Hardcover; Trade Paperback; Digital Ebook
ISBN #: 9781635112108; 9781635112078
Henery Press Publishing
$28.06; $15.95; $4.99 Amazon
There's a new sheriff in town -- and she can sing! When Gold Bug Gulch's actor-gunslinger Mongo winds up shot for real, actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows goes undercover as the ingénue in the tourist town's melodrama. Unfortunately, she's distracted by a pack of marauding Chihuahuas, a problematic love life, auditions for Annie Get Your Gun, and a personal mission: to show people the real Annie Oakley. What's more, the no-good, yellow-bellied varmint who killed Mongo isn't finished with the Gulch -- or with Ivy. Will our heroine prove she can get a man with a gun - before the killer gets her?
Ivy Meadows, an actress and part-time PI who lives in Arizona, is hoping for the lead role in Annie Get Your Gun. But while she's waiting, she receives a frantic call from her fellow actress and friend Marge, who wants to hire her to find Lassie, Marge's pug, who has disappeared into the desert with a pack of Chihuahuas. Knowing the desert is dangerous for small animals, Ivy agrees. But then Marge tells her that Arnie, her husband, has discovered he's a father, and Arnie has invested tons of money in a ghost town named Gold Bug Gulch, run by Arnie's son Nathan.
Marge is afraid Nathan is taking advantage of Arnie, and not be his son at all, and wants Ivy to go undercover in the Gulch as an actress in their little melodrama for the tourists, in order to learn more about Nathan. How can she say no?
But on her first day, one of the town's actors is killed by a real bullet, and now Ivy wants to know if it was an accident or intentional. While she's in the town, she not only meets interesting characters, she's in the middle of several "accidents" that all seem to be intent on closing down the Gulch. But with a host of suspects, it won't be easy to sift through them, and if she doesn't figure it out soon, she could find herself in a role she won't be happy to play - permanently dead.
Once again, Ms. Brown has written an engaging mystery that will keep you reading right through to the end. She peppers the book with interesting characters who may or may not be who they claim to be; interspersed with humorous situations, dangerous ones, and a new talent that Ivy - nor anyone else - knew she had.
While she's still trying to circumvent her boyfriend Matt's insistence that they tell people they're a couple, she doesn't want to lose him but realizes that with him leaving the group home her brother Cody is in, she's going to have to make a decision soon. And no one is more shocked than herself when her father visits and she discovers a few things about him that she never knew. To top it off, she learns more about sharpshooter Annie Oakley than the 1950 film shows, and proceeds to educate others, even incorporating it into the daily "melodrama."
With a full plate indeed - auditioning for a stage role, working in the Gulch, searching for a lost pug, investigating both Nathan and a murder - Ivy's life is nothing more than normal (for her), and it is very enjoyable indeed to watch her navigate through the pitfalls and surprises that await her around every corner, as she tries to remain unobtrusive, but manages to create havoc wherever she goes.
This is a book that is fun to read; both whimsical and, at times, suspenseful; when we discover who the murderer is, as we know we will, it comes as a surprise; and although there are a few clues scattered about, it is hidden well enough to give us plenty of red herrings to follow. Highly recommended.
More on Cindy Brown's Books: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/b/cindy-brown/