Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It’s going to be a Laura Crum Summer!

For about two decades now I’ve defined being wealthy as having enough money to walk into a bookstore and buy everything I want. (It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still hopeful.)

I love to read. For pure pleasure reading I look for books with great plots, interesting characters, and if horses or the outdoors can be thrown into the mix, so much the better.

Last summer, my sister, alerted me to an author she hadn’t read before, C.J. Box. Following her lead, I quickly got hooked on Box’s “Joe Pickett” series of mysteries. Those books made for hours of wonderful summertime backyard reading.

Now the summer of 2010 is nearing, and I want another new author to enjoy…and I’ve got one!

Meet Laura Crum (but come back after you’ve met her OK?)

Laura Crum has been writing her Gail McCarthy Mysteries since 1995 and she has 11 (ya-hoo!) books that should keep me entertained well into fall.

(and for those of you who love to always have a book on your iPhone -like me- you’ll be pleased to know that a couple of her books are available for digital download. Ya-hoo again!)

I found out about Laura when I came across a blog that she participates in called Equestrian Ink.
It was there that I learned about her newest novel “Going, Gone” and I emailed her publisher asking if I could review the book here on my blog.

(Don’t worry, I'm not going to ruin this excellent book for you - I don’t like to read reviews that giveaway everything either, so no spoiler alerts needed for this review.)

In “Going, Gone” the main character, Gail McCarthy (a veterinarian who gave up her practice to raise and home school her young son) takes her family on a horse camping vacation. Their destination is a rural mountain area on property owned by a former boyfriend. A former boyfriend, who Gail soon discovers, has just been charged with murder.

“Going, Gone” meets my criteria for a good read: it’s got great characters, interesting plotting, and lots of horses. And Laura Crum knows horses – nothing is worse than an author featuring something about which they know nothing. Laura’s equine knowledge adds a richness and authenticity to “Going, Gone” that a non-horseperson would be hard pressed to duplicate.

Like all good books, I wanted to finish it fast and have it last longer. And like all good books it left me wanting to know more: Gail’s husband Blue, is still a mystery to me after reading “Going, Gone.” I was never able to “figure him out” and I’m eager to read her previous books to find out more about him.

“Going, Gone” is a fast little “who-dun-it” that sparkles with effortless writing. I’ve already ordered “Cutter,” the very first book in this series. And I think as soon as it arrives I’ll declare summer officially here! (Cutter arrived in the mail today and it's on my nightstand ready and waiting!)

So, for your summer reading pleasure I suggest the Gail McCarthy Mysteries by Laura Crum (in the order in which they were written)

Cutter (1995)
Hoofprints (1996)
Roughstock (1997)
Roped (1998)
Slickrock (1999)
Breakaway (2001)
Hayburner (2003)
Forged (2004)
Moonblind (2006)
Chasing Cans (2008)
Going, Gone (2010)

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