A woman with a dicey past and an uncertain future finds herself suspected of murder in the latest by Preston (The Measure of the Moon, 2017, etc.).
Passed back and forth as a child between her mother in California and her father in Texas, Rainy Dale has often fallen between the cracks, loving only Red, the horse she spent years seeking after her dad sold him. Things start to look up when Guy, the food-obsessed chef she meets at an Oregon gas station, rents her his garage. She’s found Red, adopted a dog, Charley, and begun a relationship with Guy. Graduating from farrier school has given her a new lease on life. She’s encouraged by picking up more clients until one of them is found dead. Although Patsy-Lynn Harper’s wealthy husband has been happy to support her hobby, something wasn’t right with her stud, Spartacus, when Rainy went to the Flying Cross to shoe him. Although Patsy-Lynn’s death looks like an accident, neither Rainy nor the police buy that scenario, especially since Patsy-Lynn was found near a blood-covered hoof rasp. When the veterinary clinic office is broken into and the investigating officers find a rounding hammer used to shape horseshoes, Rainy becomes a suspect. Guy professes his love for her, but his proposal meets with skepticism and his efforts to discover more about her past, with hostility. Investigating on her own, Rainy soon becomes more involved in the equine community, where she hopes to pick up some clues. Can a woman whose life is all about horses and a man whose life is all about food make a go of it?
A rousing novel. The mystery leaves plenty of open questions for the tough but needy heroine while immersing the reader in all things equine.