Roadside Attraction

A Maggie O’Neil Mystery from best selling author J. Carson Black

In its heyday, Tombstone, Arizona was “The Town too Tough to Die”.  Now it’s scrabbling to survive—a wide spot in the road. Today’s Wyatt Earps, Doc Hollidays and Big Nose Kates plying the tourist trade on Allen Street are less likely to get into range wars, as they are preoccupied with mortgages, car payments, and the odd bum knee.

Tombstone is home to Maggie O’Neil, intrepid probation officer, whose lover has just taken off for Nashville to make his fortune. Worse, Maggie has misplaced one of her probationers, Freddie Valenzuela. She figures Freddie is the best of the bunch—one of the few who might actually make it through probation and succeed in life.

Maggie doesn’t believe Freddie Valenzuela would skip town without his dog Blue. He might leave his girlfriend, since they had their share of troubles, but not Blue. Then Freddie’s girlfriend Shari Slater turns up dead. Not just dead, either—she’s been tortured. Freddie’s the main suspect until he’s found dead as well, his mashed-up pickup lodged in a tree. A crime wave has hit Cochise County, and before the body count rises higher than the number of burial plots on Boot Hill, Maggie must figure out what is going on and find a way to stop it.

When a valuable reining horse is stolen from a nearby ranch, Maggie discovers a strange connection between Freddie, his girlfriend, and the missing horse. She begins to suspect that the murders have the horse and its owners at the center. As the bodies pile up, Maggie realizes time is running out, and if she doesn’t do something soon, she might just be the next to die.

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Roadside Attraction 5.0

Maggie is a fun heroine that I would love to read more about. One of the aspects of this book that I really enjoyed was the horse culture. The story is firmly rooted in the life of raising and training horses. That was quite interesting to me. I love the descriptions of the area also. I've never been to that part of Arizona but it felt quite real. Most of the characters, main and minor, felt quite real. This book was a fun read in what promises to be a fun series.

Randee Baty, The Butler Did It