by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Reining in Murder and a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore, and a link to purchase it on Amazon as well.
When accidents occur and a horse is involved, Annie Carson gets a call, no matter the time of day or night. This time, the driver of the rig was killed in the accident. Maybe a heart attack, since there were no skid marks and the road was a flat, straight stretch.
When Annie arrives, the horse is out of the trailer, seemingly calm considering he’s just been in a wreck. Annie hates to hear that he belongs to Hilda Colbert. Hilda is rich and basically obnoxious. Everything was going smoothly until one of the police officers leaving the scene hit the siren, and the horse took off. The sheriff and deputies manage to circle around while Annie works her magic to calm him before the horse hurts himself or one of them. Annie takes the horse to her stable. When she calls Hilda, the woman is considerably less than gracious, implying Annie has ulterior motives behind the help she’s provided.
When Hilda doesn’t show up or call about the horse, Annie takes him to Hilda’s spread—and what a spread it is. It seems Hilda’s employees are afraid of her since she has a habit of firing them without cause. Annie insists on going into the house when no one answers the door. Of course, Hilda didn’t answer. She’s dead on the bed and has been for a while. The barn manager, Todos, was away buying hay at the time. No one else dared to speak to Hilda.
Hilda and husband, Marcus, lived separately, Marcus making mountains of money and his wife at the ranch spending it. The husband is a prime suspect, especially when the alibi is shaky and there’s a threatening message on the wife’s answering machine—definitely hubby’s voice. The ranch hand that Annie spoke with disappears, making the Sheriff put him on the suspect list too. There’s now an added problem and it’s a doozy—Annie is attracted to Marcus, and it looks like the feeling is mutual.
If murder and mystery aren’t enough, Annie’s half-sister who now calls herself Lavender and sports pink hair, has sent a note saying she’s on her way for a visit. With Lavender, that’s usually code for lost a job, a boyfriend, or had to get out of town. When Annie calls to head her off, the phone is answered by…surprise! A new stepmom is Dad’s wife #3. No wonder Lavender left. When Marcus is arrested for Hilda’s murder, it’s not exactly a surprise. He did get bail though so that’s promising. His disappearance is a bigger problem. Is he on the run or is he a victim like Hilda was? Annie’s got her work cut out for her to figure out this mess.
This is the first in the Carson Stables Mystery series. Annie is a woman you’d like for a friend, someone to have a drink or coffee with and mostly, just watch her train horses. She gets them to do what she wants with the gentlest of persuasions. Marcus, well, he’s not just eye candy but a thoughtful, caring person—isn’t he? Sheriff Dan is a big softie but good at his job too. Trotter, the little donkey, adds fun and spice.
Readers will have a hard time waiting for book two, Saddle Up for Murder, due out in October, available for pre-order now. The twist ending of this book will make the wait that much harder.
To enter to win a copy of Reining in Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “reining,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 9, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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You can use this link to order this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy: