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The Clincher

Skyhorse. (Horseshoer Mystery, Bk. 1). Nov. 2018. 288p. ISBN 9781510732728. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781510732742. F
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Preston (Orchids and Stone; Measure of the Moon) begins her "Horseshoer Mystery" series with this first title featuring Rainy Dale, a tough acting yet tenderhearted young farrier with a troubled, secret past. Rainy travels from Texas to Oregon seeking Red, the horse she owned as a teenager. Upon finding him, she looks for work and stays on in Oregon, quickly acquiring clients and an unlikely lover, her landlord, a gourmet cook named Guy. When client Patsy Lynn is found dead, a rasp (farrier's tool) is discovered near her body, making Rainy a suspect. In order to prove her innocence, Rainy sets out to uncover the murderer's identity. Several people arouse her suspicions, including Guy, rival farrier Dixon Talbot, and Cherry Edelman, who's looking for a rich husband. Preston's background as a police officer, horse owner, and author of several nonfiction works about horses helps make the actions of her characters authentic and very believable.
VERDICT Fans of light mystery with tough female protagonists and a little romance thrown in will want this book. For those who enjoy both mysteries and horses, it's a must.

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