With the release of The Love Boat Bachelor and all of the work that goes into the time surrounding the event, many of my other activities – even blogging – have had to take a back seat. But I delighted in taking a break from the ruckus and enjoying Margaret Brownley‘s newest western romance, Petticoat Detective.
Here’s the short version:
Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she s wrong about him.
I confess to being a cover-judger. Well, I do tend to read blurbs of the books when the covers draw me. And this cover said, “Fun. Funny. Cartoon-type of book.” Exactly what I needed to alleviate my stress.
But I was totally wrong. Wait . . . not totally. This was a fun book and had some funny situations. But it was not the bit of literary fluff that I expected. These pages have deep spiritual truth in them that pack an emotional punch.
The first truth, coming from Jennifer’s overriding opinions, echoes the attitudes of many Christians toward unbelievers who are trapped by their own choices. Through the story, Jennifer comes to recognize that the people who seemed so motorized, so heartless, aren’t so very different than she. They hurt and feel hopeless, and they put up walls to block out the guilt and despair.
Jesus taught His followers to love others. And His treatment of so-called “sinners” reflects the way we’re supposed to treat all others. The deep truth is that we’re all sinners.
A second one came from Tom’s perspective. His faith held strong despite opposition. In the midst of others’ scorn, scoff, and debate, he stayed in his belief and connected with someone he disapproved of to learn the whole truth. That takes some determination. And bull-headedness, but in this case, it worked out.
I enjoyed this story. The unlikely romance intensified throughout. There were plenty of reasons for the failure of the relationship, but those ended up strengthening the grip on the reader all the more. Enjoy love stories? You’re going to like this one!
The word Detective in the story is what drew me. It implies intrigue. And Petticoat Detective delivers a juicy mystery with a sprinkle of suspense. Satisfying for any cozy reader.
This is the first book I’ve read from Margaret Brownley, but it won’t be the last! I’m so thankful to Netgalley for providing this book for an unbiased review.
Your turn: Western romance, even with mystery overtones, isn’t my normal genre of choice. What is the last book you read that seemed out of your genre? Did you like it?