MYSTERY

Dead Blow: A Horseshoer Mystery

Skyhorse. (Horseshoer, Bk. 2). Nov. 2019. 264p. ISBN 9781510749115. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781510749122. M
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Horseshoer Rainy Dale may be a little lacking in social skills, but she is kind and empathetic. She’s supposed to be planning her wedding and making new friends, but she and boyfriend Guy quickly get involved in two incidents that have burdened the town of Cowdry, OR: the death of farmer Cameron Chevigny, whose tractor fatally rolled over on him, and the disappearance of a young woman named Arielle Blake. How did an old hand at driving tractors end up killed in such a way? When Rainy is asked to shoe the widow’s horses, and Guy volunteers to search for Arielle, a ton of questiuons emerge: Was the tractor death an accident? Is Arielle’s disappearance somehow tied to the incident? Rainy uses her singular skills as a shoer to solve these mysteries and create new friendships in the process.
VERDICT Preston’s second “Horseshoer” mystery (after The Clincher) is another refreshing change from grim mysteries about serial killers and political plots. Readers of contemporary Westerns, horse fiction, and light mysteries will like this one.

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