Monday, November 4, 2013

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley

Check the cover of this title carefully and you'll get a preview of the book.  A handsome ranch hand is looking up with just a hint of suspicion and defiance in his eyes.  His mouth -  is that a look of determination or a look of questioning?  And the lovely lady?  Why she is politely serving tea, a polished, civilized action.  But at the same time, she is ready to take action with her hidden derringer. Not a likely mix.  In this latest addition to the The Brides of Last Chance Ranch, we travel to 1897 Arizona Territory as Pinkerton agent Miranda Hall goes undercover as Annie Beckman to locate and capture the mysterious bank robber known as the Phantom, whom some believe is hidden out at the Last Chance Ranch.  When Miranda's (Annie's) train is robbed on the way, she is sure that the robbers are somehow connected to the Phantom.  What is most disturbing to her is that prior to the robbery one of the passengers had caught her attention with his striking blue eyes. When she later recognizes those same blue eyes behind a mask and then learns that the same man who goes by the name Branch has taken a new job at the ranch, Annie is sure that he is part of the Phantom's gang.  Meanwhile, Jeremy Taggert, or Branch (his latest alias), is sure that the fiesty woman who's just arrived at the Last Chance must somehow be involved with the gang and sets out to investigate HER.

Physical attraction, budding romance, mistaken identities, and two private investigators intent on showing their worth in an increasingly dangerous situation make for a fast paced, lively western which is told with a well crafted mixture of drama, humor, and even some spiritual insight.  I especially liked the short "detective" quotations which began each chapter, such as this one: Sign outside private detective's door.  In God we trust, all others will be treated as suspects." (p.38)  

I received a copy of Gunpowder Tea from Litfuse Publicity Group for review purposes.  All opinions are mine.  Litfuse and Thomas Nelson Publishing are sponsoring a blog tour of this book.  Check out this link to learn more about Margaret Brownley's giveaway, her facebook party, and the other reviews.

More about the author

 Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this---except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter at the time. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction." So that's what Margaret did. She's now a New York Times bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist with more than 25 novels to her credit. Her first non-fiction bookGrieving God's Way: the Lasting Path to Hope and Healing has won much critical acclaim. She is currently working on the third book in her Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

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