Thursday, February 16, 2012

Barnstorming-Laura Crum


Laura Crum

Perseverance, Apr 2 2012, $14.95

ISBN 9781564745088

Fifty is a monumental pivotal age for many mothers as their kids reach an age of self-reliance. In Santa Cruz, California, single mom Gail McCarthy believes so as she faces a major decision as to whether to return to work as a horse veterinarian or retire permanently at a relatively early age since her son Mac is a tweener.

Gail muses over her future while taking a ride on Sunny when she meets Jane Kelly on her Arab mare Dolly. Jane is angry at Tammi Martinez of the Red Barn Stable, Bill Waters and his sic ‘em big dog, Sheryl Silverman who stole her boyfriend, and stupid Julie and Jim of Lazy Valley. After departing, Gail hears a shot, which nearby Lazy Valley horse trainer (credentials come from sleeping with owner Julie Barnes) Jonah Wakefield denies hearing. He leaves her as a dirt biker zooms past Gail. She soon finds Dolly meandering alone and subsequently a dead Jane. Police Detective Jeri Ward investigates the homicide in which Gail assists her when a second rider is murdered.

The twelfth Gail McCarthy equine mystery (see Going, Gone) combines a meandering light cozy with a profound coming of middle age acceptance and realism. Gail has turned fifty with the knowledge that she is skiing down the slope of life (per my nephew re his uncle) as over half of hers is gone. Fans of the series will relish this engaging whodunit as the heroine considers to be or not to be employed while Laura Crum probably has her riding off into the sunset but not off a cliff.

Harriet Klausner

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