sabato 23 gennaio 2016

Review: Gunfight at Grace Gulch by Darlene Franklin

Gunfight at Grace Gulch
by Darlene Franklin

Gunfight at Grace Gulch
(Christian Cozy Mystery)
(A Dressed For Death Mystery Book 1)

Forget Me Not Romances
A Division of Winged Publications (February 28, 2015)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1508946991


The feud between the Graces and the Gaynors is still going strong more than a century after its inception in the 1891 Oklahoma land run. Newspaper editor Penn Hardy is murdered during the reenactment of the most famous gunfight in the history of Grace Gulch, Oklahoma. Cici Wilde, owner of a vintage clothing store, feels compelled to investigate when police suspect people close to her. She soon discovers her talent for sleuthing equals her flare for wearing period clothing. Theater director Audie Howe never expected the reenactment to end in a real murder. He cares too much for the future of the Magda Grace Mallory Theater – and the charming Cici Wilde – to let her face danger alone. Cici and Audie take a dangerous gamble to nail the killer – and lay their lives on the line.

My Review

This cozy mystery was an entertaining and also instructive read: it's contemporary but with many historical references, with a well-developed plot, much humor and a little romance. Each chapter begins with a letter of 1800 in which Bob Grace writes to his girlfriend Mary and tells important elements to reconstruct the history of this city and perhaps can provide useful information to solve the mystery.
Cici lives in Grace Gulch, a quiet town in Oklahoma which in the past experienced a strong feud between two families, the Graces and the Gaynors. Audie is a theater director who has organized a beautiful evocation of the most famous gunfight that there was between the two factions. The city is celebrating and for Cici these days are very challenging because everyone goes to her to buy clothes and gadgets for the event. But something goes wrong and the fake shootout ends with a real murder. The victim is Penny Hardy who was playing his ancestor, Dick Gaynor. So the first suspicion falls on the heirs of the rival family, the Graces. Cici and the fascinating Audie will join forces to solve this intricate mystery. Cici will also choose between two men who are courting her, Audie and Cord.
I have read another book by this author, Apple for Christmas. It was a historical romance, not a mystery, and I liked them both. Her romances are clean with believable  and charming characters.
This was a fast-paced book and had a wonderful blend of romance and mystery it was beautiful in its cover and inside its pages.
I can not wait to read the next installment in the series!
If you like cozy and christian mystery books this is one to add to your list.

About the Author

Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over forty books and has written more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont.
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A Book Excerpt

The gigantic black hands on the town clock atop our municipal building inched toward twelve o’clock. Audie put a cell phone to his ear.
Cord and Penn, reprising their roles as Bob Grace and Dick Gaynor, burst through the saloon doors, shouting insults.
My heart stuttered a bit, worried for Cord. Penn sounded really angry.
“You can’t get away with it. You’re a scoundrel and a cheat.” Penn’s face was set into deep lines, hatred aging him prematurely.
“I’m not a cheat. I arrived first, fair and square.
You have to accept it.”
Tension twisted my shoulders. I held my breath.
“That’s what you think!” Penn pulled out a Colt and fired.
A flash of light—popping sounds—two men fell to the ground.

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