Reining in Murder (Carson Stables Series #1)

Reining in Murder (Carson Stables Series #1)

by Leigh Hearon

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Overview

When horse trainer Annie Carson rescues a beautiful thoroughbred from a roadside rollover, she knows the horse is lucky to be alive…unlike the driver. After rehabilitating the injured animal at her Carson Stables ranch, Annie delivers the horse to Hilda Colbert--the thoroughbred's neurotic and controlling owner--only to find she's been permanently put out to pasture. Two deaths in three days is unheard of in the small Olympic Peninsula county, and Annie decides to start sniffing around. She's confident she can track down a killer…but she may not know how ruthless this killer really is…


Praise for Leigh Hearon:
 
"Here's a new heroine after my own heart. Plan to stay up all night with this one because this mystery is a winner right out of the gate!" —Fern Michaels, #1 New York Times bestselling author on Reining in Murder

"This strikingly polished first mystery is, quite simply, remarkable. Reining in Murder has it all: rounded characters, likeable protagonist, thrilling, perfectly paced plot and impeccable narrative style . . . Leigh Hearon masterfully maintains the suspense to the very finish line." —Mystery Scene Magazine on Reining in Murder

“Leigh Hearon seems destined for high marks with what is shaping up to be a delightful new series in the mystery genre.” —Colorado Daily News on Reining in Murder

“This murder mystery will be enjoyed by anyone who likes chewing hay and wearing riding boots.” —Fresh Fiction on Reining in Murder

“The action-packed scenes are stellar, as well as the descriptions of the gorgeous and dangerous Washington wilderness. This third in the series presents a unique heroine, one whose devotion to horses is as admirable as her wit and intelligence.” —Kings River Life Magazine on Unbridled Murder

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496700339
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 03/29/2016
Series: Carson Stables Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 787,282
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Leigh Hearon began her own P.I. agency, Leigh Hearon Investigative Services, in 1992. Her cases have appeared on In the Dead of the Night, Forensic Files, 48 Hours, Court TV, City Confidential, Unsolved Mysteries, America's Most Wanted, and Evening With Connie Chung. Hearon was an avid rider of horses throughout her childhood. She currently has a Saddlebred mare, Jolie Jeune Femme, and enjoys watching two rescue mares cavort on a 55-acre farm she shares with her husband. Visit her on the web at leighhearon.com.

Read an Excerpt

Reining in Murder


By Leigh Hearon

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Leigh Hearon
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0034-6



CHAPTER 1

Wee Hours Of Monday Morning, February 22nd

She awoke suddenly out of a troubled sleep. The silence within her small bedroom felt deafening.

From across the hall in the kitchen, the Seth Thomas clock bonged the quarter hour. Annie Carson looked up. It was 3:15, a time all smart horsewomen should be asleep.

The clock that marked each quarter hour in slow, sonorous tones was a comfort. The vibrate mode on her cell phone was nothing but an irritant.

"Hell's bells." Annie sighed and picked up the offending item. She glanced at the caller ID and swung her legs out of bed. She knew she was going to get dressed, and warmly, too.

"Top o' the morning to you, Annie," came the voice on the other end. "We've got a live one on Highway 3, Milepost 11. Near rollover with a horse trailer."

Annie cringed. "How's the horse, Dan?"

"Scared. But no broken bones or blood — I think. It's a miracle, but he seems to have survived the crash. Can't say the same for the driver."

"I'll be there as soon as I can throw on some clothes."

"Appreciate that." Dan clicked off.

"And by the way," Annie said to the dead connection, "it's not the top o' the morning. It's the middle of the freakin' night."

Dan Stetson — aptly named, since his head was about as big as a ten-gallon hat — was the local sheriff in Suwana County. Annie was used to getting calls in the middle of the night from Dan, so it didn't take her long to pull on her work clothes, fire up her F250 with the three-stall horse trailer attached, and gulp down a cup of reheated coffee while she waited for the rig to warm up. She nodded to Wolf, a mangy Blue Heeler who had thoughtfully placed himself in front of the kitchen door in case Annie forgot he existed. He trotted behind her into the frigid air and leapt, in a single graceful bound, onto the back of the truck and into his open crate.

It might have been late February, but on the Olympic Peninsula the thermometer still dropped into the twenties at night, so layering, the euphemistic word Northwesterners used to describe heaping on silk underwear, insulated jeans, and a trio of ratty old Scandinavian sweaters, was still the current fashion trend in the dead of night. Annie double-checked her brake lights on the trailer and glanced up at the gun rack behind her. There was her trusty Winchester .30-30, never used on a human — yet.

Annie eased out the clutch, turned on the defroster full blast, and drove slowly to her property gate. She gazed in her rearview mirror for a few brief seconds to imagine her small herd of horses asleep in their stalls. Only Trotter, the donkey, who usually had more sense than the rest of them, was jogging back and forth against the paddock line, plaintively braying his displeasure at her departure.

"Don't worry, you old jackass," she muttered. "I'll be back in time to feed you."

The metal farm gate, as usual, was gaping open at the top of her driveway, and Annie cursed herself for once more failing to secure her property before retiring. At forty-three, she wasn't quite as spry as she'd been at thirty, capable of running an ax murderer off the farm if she'd ever encountered one. But after a lifetime of scrimping and careful saving, she just couldn't convince herself to spend the money on an electric gate, which would have made life immeasurably easier and safer.

Milepost 11 on Highway 3 was only three miles away, but it took Annie a cautious five minutes to navigate it. Fog patches unexpectedly appeared before her, spreading a thick gray spell across the road. Just past Milepost 10, the eeriness vanished. The roadway ahead of her was lit up like the Fourth of July, the whirling strobes and headlights from half of the Sheriff's Office patrol squad staked out in a semicircle in the middle of the highway. Glints of steel shimmered off the berm on the north side of the road. Even with all the traffic, Annie saw in an instant what had occurred.

A long double line of heavy skid marks swerved to the ditch off the right side of the road. At the end sat a Chevy Silverado, its rear end ridiculously suspended in midair. The vehicle apparently had caromed off the road, hit the steel-post fence beyond the ditch, and bounced back to rest. Meanwhile, the horse rig, a gooseneck two-horse slant load, was twisting perilously to the left, held up by only one wheel.

In the center of the semicircle of black-and-whites, Annie noticed an ambulance from the local medical clinic, its back doors ominously gaping open, waiting to receive the body. Two EMTs peered into the Silverado on the driver's side, while another tried to wrench open the battered passenger door, which gave no signs of cooperating. No doubt they were figuring how best to extract the driver, Annie thought. Outside the action sat the prized fire truck from the volunteer unit in nearby Oyster Bay. The two local boys inside the cab looked transparently disappointed that their services would not be needed. Annie had encountered these boys before on similar calls, and unabashedly liked them for their willingness to come out in the dead of night to deal with misery and tragedy on the local highways and farms. She suspected they liked her, too, possibly for the same reasons. That, and the fact that Annie paid one of them handsomely twice a year to shear her sheep.

Annie brought her Ford and trailer to a crawl on the right shoulder of the road. Before she could turn off the engine, Dan Stetson was beside her window, gesturing her to crank it down. Dan looked distraught — not a good sign. He was also eager to talk.

"Don't know what exactly happened here, Annie," he said, slightly out of breath. "It's the damnedest thing. Truck suddenly swerves off to the right, jackknifes, and the trailer almost overturns. Neighbors back there" — Dan pointed somewhere in the distance — "hear the sound of the truck's crashing into their fence line and are on the phone pronto. We get out here, and there's a horse — who seems to be okay," Dan said in response to Annie's panic-stricken look. "I got to tell you, Annie, our in-transit time was one of our personal best, but nothing could have saved this guy. We found him slumped dead over his air bag, which we assume inflated as soon as he hit the Truebloods' fence posts." Dan pointed in the direction of the truck. "Didn't have a chance. Just glad we could save the nag."

Annie's eyes followed Dan's outstretched hand.

"Let me park my rig and join you," she said. Carefully noting where technicians had staked out the road, she eased her truck and trailer onto an unused portion of the shoulder. She could sense, rather than see, Wolf's excitement from his vantage point in the truck bed.

"Okay, buddy. But don't go messing up any of the accident scene."

She unhooked the carrier, and Wolf obediently bounded out to join his mistress on the ground. They walked over to Dan, who now was scratching his considerable head.

"Interesting that the horse survived, but not the driver," Dan continued. He looked at Annie, as if he expected her to give the definitive answer. Instead, she just stared back at him. The fact was she hadn't the slightest idea why the accident had occurred, although she'd never give him the satisfaction of telling him so.

"Seat belt on?" was her only comment.

"Yup."

"What about the horse?"

"He's out of the trailer, and Tony's handling him, just there, beyond the fence line." Dan pointed again.

Annie inwardly sighed a breath of relief. If Deputy Tony Elizalde had control over the animal, all would be well. Tony had grown up with parents who worked at a local racetrack, and had it not been for a conscientious high-school counselor, chances are Tony would have entered the same trade — grooming, washing, and cleaning stalls. Instead, Tony went to college, took the test to become a deputy in the local county Sheriff's Office, passed with flying colors, and now was one of the steadiest members of the police team. He also knew horses front ways, sideways, and backward. If the horse that had tumbled on its side was now in Tony's care, Annie was content.

She glanced over to the left side of the road and saw Tony trying to calm a strikingly tall bay covered in sweat and skittishly dancing around him. Annie turned her mind to the more immediate problem.

"Who's the owner?"

"Who do you think, Annie?" Dan replied. "You're looking at $50,000 worth of horseflesh over there. Who in this godforsaken county can afford the care and feeding that nag requires?"

Annie's shoulders slumped. Who indeed. Hilda Colbert, that's who. Annie hated her. Well, to be honest, she didn't hate her; she just hated the way she treated her horses. Hilda was a relative newcomer to the area, a California transplant who had made millions in the software industry and now fully indulged her passion for raising and riding hunter jumpers and thoroughbreds. Although Annie wasn't sure it was a passion for horses or just a passion for control. She'd seen the way Hilda acted around her champion equines and it wasn't pretty. In fact, the only thing pretty around Hilda was the state-of-the-art riding complex she'd constructed in the valley. It truly was a thing of beauty. But inside were housed eighteen neurotic, overwrought horses that didn't know which command to follow any time Hilda was on one of their backs.

"I don't suppose you've called her," Annie said glumly.

Dan snorted. "Hell, no! I'm not waking up the queen. That's your job."

Annie sighed. "Who's the deceased? One of Hilda's underpaid minions?"

"Nope. A guy out of Wyoming. Professional hauler. Can't understand why he swerved, though. You'd think he'd know better than to try to clear a deer."

"So that's what you think?" Annie asked. "Just one of your typical caught-in-the-headlight accidents?"

"Won't know until the State Patrol gets here with the Total Station. But offhand, I can't think of any other reason. It's a straight stretch of road. Unless, of course, he had a heart attack or something."

Annie squinted through the blazing circle of lights and silently agreed. There was no good reason for anyone to go off the road here. "Odor of intoxicants?" she asked.

"Nope. Unless you count the distinctive odor of Calvin Klein."

Annie laughed. "Maybe he had a hot date with Hilda."

"I hope not. I had to break the news to his wife just a few minutes ago. Doubt she would have been very happy to know hubby was on his way to a dalliance."

Annie realized that to outsiders her banter might have been off-putting, but after working with Dan on a dozen or more accident scenes involving horses, she had picked up the gallows humor so often adopted by law enforcement as a way to cope with sudden death. But Dan's remark brought her back to reality. A man had died, his wife was now a widow, and the valuable horse he'd been transporting needed comfort and a warm stable.

"Keep me posted, will you, Dan?"

"Will do." Just then, Dan's radio squawked, and she heard him revert to his professional parlance.

The thoroughbred was a magnificent creature — sixteen hands or more, Annie guessed, with classic bay markings. Annie walked over to Tony, who stood beside the shuddering horse, stroking its neck and whispering sweet nothings. At least the horse wasn't moving its feet anymore. Annie extended her hand to the bay's nose by way of introduction. The horse nuzzled back, licking the salt and dirt off her hand.

"Aren't you a handsome fellow?" she whispered to him.

"He sure is," said Deputy Elizalde. Tony clearly was in love. It would be hard not to fall in love with this horse; he had pedigree written all over him, and his elegance, despite his nervousness, permeated the air.

"Well, time to get him back in a trailer," Annie said. "This could be tricky." She reluctantly withdrew her now-very-clean hand and walked back to her truck, where Wolf jumped into the driver's seat as soon as Annie cracked the door.

"You're too young to drive," Annie told him, and Wolf agreeably relinquished his spot for the passenger side.

Horses like terra firma, and convincing them to step onto a springy surface that moves can be a hard sell. This thoroughbred, Annie realized, probably had been loaded into a trailer dozens of times and was used to the experience. Nonetheless, it had just survived a terrifying encounter and emerged from a twisted crate of steel that must now be perceived as a claustrophobic nightmare. Horses remember through their senses, particularly visually, and Annie was afraid just the sight of her trailer would turn this proud animal into a quivering beast with one thought: to bolt, rear, strike out, and do anything but get back into the box that an hour ago had threatened its survival.

Annie backed up her trailer fifty feet away from the fence line. She made sure there was hay in the feeder and added a couple of carrots for good measure. With one eye on the bay at all times, she quietly swung open the hinges that unlocked the back doors.

Deputy Elizalde slowly slid his hand up the lead line and started the walk over. Annie watched the bay skitter its way through the blinking lights of the patrol vehicles, its eyes white with fright. Tony was doing a good job, Annie noticed — he had his hand solidly on the lead rope but wasn't gripping it so tightly that the bay felt it had its head in a noose. In her sleep-deprived state, Annie lazily began to think that everything was actually going to go all right.

She was wrong.

CHAPTER 2

One Second Later

A piercing whoop-whoop split the air. Even Annie jumped at the sound of the fire truck, which slowly followed the ambulance, bearing the body of the dead Wyoming hauler, through the slalom course of accident markers strewn on the road.

The bay took a flying leap into the air, snapping the lead line out of the deputy's hands, and, riveting its body in straight alignment to the road, sped off at a full-flight gallop.

In the corner of her eye, Annie saw Tony sprawled on the ground, shaking his head. She didn't think; she simply reacted. Racing to the center of the road, she spread her body as widely as she could and slowly started waving her outstretched arms up and down. The bay continued hell-bent toward her. Annie willed herself not to jump out of the way.

Ten feet before certain collision, the horse suddenly veered to the right. Annie's heart sank but then lifted as she saw Tony beside her, mimicking her arm movements to keep the bay from getting by.

The bay reared within striking distance of both of them. It bolted to the left, but now Dan Stetson was on her other side, keeping the blockade intact.

The half-dozen remaining deputies seemed rooted to their spots, as they watched the bay twist, turn, rear, and buck, as it tried to find a safe passage away from its own private nightmare.

"Get your butts over here!" Dan yelled out to his mesmerized crew. "That damn Leif! He's just got to play cowboy with that horn. I'd rip his brain out if he had one!"

By now, the line holding the horse in check was secure, but the human corral only made the bay more frenzied. Giving up on trying to find a loose link, the bay began to circle before them, going faster and faster so that even Annie, standing still, felt dizzy from the horse's frantic exertion. The road was littered with flashlights, accident-scene tape, and other detritus from the site of the overturned trailer. The dangling lead rope from the horse's halter snaked on the ground. Annie prayed that the horse wouldn't stumble and fall, or worse, step on the halter and break its neck.

The horse was a blur as it hurtled past her, but as it swept to the other side of the circle, she saw, with alarm, that it was punctuating the air with short jabs from its hind hooves. This was not good. It was one thing to have a scared horse, but a scared and aggressive horse was a danger to everyone.

"Cover for me!" Annie shouted in Tony's ear. Tony nodded, and took a step to his left to fill her place. On Tony's right stood Deputy Williams, who immediately cinched up the line. Deputy Kim Williams was one of the few females and the only African-American officer on the force and worked out big-time. Annie felt an added sense of security knowing Kim was there as she walked into the center of the storm.

Once inside the circle of officers, Annie stood perfectly still, but even if she'd been doing jumping jacks, she doubted whether the horse would have noticed her presence as it whirled around her. She realized that the horse was in a zone all its own, one dominated by the right side of its brain, the side dedicated to survival instincts. Its ability to think, reason, and understand were gone. In its place was an animal instinct for just one thing: getting free, at any cost.

Annie remembered this as she forced herself to breathe in and out — long, slow breaths that belied how she felt. After counting to a hundred, she slowly turned her eyes toward the bay. Every time the horse passed by her, Annie focused on the same spot on the horse's hindquarters. She did not move. No one in the outer circle said a word.

What seemed like a thousand laps later, the bay's right ear made an infinitesimally small twitch toward her.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Reining in Murder by Leigh Hearon. Copyright © 2016 Leigh Hearon. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Title Page,
Dedication,
CHAPTER 1 - Wee Hours of Monday Morning, February 22nd,
CHAPTER 2 - One Second Later,
CHAPTER 3 - Monday Morning, Feb. 22nd,
CHAPTER 4 - Monday Afternoon, February 22nd,
CHAPTER 5 - Tuesday Morning — Wednesday Afternoon, February 22nd and February 23rd,
CHAPTER 6 - Wednesday Afternoon, February 24th,
CHAPTER 7 - Thursday, February 25th,
CHAPTER 8 - Friday, February 26th,
CHAPTER 9 - Saturday, February 27th,
CHAPTER 10 - Saturday Night, February 27th — Sunday, February 28th,
CHAPTER 11 - Monday, February 29th — Tuesday, March 1st,
CHAPTER 12 - Wednesday Evening, March 2nd — Thursday, March 3rd,
CHAPTER 13 - Friday, March 4th,
CHAPTER 14 - Saturday, March 5th,
CHAPTER 15 - Sunday, March 6th,
CHAPTER 16 - Monday, March 7th,
CHAPTER 17 - Tuesday, March 8th,
CHAPTER 18 - Wednesday, March 9th,
CHAPTER 19 - Thursday, March 10th,
CHAPTER 20 - Friday, March 11th,
CHAPTER 21 - Saturday, March 12th,
CHAPTER 22 - Sunday, March 13th,
CHAPTER 23 - Wee Hours of Monday, March 14th,
CHAPTER 24 - Monday Afternoon, March 14th,
CHAPTER 25 - Tuesday Evening, March 15th,
EPILOGUE,
Acknowledgments,
Teaser chapter,
Copyright Page,

Customer Reviews

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Reining in Murder 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I ignored the negative review and read this book. I can hardly put it down. I don't nornally write reviews but this book is worth it. Give it a read. I will certainly read more of this author's stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a first book by a new writer and not a very good one. The writing was flat, characters did especially stupid things, happenings that were never fully explained, and silly mistakes, like a horse in the corner of a round corral. I never warmed to the narrator and some times actively wanted to smack her and the sheriff, and her sister. The only one I liked was her dog. It was disjointed. I forced myself to finish in hopes it would improve. It did not.
LolaReviews More than 1 year ago
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review To summarize: this one has a promising start and premise, but it just fell flat for me. I liked Annie and her love for animals, I could relate to that. I liked how the horses aspect was handled and the focus on these animals. The mystery didn't quite work for me, there wasn't as much focus on the mystery as I had hoped, the police made conclusions based on theories instead of evidence. The main character only got actively involved at the end and even then half of the mystery got solved by coincidence it seemed. I wasn't too surprised when we found out who was the killer, but there wasn't a nice set-up towards it either. There were a lot of little things that annoyed me and I just lost interest eventually. I didn't really care about the characters and I thought the main character wasn't really likeable. There is a hint of romance, but it seemed to go to fast and then almost no progress after that. Overall this had some promise and I liked the horse aspect, but the rest fell flat for me.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Reining in Murder - Carson Stables Mystery 1 Author: Leigh Hearon Published: 3-29-2016 Publisher: Kensington Books Pages: 352 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths; Animals; Private Investigators ISBN: 9781496700339 ASIN: B010ZZXX1W Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . . Carson Stables located in Suwana County Washington is run by Annie Carson. As a horse rescuer she receives a late night call from Sheriff Dan Stetson regarding an accident involving a fatality and a traumatized horse with minor injuries. After helping the horse Annie unfortunately must return the beautiful horse to her mean spirited owner Hilda Colbert. When she arrives at Colbert Farms Annie find Hilda sent on to her Maker. With the two deaths in less than 72 hours Annie believes there may be more than coincidence involved. With a suspect list longer than her arm Annie begins to investigate. The unexpected visit from her half-sister Lavender a self appointed psychic does not help her stress levels. With characters that are excellently developed for a starter book in a series. The writing style and plot are surprisingly well done. So well done you will be imagining yourself in any of the scenes portrayed in the books. The story flows easily and you will enjoy the many twist in turns Leigh Hearon scatters throughout the story to keep you guessing till the end of the story. With a first book like Reining in Murder I cannot wait to see where Ms. Hearon goes from here. I look forward to reading more of Annie and Carson Stables.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
Reining in Murder by Leigh Hearon is the first book in A Carson Stables Mystery series. Annie Carson is a horse rescuer in Suwana County, Washington. She receives a call during the night from Sheriff Dan Stetson. A man was in an accident, and he was hauling a horse. The horse needs to be brought back to Carson Farm. The man who was driving, Wayne Johnston, did not survive. The horse was okay and only suffered minor injuries. Unfortunately, the gorgeous horse belongs to Hilda Colbert of Colbert Farm. Hilda has a nasty personality. Hilda contacts Annie after she has been up all night caring for her horse, demanding that the horse be transported to her farm immediately (indicating that her farm is far superior). When Annie insists that the horse cannot be moved yet, Hilda states that they will pick up the horse first thing the next day. The next day no one shows or calls. When Annie goes over to Colbert Farm (the next day), she finds Hilda dead in her bedroom. The suspect list is long (since Hilda did not have a winning personality). Sheriff Stetson’s number one suspect is Marcus Carson, Hilda’s husband (feel sorry for him—being married to Hilda). Annie is not so sure. Annie starts investigating (while keeping Dan filled in—sort of) and then Marcus disappears. Annie is sure that foul play is involved, but Dan feels that Marcus took off. Then one of the Colbert Farm ranch hands is missing. People are dropping like flies. What is going on? Not only is Annie investigating Hilda’s murder, but her half-sister Lavender has decided to visit (they have never met). Lavender is a quirky individual who believes that she has psychic powers (Lavender was spoiled by her parents). Life is never dull at the Carson Farm. Reining in Murder is an easy to read cozy mystery novel. I just wish more of the book had been devoted to the mystery. The clues are very sparse (more show up just before the killer is revealed). More time is devoted to Lavender and her antics than to the mystery. We also get quite a bit of information about horses, mules, dogs, Annie’s eating habits, Sheriff Stetson’s marriage troubles, and the type of scotch Annie (and Dan Stetson) like to drink. I give Reining in Murder 3 out of 5 stars. I wish the mystery had been harder to figure out. You would think there would be a lot of suspects (since Hilda was not liked by anyone but her husband), but, in reality, there are few of them provided in the book. As soon as Annie found the body, I knew who killed her (you know who is going to be killed as soon as she is mentioned in the book). I did like the main characters and the gorgeous setting. I will read the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of Reining in Murder from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
KatrinaWiese More than 1 year ago
This is my first introduction to Leigh Hearon, as this is the first book in a New Series! I really enjoyed reading this book, The plot itself is well written, well developed and well thought out. I was enamored with all of the information and time that we spent with the horses. I myself am terrified of horses but they amaze me with their intelligence and grace and the author's descriptions of the horses and care of horses was on point and so delightfully descriptive I felt like I was right beside Annie throughout the entire story. Overall, Reining in Murder was a very enjoyable read with a unique setting and story line and really fun, fully developed characters! I especially loved the horses! This was a great start to what is going to quickly become a very popular series! I can't wait to read the next in the series, Saddle Up for Murder, which is set to be released on October 25, 2016! You can bet I have already pre-ordered it! I received an ARC of this book, from NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the first book in the A Carson Stables Mystery series by Leigh Hearon. Annie Carson is a horse trainer who rescues a beautiful horse from an accident. When she delivers the horse to the owner Hilda Colbert. When Annie comes across two days, she knows something is not right in her small town. She is determined to find out who the killer is. If you are looking for a great mystery, that will keep you guessing until the end. Then you need to read this one. I am looking forward to the next book by this author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
ArizonaJo More than 1 year ago
Reining in Murder by Leigh Hearon is the first in a new cozy mysteries set in the Pacific Northwest. This author is "new to me" but I was impressed by this book. Annie Carson is a horse trainer as well as a having a small farm. She lives alone and is very independent. She's also smart, honest and prefers most animals to people. I liked her and was quickly pulled into this story. Although I know nothing about horses, I never felt lost as Ms. Hearon did an excellent job of explaining about equine care and training. As the characters were introduced they were clearly written and I enjoyed meeting and getting to know them as the story progressed. Their support moved the story through the twists and turns of the mystery. The vivid description of the countryside where Annie lived helped me to visualize the setting so clearly as I read. The plot moved smoothly and I kept turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I received an ARC from Kensington via NetGalley in exhange for an honest review. Thank you Kensington for the opportunity to read and review this book.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
I enjoy a good cozy mystery and that is just what this book is. With Annie Carson and her equine, canine, feline and human friends to support her she decides to sleuth a bit when she thinks the local constabulary are not doing their jobs and just trying to quickly solve a murder or two. Annie is intrepid, loves her animals, works in equine rescue and is an intriguing character. I like the fact that she raises sheep for their wool but does not eat her own animals. The supporting characters provided interest, humor, depth and friendship while further explaining Annie and who she is. They also provide fodder for future interactions in the series. I have enjoyed reading horse stories from childhood although horses and I do not see eye to eye – they are alpha to my lesser status and treat me as such. My sister was the horse enthusiast and knows more about horses than I ever will. My lack of knowledge of all equine technical terms did not impact my enjoyment of this story and I look forward to reading many more books in this series. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the copy of this ARC to read and review. 4.5 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book with interesting twist and turns