cover image Dead Blow: A Horseshoer Mystery

Dead Blow: A Horseshoer Mystery

Lisa Preston. Arcade CrimeWise, $25.99 (264p) ISBN 978-1-5107-4911-5

In Preston’s enjoyable sequel to 2018’s The Clincher, Rainy Dale, the intrepid horseshoer of Cowdry, Ore., takes on a new client, rancher Donna Chevigny, whose husband, Cameron, died the previous year in a tractor accident. Rainy welcomes the job as a chance to help someone hard-pressed to manage a cattle ranch all on her own. Everything changes, though, when Donna’s dog finds a glove with a human hand in it. The hand belongs to Arielle Blake, a young woman who went missing about the same time Cameron died. Are the two deaths related? Was Donna involved with either death? What about Arielle’s fiancé? Rainy becomes mired in clues, suspects, and questions, with no answers in sight. Rainy, a strong, down-home, likable sleuth, has just the right amount of attitude to give her some gumption. The horseshoeing jargon and details of the tools of the trade may be more than some readers care to know, but Preston delivers a steady ride right up to the satisfying ending. Hopefully, Rainy will be back soon. Agent: Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Nov.)