A Basket of Trouble

( 2 )

Overview

A death at her brother’s stable ropes Claire into a basket of trouble

When gift basket designer Claire Hanover saddles up for the opening event at her brother Charley’s new riding stable, the last thing she expects is for Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, to be found dead. Everyone assumes a horse trampled him, until it’s discovered that someone murdered Kyle before dragging him into a stall.

Charley’s troubles worsen when a rival stable ...

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A Basket of Trouble

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Overview

A death at her brother’s stable ropes Claire into a basket of trouble

When gift basket designer Claire Hanover saddles up for the opening event at her brother Charley’s new riding stable, the last thing she expects is for Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, to be found dead. Everyone assumes a horse trampled him, until it’s discovered that someone murdered Kyle before dragging him into a stall.

Charley’s troubles worsen when a rival stable owner steals his clients and Kyle’s family decides to sue him for negligence. Claire is determined to corral the killer and save her brother’s business. However, solving the mystery could be more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack . . . and maybe even deadly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
In Groundwater’s engaging third whodunit featuring gift-basket designer Claire Hanover (after 2009’s To Hell in a Handbasket), a string of suspicious deaths disrupts life in idyllic Colorado Springs, Colo. Claire is eager to see her brother, Charley, get his new riding stable up and running. But the opening of Charley’s business gets off to a rocky start when one of his employees, Kyle Mendoza, is found trampled to death in a horse’s stall. Soon afterward, Charley learns that the apparently accidental death might cost him a contract to run trail rides through a local public park, the Garden of the Gods. When more deaths occur, Claire calls on an informant, local drug lord Leon Fox, who’s aided her in the past, for help in uncovering the culprit’s identity. Groundwater’s well-crafted cozy comes complete with numerous red herrings and a picturesque setting. (Nov.)
Library Journal
11/01/2013
Claire Hanover is delighted that her younger brother Charley and his wife, Jessica, have moved to Colorado Springs and opened a horseback riding stable. Not just for tourists, the stable also offers hippotherapy, a form of equine occupational therapy geared toward people with disabilities. But troubles hover over Charley's head, and, shockingly, one of his key ranch hands is found dead in a stall. Initially the death is blamed on the horse, but further investigation reveals that human hands caused Kyle's death. Then a furor arises over the legal status of some of Charley's workers; immigrant officials show up. Just when it seems things couldn't get any worse, another wrangler is fatally shot in his car. Through it all, earnest and hopelessly snoopy Claire pursues leads. This time, Det. Frank Wilson welcomes her assistance, realizing the gift basket gal has surprisingly good instincts. VERDICT Groundwater's third series entry (after To Hell in a Handbasket) is an action-packed cozy that successfully weaves in her small business and disability awareness.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
A sister steps in to help when her brother's horse-riding business is the scene of an accidental death--or murder. Gift-basket designer Claire Hanover is thrilled to bring her husband, Roger, to celebrate the opening of Gardner's Stables, her brother Charley's most recent venture. Since Charley's been dogged by bad luck, Claire is determined to support his new business no matter what--but no matter what happens sooner rather than later. Just days after the opening, Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, is found dead, his body crushed in the back of Gunpowder's stall. Although rumors start circulating that Charley's outfit isn't safe, Claire suspects it may be a case of foul play, especially as Charley is insistent that Gunpowder has always been a sweet animal. Claire trades in the ribbons and scissors of her craft to sleuth on Charley's behalf, uncovering several motives for murder from local competitors and others closer to home. She soon finds her worries about Charley's business eclipsed by her worries about Charley's marriage to Jessica, which seems to be crumbling fast. Now that Kyle's family is suing for negligence, can Claire save the day before her brother is forced to start all over again? The latest starring Claire (To Hell in a Handbasket, 2012, etc.) packs in more action than a typical cozy, though readers annoyed with the heroine's occasional know-it-all tone might enjoy seeing her in a bit of peril.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738727035
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 11/8/2013
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 1,493,043
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Beth Groundwater (Colorado Springs, CO) was an avid "river rat" in the 1980s. Her book, A Real Basket Case (Five Star Publishing), was a 2007 Agatha Award finalist for Best First Novel. She is the author of several award-winning stories and holds key positions in local chapters of Mystery Writers of America and other writing associations.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Gift basket designer Claire Hanover is so excited to have her br

    Gift basket designer Claire Hanover is so excited to have her brother, Charley, and his wife, Jessica, move closer to Colorado Springs. She hopes his riding stable and trail ride business is a great success. There are a few details to work out with the neighbors but they never expected a murder would change everything. Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, is found dead in one of the stalls. It looks like one of the horses kicked him and trampled him to death. Then it was determined that the horse didn’t kill him. A human did and then dragged him into the stall. But Kyle’s family files a lawsuit, a competing business is working hard to steal all of Charley’s customers and the neighbors are pushing to have the city shut the place down. Claire is determined to find the real killer “before her brother’s business is put out to pasture.”

    Dollycas’s Thoughts
    This 3rd installment in this series interested me on many levels.

    The story is set in the Garden of the Gods which sounds just beautiful.

    Plus Charley’s wife, Jessica, runs a non-profit which uses hippotherapy, a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. This therapy caught my attention. I had heard of kids with disabilities riding horses but after reading this I understand the therapy so much better. While my disability is permanent it would be cool to still be able to ride a horse again.

    The story also shines a light on the immigration issues we have in this country. Groundwater entwines this hot button issue in the story from the employer and immigrants viewpoints without get political or preachy at all.

    The author takes all this and wraps a great mystery around it. I can’t believe how fast I read this book. It just flowed so well in true Beth Groundwater fashion. She gives us characters that keep evolving, that are as real as our own neighbors. The plots are tight, the dialogue is true. There is the perfect balance of humor and suspense. She just writes a darn good story. One that when you pick it up you won’t put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Received a copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for

    Received a copy from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

    This was the first book I've read in the Claire Hanover mysteries and I plan on reading more. I thought it started off a little slow but it then picked up and I found myself engrossed in the mystery, the characters, and the setting. Now I want to visit Colorado.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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