Petticoat Detective (Undercover Ladies Series #1)

Petticoat Detective (Undercover Ladies Series #1)

by Margaret Brownley


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628366266
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/01/2014
Series: Undercover Ladies Series , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,201,362
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Bestselling author Margaret Brownley has more than forty-five books to her credit. She has won numerous awards, including the Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice award and Romantic Times Pioneer award. She is also a two-time Romance Writers of America RITA finalist. Her books have been published in nine languages, and she has written for a daytime soap. Not bad for someone who flunked eighth grade English. Just don’t ask her to diagram a sentence. Margaret can be reached through her website at

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Petticoat Detective 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
It was funny, interesting, informative, and a mystery to be solved. We have Jennifer taking a job as a guest of the night, with her strong Christian belief. Which cause her some deep insight of how she missed the fellowship, and telling no lies. With this job, she is piling up the lies, which gives us readers some funny moments to enjoy. The description of the characters were good, the plot was interesting to the end.The setting of a western town, and the dresses these woman had made, was well described. An enjoyable book, and series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The West with fun and detective and romance too the characters you just like them all ! She writes so beautiful this was my first book by her too ever read from this author ! Margaret brownley flows and enjoy reading where the book takes you! I love how the undercover !
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was a very good western historical romance. Jennifer and Tom click right away even if they don't understand it themselves. Jennifer is undercover in a bordello as"Amy". She is a Pinkerton agent trying to discover who is the Gunnysack bandit. She meets Tom Colton who is trying to find out who killed his brother. This has a lot of laughter throughout the story. This keeps it light and fun. I received an audiobook version of this from book for a fair and honest opinion.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley is a humorous, romantic suspense. Jennifer under the name of "Amy" takes a job undercover in a parlor house in search of the gunny-sack killer. The characters she encounters leads to many humorous scenes . There are many twists and turns also to keep the reader in suspense of who the actual killer is. This is Book 1 of the Undercover Ladies. I look forward to reading book 2! I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinio
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective is the first installment in Margaret Brownley’s Undercover Ladies series, and is the first book I have ever read by her. Although I didn’t really know what I was getting into when I picked this novel up, all of the books in the series sounded super interesting, so I was more than a little hopeful that they would be really good. While I have only been able to get around to reading Petticoat Detective, I have to say, I was not disappointed. This novel is WONDERFUL, with an intriguing, sweet storyline and interesting, lovable characters, and I have to say it was definitely worth reading! Jennifer (or Amy as she is known for the majority of the book) is such a strong character! I cannot imagine going through all that she experienced in her past and then rising up to be a female detective in that day and age, and an extremely good one at that! With her strong faith and determination, she attempts to solve the mystery she is sent to Goodman for, along with the murder of one of Miss Lillian’s girls, and a strange circumstance from her past that continues to haunt her. However, unexpected events and an unwanted attraction to the former Texas Ranger Tom Colton threaten to throw a wrench in her plans. Will she be able to solve the mystery before it’s too late? Tom is such a great character as well! As he tries to find out the truth about the murder of his brother so that he can hopefully show his nephew that he wasn’t that bad of a man after all, he stumbles across Amy in her own quest for answers. He is immediately drawn to her, despite his own reluctance and his qualms about her—undercover, though he doesn’t know it—profession. Can he join ranks with Amy to help solve the mysteries without falling in love, or are some things simply out of his control? This is such a captivating novel, and is one that has made me a forever fan of Margaret’s! I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed attempting to solve the mysteries along with Jennifer and Tom, and how I utterly failed at figuring out a single one of them. Anyway, this story had just enough of both romance and intrigue to make it well worth all five bookshelves, and I know I am looking forward to reading more of Margaret’s work! This novel comes highly recommended by me, and be sure I will reviewing more by Margaret in the future! (This review is from my blog,
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
Former Texas Ranger Tom Colton was on a mission. His brother Dave's last letter to him had indicated a change of heart and a desire to be reconciled with his young son, whom Tom was raising. Now his brother was dead, and Tom wanted to find his murderer and bring him to justice. His recent investigations brought him to Goodman, Kansas, right to the doorstep of Miss Lillian's Parlour House and Fine Boots. Dave had written about a Rose, one of Miss Lillian's girls, whom he had fallen in love with and intended to marry. Tom wanted to talk with Rose, hoping to elicit her help in finding Dave's killer. This part of his quest made him uncomfortable, but he would do whatever it took to get his man. Jennifer Layne was a highly trained agent for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her job often placed her undercover on a case where she could accomplish more than a man often could. Her quest had also brought her to Miss Lillian's Parlour House where she was to talk to a Miss Rose whom the Pinkertons believed was a key to their investigation to the identity of the Gunnysack Bandit. She decided to apply to become a "resident." She had just become established in a room and been made over to look more "decent" in Miss Lillian's estimation, to get close to Rose. But a complication occurred when Miss Lillian discovered Rose in her room, killed but without evidence of a struggle. Jennifer's job suddenly took a serious turn for the worse. She wondered if Rose's death had anything to do with her investigation of the bandit. This is the first Margaret Brownley book I have read. I'm pretty certain it won't be the last. There are many reasons why I like this one in particular. First, there is a "who done it" thread running all throughout the story that's well written. Tom wants to find his brother's killer. In the process of picking up clues, he believes they lead him to the Gunnysack Bandit. Finding who this bandit is becomes his central focus. Between the Tom and Amy, clues begin to look as if Dave Colton might be the bandit. Disheartened, Tom returns home after the Pinkerton Agency concludes the same thing. But Jennifer doesn't like the way the clues don't exactly add up. Eventually she has an idea after the case was closed. The end solution took me completely by surprise. Kudos to the author for keeping the readers guessing right up to the end. Second, the pull of attraction between Tom and Jennifer (as Amy) is everywhere in this tale, twisted up in the main plot, complicating the urgency of their respective tasks. It is especially evident in Tom, a man of faith. Since he believes Amy is a "sporting woman" he fights his attraction to her all the way to the final chapters. In the meantime, Jennifer has her own conflicts because she too is a person of faith. She barely manages not to compromise her convictions without revealing her involvement with Pinkerton. I was a little surprised whom she took into her confidence. I think you may be too. But it works out well in the end. Third, the book is heavily laced with good humor from mixed up identities to misunderstandings to just plain silliness. The strands of humor and adventure work well together. This coupling brought me back to re-read the book more than twice. Finally, I was given this book on CD to review. Jaimee Draper reads the book with so much talent and gusto that her acting ability made the story come alive. She added accents, hesitations, and mispronunciations at all the appropriate places wit
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Imagine being a woman in a time where there were not a lot of opportunities for you besides marriage and children. That is the time period where we find Amy, in the years following the Civil War. Amy, being a Pinkerton agent, has to go undercover at a bordello in hopes of catching the outlaw named the Gunnysack Bandit. The first night she is there, she meets a former Texas Ranger by the name of Tom Colton. Tom has arrived in town to find out information about the Gunnysack Bandit as well, due to the fact that he believes that is who has killed his brother. That alone hooked me into the story, but there was a lot of depth to this story especially concerning judging others. Amy, a Christian, has entered a role of a pretend prostitute in order to catch a thief and murderer. What she finds stepping into this role is that she is on the other end of the town’s cruel judgement and she has seen the depth of pain of the other girls in the bordello. Amy is also haunted by her past and her nightmares at night begin to return. This was at times a lighthearted romantic comedy yet there was a bit of a creepy vibe running through the story as well. By the end of this book I was thoroughly entertained, did not guess who the true villain was, and I learned some though provoking lessons. Overall, I look forward to the next in the Undercover Ladies series. I received a copy for an honest review from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective is an exciting historical mystery with non-stop action, suspense, and an intelligent heroine set in an era in which women didn’t even have the right to vote. It is the first novel in the Undercover Ladies series by Margaret Brownley. The narrator on the MP3 version, Jaimee Draper, greatly enhances the reading experience with her bright, effervescent voice. Her voice inflections and rate of reading breathes additional life into an already very well-written tale. Jennifer Lane, one of Pinkerton’s team of lady detectives, is posing undercover as Amy, preparing to be a “companion” at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots while searching for the Gunnysack Bandit. Making this collar would solidify her future with Pinkerton, and she is thrilled to have the chance to be an operative. Being in a home of, uh, ladies who entertain male “guests” goes so far against her Christian faith that it is a struggle for her to remain undercover through her time there. Her first evening there, Tom Colton raced up the steps in search of Rose, his murdered brother Dave’s fiancé. Instead he ends up in Amy’s room, speaking to her as if she were Rose – confusing both of them. Then Rose is found in her room across the hall, dead. Tom is devastated, believing that the one person who could help find him Dave’s killer and clear his name is now gone – possibly killed by the same person. Tom also is caring for Dave’s son, Davey, and wants to return to Texas and tell him something good about his father, including that before his death, Dave became a Christian. As they become further acquainted, Tom reveals that Dave and Rose had learned the identity of the Gunnysack Bandit. Amy wants to learn everything he knows without revealing who she is. Tom, a Christian, didn’t like deception of any kind, which saddened Amy – Jennifer – as she began to have feelings for this man who shared the faith she had to keep hidden. Then Pinkerton follows local law enforcement in closing the case – letting the real Bandit free to steal and possibly murder again. The characters were – characters, to be sure! Margaret Brownley skillfully demonstrates through the thoughts, conversations and actions who each primary character really is. Amy and others learn an abundance of spiritual lessons that have value for the readers. I liked Amy/Jennifer, who tried to be the best detective she could, in spite of her occasional blunders. The – uh – ladies at Miss Lillian’s were girls who Amy came to care for and respect, especially when learning why each earned money as they did. Lillian herself is a bit of an enigma, in spite of her chosen profession; I actually liked Miss Lillian once I got to know her better. Through Miss Lillian and her girls, we are reminded that we are not called to judge, but to love as Jesus loves. The plot was interesting, and the story flowed so quickly that I was sad to leave Goodman, Kansas behind. I loved one of the secrets, the significance of the finely-played classic, Fur Elise! There were sufficient suspects and plot twists to keep me interested and the Bandit two steps ahead of me. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next book in the series! I highly recommend Petticoat Detective to adults of all ages, as well as older teens who have enjoyed Margaret Brownley’s earlier novels, and/or who enjoy a good Christian mystery with female sleuths from the late 19th century that include action, adventure, humor, and gentle romance. With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective is historical fiction that will entertain you... Petticoat Detective   Undercover Ladies 1   Margaret Brownley   There are times when only a woman can do a proper investigation. And this is one of those times, though posing as companion is the last thing Jennifer planned on doing.  But when her lead ends up dead Jennifer has no choice but to take on the identity of Amy, a woman living in a house of ill-repute. After all who would suspect a Pinkerton detective of working out of a Bordello.  And Jennifer is determined to capture the notorious Gunnysack Bandit. But her investigation is about to get a bit more complicated when Tom Colton (a former Texas Ranger) determines to clear his dead brother's name.  And the fact that Tom's brother David and Jennifer's lead Rose had a connection seems to be of importance to this case.   But evidence seems to point to David and nothing Jennifer or Tom discover seems to lead away from this conclusion.  Could they both be wrong? The setting isn't what one would expect to find in Christian fiction, but this is clean if you have any reservations.  There are several humorous scenes especially when Jennifer decides to set a trap for a suspect.   This is historical fiction with romance and it spotlights how few choices women had when seeking to support themselves at this period of time. I was provided a copy of this audiobook by the publisher Barbour (Shiloh Run Press) through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
kpeck More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. There’s romance, suspense and humor laced throughout. All things I look for in a book. The main characters draw you in and keep you by their side. While not the most suspenseful of books, it certainly kept my attention easily. I wanted something light and easy to read since at this time it’s the holiday rush, and this book was just the thing I was looking for! I hadn’t planned on being so taken in, but I found myself reaching to read this much more often than I expected.  I was most pleasantly surprised by the humor throughout the book. You see, I am afraid I commit the sin of judging a book by its cover and the tidbits of humor were not expected. I am glad to have found this gem and can’t wait to get my hands on more in the series as well as the authors other works.  *I was given a copy of this book for review purposes, however I am under no obligation to provide a review and do so of my own free will.*
styler01 More than 1 year ago
I have always wanted to read one of Margaret Brownley's books just from the great title's and awesome covers and for my first read of her's I have to say the Petticoat Detective did not disappoint! A western based in 1883 we meet the main characters Jennifer Layne an undercover detective that has found herself in a with a position at a Parlor House on assignment as Amy Gardner and then there is Tom Colton a former Texas Ranger who is on a mission to save his brother Dave's good name. The paths of these two characters cross rather quickly so things will get interesting early on as we have a detective and former Texas Marshall trying to carry out their missions all the while trying to figure out what the other might know or have to hide. This book had me hooked from the start and kept me to the end with a mix of mystery, romance and a great cast of characters. I can not wait to read more from Mrs. Brownley's collection. I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
MitziAB More than 1 year ago
5 stars ***** out of five Historical Romance A delightful novel that anyone who loves Romance, History and a bit of living outside of the box will enjoy reading. Margaret Brownley's first book in her Undercover Ladies series is sure to deliver both humor and insight. From the window of Miss Lillian's Parlor House and Boots to the dusty streets of Goodman, Kansas the reader is led on a merry chase tracking the Gunnysack Bandit. Employed by the Pinkerton Agency Amy must live up to her promises and deliver. I really enjoyed the book with its vivid description of characters and landscapes, following the twists and turns the author seamlessly wove into the fabric of the story. I am already looking forward to the second book in the series, Undercover Bride! Thank you to Fred and Cheri at The Book Club Network, Margaret Brownley and Shiloh, a division of Barbour Publishing for the opportunity to read this book. I was given this book free in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Undercover Ladies series, what a great place to start. This is the first time I have read Margaret Brownley and will not be my last. From the first page till the end you don't want to put the book down. Jenifer Layne, aka Amy Gardner, is an undercover Pinkerton detective. No one ever suspects a woman to work for the Pinkertons. She is placed in a "Parlor House" and faces more challenges than she has ever faced before. While trying to keep her faith strong, yet hidden, she tries to figure out who the Gunnysack Bandit actually is. When Tom Colton enters her room and sparks fly will she be able to figure out whom she can trust before it is to late? Will she ever be able to solve her own personal mystery or will it eat her alive? Can she solve this mystery before she is taken off the case? Tom Colton only wants to find who killed his brother. When he encounters Amy, he is not prepared for his feelings nor can he understand why she is in a "Parlor House". Will he be able to find his brothers killer or will it burry the hope that he was a changed man? What about his feelings for Amy, she is not the woman he should have feelings for. I love the dialogue, mystery, suspense and romance in this novel. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading good clean christian historical romance. I look forward to book 2. This book is full of fun, surprising twist and turns and opens your eyes to how we sometimes judge others before we actually get to know them. I was given a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing for my honest opinion.
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
What I liked: Amy had hoped to find a murder yet she finds herself trying to solve one instead. She had not planned to work at Miss Lillian’s but being a Pinkerton detective she does what she needs to do for the case. When Tom shows up the same night as the murder he’s added to the suspect list. I enjoyed how these two interacted and how Amy, playing a loose woman deals with the town treating her so badly yet she keeps going and helps teach the town a thing or two in the process. Tom also learns to see past what the person is doing to who they are which makes the book have a deeper feel to it at times. I also enjoyed the suspense and who done it storyline. What I did not like: I was not a big fan of the brothel house setting. There was nothing improper in the book but just the setting was not one I really enjoy.      Overall this was a good book. Even though the book has a darker storyline and setting the author did a good job keeping it light. The characters were all likable and the ending wrapped it all up well.
HelenM0 More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective, Undercover Ladies, Book 1 by Margaret Brownley.  Jennifer Layne is a Pinkerton lady detective, working under the name Amy Gardner. She has been sent to Miss Lillian's Parlor House and Fine Boots to act as a long lost couse to Rose, one of Miss Lillian's girls, to talk with Rose to get information about the Gunnysack Bandit. Miss Lillian mistook her as a fancy lady looking for work.  The same day Former Texas Ranger Tom Colton arrives to talk with Rose as well. Rose was his brother Dave's fiance, Dave asked  Tom to allow Rose to stay at the farm but Dave was killed shortly after. Tom is in town to clear Dave's name so he can be buried in the family plot. Dave claimed to have turned his life over to the Lord, but some thought him to be the Gunnysack Bandit.  Before either Amy or Tom could talk with Rose, she was killed.  Tom and Amy are both working on the case to find out who the Gunnysack Bandit, they do not trust each other but have an attraction  to each other. They both have strong faith in God but "Amy" is not allowed to show it easily. However, she does what she can to encourage the other fancy ladies to change their life.  This book is a little romance, suspence, western all rolled into one. The constant who done it kept me reading and the end was not what I expected, it was even better! This is a very good book. A great start to a new series.  This book was given to me by Barbour Publishing for an honest review.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
I loved this story!  It was so much fun living through Amy/Jennifer.  I could feel her determination and her struggles.  Jennifer, a Pinkerton Detective is working undercover, and this is her hardest assignment yet.  Not only does she have to dress in a way she would never dress, but she can’t in any way talk about her faith.  She is the newest employee at a brothel.  Jennifer is hot on the trail of the Gunnysack Bandit, and needs to talk to Rose, another employee at the brothel called Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots.  But before she has a chance Rose gets murdered.  Jennifer must figure out her next step.  There were only a few people in the house when Rose was killed, was the Gunnysack Bandit one of them?    Tom Colton showed up right around the time Rose was killed, did he do it?   Tom only wants to clear his brother’s name and find out who killed him.  He came to Lillian’s to talk to Rose, his brother’s fiancé.  But when he finally finds her it’s too late.  Frustrated Tom has to find another way to figure out about his brothers last days.  Amy intrigues him, and he turns to her for help.  The more he gets to know her, the more he wishes she wasn’t a “companion” girl.  When answers seem to point one way, Tom is brokenhearted.  Can they figure out the truth before it’s too late?    This is the first book I have read my Margaret Brownley, and now know I would enjoy reading more!  Brownley is great at drawing you in, and painting a picture of a scene, without making it sound boring.  I had no choice but to love Tom and Jennifer and hope that they will figure everything out.  Brownley throws in twists you don’t see coming and made it hard to stop reading!  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  I can’t wait to read more of this series, and more of Brownley’s books!  I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and Netgalley in return for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.
Homesteading More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective is my favorite book from Margaret Brownley! It’s a fast-paced, funny and poignant tale of a female Pinkerton detective who goes undercover in a brothel. Doesn’t sound like something you would want to read? Well, you just might be surprised! It really is a great story. There’s the trademark humor Ms Brownley is famous for, but along with that is a deep and satisfying story of how women come to be in certain situations, and the hope of redemption through Christ. I read this book in just a few hours. I could not put it down. It has one of the best casts of characters! I’m a dialogue person and it’s fairly snapping in this book! The mystery is solid but what got me was how beautifully the inner hurts and secret longings of the women were portrayed. Miss Lillian, the owner, is a hoot. On the surface she seems to be just an older washed up and worn out madam, but she’s got spunk--and secret aspirations of being a legitimate business woman. Jennifer Layne aka Amy isn’t the only one wearing a ‘mask’. By the time the ending came, I was completely surprised on several accounts and the whodunit kept me bewildered right up until the Gunnysack Bandit was revealed. I’m looking forward to the next book in the Undercover Ladies series. I honestly don’t know how this one is going to be topped. I want to thank Margaret Brownley for sending me an electronic ARC for review purposes. No compensation has been received.
Digging4Pearls More than 1 year ago
Petticoat Detective (Undercover Ladies)Jennifer Layne isn't comfortable with her current undercover assignment as a Pinkerton detective. She's played many roles through the years but this one is the most challenging situation she has ever faced. Posing as Amy, Jennifer is determined to find the Gunnysack Bandit. Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger, is driven to clear his brother's name and also learn who killed his brother's betrothed. He believes Amy knows more than she is saying. What he hadn't counted on was developing an interest in the green-eyed beauty. Margaret Brownley weaves a captivating tale in her new Undercover Ladies series. This book kept me guessing to the very end of who the Gunnysack Bandit was. Great job, Margaret. I look forward to more books in this series. This book was provided free for review by the author and Shiloh Run Press.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 STARS I thought this book entertaining. It was funny, romantic, western, Christian and mystery. I was guessing wrong on who I thought was the thief. I like the characters especially Jennifer/Amy. The scene where they catch the bandit was so funny. I don't want to say anything else about it so I won't give it away. Jennifer is a Pinkerton detective agent. She has to go undercover as Amy in a upscale red light business. She learns some important lessons about judging that we all do. She has a problem with modesty and holding her beliefs in. Jennifer is tired of reaction she gets about being a lady detective. Tom Colton is following a lead about his brother's murder and leads to Rose at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots. He is their when she is murdered. He hates being their. He is attracted to Amy but fights it hard. Tom used to be a Texas Ranger. He is raising his nephew now on a ranch. Most of the women working for Miss Lillian are their because they have no other way to make money. There was not a lot of options back then. Some of the church ladies were really mean. Others were nice and wanted to really help. Just like some of the guests at Miss Lillian's were married men. In any group you will find both mean and nice. Those who say one thing and act another. It is really easy to judge and blame others. I thought the book did a good job with the mix of church ladies. Also with the bible scriptures it all fit in really well with the story. I will look for more books in this series to read in the future. I am really curious about it now. I was given this ebook to read by Net Galley and Barbour Publishing, Inc. In return I agreed to give honest review of Petticoat Detective.
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
It was okay. Petticoat Detective is the first book in Margaret Brownley’s new Undercover Ladies series. I have really enjoyed Ms. Brownley’s previous books and was really looking forward to reading this one. I found that I enjoyed it, though not as much as some of her past books. Margaret does an excellent job with the details and descriptions, and I could easily picture the characters and the town. The historical details were also great and I really enjoyed learning more about the Pinkerton Detective Agency. I did find the random details about the Pinkertons a smidge annoying once in a while. It almost seemed as though the author had found all of these interesting facts and felt compelled to throw as many of them into the story as possible, whether they fit or not. Jennifer Layne is the heroine of this story, though we know her better as Amy, a lady of the night. She is in Kansas attempting to catch the notorious Gunnysack Bandit. I really liked Jennifer, though I didn’t connect with her very well. I appreciated her heart for the women she was living with and her desire to do the right thing not matter the costs. She has mistakes in her past that haunt her and she uses her job as a way to redeem them, I think. I liked seeing her character change and grow throughout the story, as she went from just doing her job, to finally understanding the ladies she lived with and forming real friendships with them. Tom Colton is an interesting character and hero, though I wished we knew more about him. The book is mostly Jennifer’s story, though he does get a chance to share from his point of view every now and then. He is an ex-Texas Ranger turned rancher, looking to find the truth about his brother. He was a fairly flat character in my mind, which frustrated me at times. While Jennifer is fully rounded and we know her quite well, it seemed Tom was overlooked with everything that was going on. Also, for a Texas Ranger, he was a pretty poor detective, letting Jennifer do all of the work. I did enjoy their relationship. I liked that it slowly grew and changed throughout the story, making the romance very believable. While I enjoyed the spiritual aspect and how involved it was, it also became very overwhelming at times. It seemed to weigh down the storyline until I was struggling to remember where we were with the mystery. I appreciate the important points Margaret was trying to get across, things like redemption, trust, God’s will, and a couple others, but I quickly became annoyed with it. I found myself skipping over parts of it, wanting to move on with the story. It overshadowed the storyline so much that I had a hard time following it. I did enjoy the mystery and the fact that Margaret had me well and truly stumped. There were just too many suspects for me to guess correctly “whodunit.” I would never had figured out who it was, so that was very interesting for me. I also liked the humor that was mixed throughout and had me laughing aloud a few times. Another thing that bothered me was the number of secondary characters. Margaret did her best to create a whole town for this book and I really appreciate her effort, but I found myself getting lost so many times. I couldn’t remember who everyone was or how they fit. I finally reached the point where I just didn’t care any longer. She did include a little reminder for most of them, but it was still very difficult for me to keep up. I wish there had been a few less characters, so that I could have known the more important ones better. Overall, I did enjoy this book. The humor was fun, the mystery compelling, and the characters interesting. I would recommend it for someone looking for a historical mystery set in the Old West. Please note, I was reading an advanced copy and my opinions are based on that. The final edition may be very different. I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.