cover image The Big Sugar: A Brigid Reardon Mystery

The Big Sugar: A Brigid Reardon Mystery

Mary Logue. Univ. of Minnesota, $22.95 (216p) ISBN 978-1-5179-1369-4

Logue’s enticing second Brigid Reardon adventure (after 2020’s The Streel) finds the young Irish heroine arriving in Cheyenne, Wyo., in 1881 with family friend Padraic. They’re hoping to settle there and track down Brigid’s brother Seamus, but Cheyenne is a wild and violent town surrounded by ruthless cattle barons—called “big sugars”—who will stop at nothing to acquire land. Seamus, it turns out, is now a cowboy out on the range. While Brigid and Padraic await Seamus’s return to Cheyenne, they acquire a small but beautiful plot, and while working the property one day, Brigid finds neighbor Ella hanging from a tree. Vowing to find out who killed Ella puts her at odds with several dangerous men (including big sugars) who have little fear of the law and even less of a woman—but they don’t know Brigid. Logue’s historical backdrop is meticulously constructed and her characters exceptionally drawn. Readers will feel like they’re out in the harsh frontier territory and hardscrabble town, and gladly follow Brigid wherever she goes. (May)