by Marilyn Meredith
Marilyn Meredith reviews two mystery novels with a touch of the old West–Three Seconds To Thunder by C.K. Crigger & Midsummer Night’s Gunfight by Jason Hunt. A chance to win a copy of both books is at the end of these reviews.
Three Seconds to Thunder by C. K. Crigger
Looking for a light, fun mystery to enjoy this summer? Three Seconds to Thunder would be the perfect choice.
Set in 1896, in the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, China Bohannon longs to move up from office girl, dogsbody and book keeper to be an investigator in her uncle’s detective agency. She also has crush on her uncle’s partner, Grafton Doyle.
The book begins with a murder in a logging camp, but moves forward to China and her first investigative job—sort or, as Grafton uses her as a cover when he’s investigating allegations of a wife’s unfaithfulness.
The story progresses at a quick pace, with both the uncle and Grafton’s disappearance and China’s determination to find them. Her quest finds her in danger from villains of both sexes, a rampaging bear, and an engulfing forest fire.
China is a gutsy heroine with a loyal but not always obedient dog called Nimble. The story moves quickly from one exciting adventure to another, and is flavored with a light touch of romance. The author has a delightful voice and I highly recommend Three Seconds to Thunder.
A Midsummer Night’s Gunfight by Jason Hunt
If you love a good western, A Midsummer Night’s Gunfight is for you. In fact, the tale reminded me of the best of the great western movies of old.
Author Hunt included all the prime ingredients for a western:
• The small town of Shakespeare with the one main street and single story buildings.
• Kyle, the stranger, bent on revenge, with a deadly reason for being in Shakespeare.
• Mr. Thomas, or Tom, who has been in love with Laura from the moment he saw her.
• Laura, the young and endearing owner of the local boarding house.
• Jeb, Laura’s young son who is ready to learn how to use a gun.
• A romantic attraction directed at Laura from both Kyle and Tom.
• A villainous preacher, who goes by but doesn’t deserve to be called Reverend, who has a big secret.
• Weather that is changing for the worst.
• And of course, a most exciting gunfight, described with all the action in perfect detail.
All of this is put together by a masterful story-teller into a most satisfying and enjoyable addition to this neglected genre. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys a smoothly told tale.
To enter to win a copy of both of these books, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “West”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 18, 2012. U.S. residents only.