The Clincher by Lisa Preston
Series: Horseshoer Mystery #1
Setting: Central Oregon, United States
Source: Ebook, Library
Publishing Date: November 2018
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).
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+
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