Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chasing Cans-Laura Crum

Chasing Cans
Laura Crum
Perseverance press, Apr 2008, $14.95
ISBN: 9781880284940

Nobody is more surprised than Gail McCarthy is that her veterinarian career that meant the world to her now takes second fiddle to raising her one years old son Mac. She was supposed to return to her practice soon after giving birth, but keeps putting it off; preferring to be a stay at home mommy. The only fly in the ointment is her new neighbor Lindee Sloan who owns and operates a barrel racing training establishment. Gail becomes incensed when Lindee blackmails her neighbor Joan into leasing her pasture where the vet keeps her horses.

Gail goes to have a chat with Lindee, but sees her enemy on a horse that balks at the third barrel before tossing her rider and crushing her. To Gail, it seemed as if Lindee pulled the horse on top of her in what looked like a bizarre accident. Not long after that deadly incident, a trainer rides a horse when the woman falls unconscious and the horse kicks her in the head. Gail reconsiders her opinion on Lindee’s death as the two lethal events seem unlikely unless someone caused it. She investigates naively unaware of how dangerous sleuthing can be for her and Mac.

Laura Crum’s love of horses shines through her mysteries. In this case the key to the whodunit is that everyone who met Lindee quickly despised her including the usually tolerant Gail. However, it is the second incident that makes Gail wonders if someone hated the two riders so much he or she killed them; the probability of two accidents or an accident/suicide seemingly insignificant. Lead Police Detective Jeri feels Gail’s insight is helpful and asks her to join the investigation into the deaths of two riders. CHASING CANS is a terrific puzzler starting with murder or not.

Harriet Klausner