which I featured in a Can’t-Wait Wednesday earlier in March)–is set to publish in June.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Review: The Clincher by Lisa Preston

The Clincher by Lisa Preston

Series: Horseshoer Mystery #1

Genre:  Mystery

Setting: Central Oregon, United States

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: November 2018

288 pages

Synopsis: Clinching is the technique used to bend a driven horseshoe nail to hold the shoe to a hoof. Rainy Dale is The Clincher, a twenty-something high school-dropout turned farrier (horseshoer) who is haunted by a secret she carries. Estranged from her California d-list actress momma and her ranch hand Texas daddy, she tracked down her childhood horse in small-town Oregon–a land full of cowboys and their horses–then stayed to build a life with her tools, steel, and forge. She’s sleeping in a garage and trying not to fall for her landlord, the hapless and hopeful chef, Guy, who is determined to create the perfect souffle while Rainy would prefer to just stuff her mouth with fuel for her physically demanding job. As the new kid in town, Rainy has an uphill battle to prove herself, especially to her male clients, but when one of her clients turns up dead, Rainy is in over her head as both a suspect and a seeker of the truth. The Clincher is the first in a series of horseshoer mysteries featuring the irrepressible, irreverent, and irresistible Rainy Dale and her loveable and unlikely side-kick (her culinarily inclined boyfriend, Guy).

My thoughts

Such a good book! I really enjoyed Rainy Dale. She has a strong voice plus I’m not sure I’ve read any books about farriers (horseshoers) before. I learned all sorts of things about horses and shoeing. The cover was what first attracted my attention to this book and then that it was also a mystery. When I read a little of the synopsis and realized it took place somewhere in Central Oregon (where I grew up) this looked like a match for me! And it was.

A good mystery

The mystery is good, the characters–especially Rainy and her chef boyfriend Guy–are so fun to read about. I sometimes felt sorry for Guy who is such a good person. He has trouble understanding Rainy who is complicated and troubled. She hasn’t had the easiest childhood since she was shuttled back and forth between her divorced parents (a Hollywood actress and a truck driver ranch hand). She’s trying to be a better person and has many internal dialogues with herself! I sometimes felt like I was eavesdropping…lol.

Rainy is a suspect when one of her clients is found dead. Rainy is the last person known to see her. Rainy feels guilty about the fact the woman invited her for a talk and a drink after Rainy finishes the horseshoe job. Rainy turned her down because she found the woman irritating. In hindsight Rainy realizes the woman was nervous.

A horse and dog? Oh yes!

Rainy’s horse, Red, and Australian shepherd dog, Charlie, are fun to read about. Charlie herds Guy’s goslings and the search Rainy made to find her childhood horse Red help make the book special. The author knows a lot about horses and dogs which I appreciate.

I’m so glad the second book in the series–Dead Blow is set to publish in 2019.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?