Saturday, March 5, 2016

Reining in Murder


Author:  Leigh Hearon
Series:  A Carson Stables Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  March 29, 2016

Description:  When horse trainer Annie Carson rescues a beautiful thoroughbred from a roadside rollover, she knows the horse is lucky to be alive…unlike the driver. After rehabilitating the injured animal at her Carson Stables ranch, Annie delivers the horse to Hilda Colbert--the thoroughbred's neurotic and controlling owner--only to find she's been permanently put out to pasture. Two deaths in three days is unheard of in the small Olympic Peninsula county, and Annie decides to start sniffing around. She's confident she can track down a killer…but she may not know how ruthless this killer really is.


My Review

This book is the debut cozy mystery by author Leigh Hearon and the first in a new series involving Annie Carson, the owner of Carson's Stables.  Cozy mysteries involving horses or stables are a new theme for me so I was happy to take a chance on this book.  I found this to be a well written story by an author who has a descriptive style that flows nicely.  The author engaged me right from the start.  When Annie was trying to get the horse into the trailer, the way the author writes, I could actually picture the scene quite clearly.  The mystery was solid and there are plenty of twists, turns and surprises.  I enjoy stories where the author keeps me guessing as to the identity of the killer, or those where I have to work to figure out the identity of the culprit.  The book has a pretty good pace, with just a bit of a lull toward the middle but this was part of setting up the final leg of the mystery and the book recovered nicely to a satisfying ending.

I enjoyed all of the characters and felt that the author did a good job of developing them throughout the book instead of overwhelming the reader with information up front.  As the story progresses there are additional characters introduced, but again, their back story unfolds as the book progresses.  Annie, the main characters, is smart, and has some sass to her.  I like that she was smart about how she investigated the murders in the story, playing her cards close to her vest and sharing only with the Sheriff.  

In sum, I thought this was a good start to a new series with a story that had a theme just different enough to keep me interested in the book.  It is well written and has likable characters.  I will be looking forward to the second book in the series which is due out later this fall.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  This did not influence my review and the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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