A recipe for true love or murder? Ingredients: one Southern belle, one Colorado gold miner, a wife wanted classified, and a fainting goat. Let simmer.
What’s a Southern belle to do in 1863? Wife-wanted ads are always risky business, but Millie Virginia never imagined she’d survive the perilous trip across the Great Plains to find her intended husband in a pine box. Was he killed in an accident? Or murdered for his gold mine? Stuck in the mining town of Idaho Springs, Colorado territory, without friends or means, Millie is beleaguered by undesirable suitors and threatened by an unknown assailant. Her troubles escalate when the brother of her dead fiancé, Dominic Drouillard, unexpectedly turns up.
Dom is an ill-mannered mountain man who invades Millie’s log cabin, insists that his brother was murdered, and refuses to leave until he finds the killer. Compelled to join forces with her erstwhile brother-in-law, Millie discovers the search for Colorado gold is perilous, especially with a murderer on their trail.
The Lucky Hat Mine interlaces the tale of a feisty heroine with frontier legend and lore making for an arousing historical murder mystery.
|Publisher:||Hansen Publishing Group, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.64(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a western, both due to its historical period and initial tales of crossing the prairie by covered wagon. But author JvL Bell takes on almost every western trope and makes it her own. For example, in your standard Western, women come in two kickass models: good (frontier wives/ preachers’ daughters) and bad (dance-hall girls/Soiled Doves such as Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday’s common law wife). Occasionally, the Soiled Doves—if they had a Heart-of-Gold—become good saloon owners (like Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke) or even wives. But Miss Permelia Abingdon Virginia—Millie to her friends—is a genteel Southern lady. Despite being raised in an orphanage, she’s worked darn hard to become one, memorizing and frequently quoting from her two bibles: THE LADIES’ BOOK OF ETIQUETTE and MANUAL OF POLITENESS: a complete handbook for the use of the lady in polite society by Florence Hartley, (actually published in 1873, whist the story is set in 1863), and TRUE POLITENESS, A hand-book of etiquette for ladies by An American Lady (1847). But when the War of Northern Aggression (Civil War) makes Millie a virtual household slave to the LeGrand family, leaving her with almost no chance for marriage and a family of her own, she decides take an almost unthinkable gamble and become a mail-order bride. After enduring the horrors of a westward journey, she arrives at the gold-mining town of Idaho Springs Colorado to find that her proposed husband is in a pine coffin, “resting in the river” (because it was just too warm to leave him exposed to air)—leaving her to become “The Widow D” and heir to her dead fiance’s gold mine. Idaho Springs’ woman-starved and gold-hungry residents immediately begin proposing marriage and offering to buy the mine. Shocked, Millie refuses all offers and moves into her dead almost-husband’s cabin. As she continues to rebuff proposals and receive ever-increasing offers to purchase her mine, Millie starts to carve out a tentative life for herself, befriending Mary, a black woman living in the next cabin, as well as her other new neighbors. But nothing in her etiquette bibles has prepared her for her unexpected new roommate—Dom, her dead fiance’s brother. As the story unwinds with a side-mystery involving her mysterious parents, Millie survives proposals, attempts on her life, and a pregnant fainting goat. And she does it all with humor, appreciation for the people she meets, hope for the future, and a healthy dose of strong willed determination. I love the way Millie’s character develops, from a young girl relying on the etiquette she’s learned to grow beyond her life as an orphan, eventually becoming a strong-willed (but always proper) woman who takes charge of her own destiny. The other characters in the book were also amusing, but not well-defined. My only real disappointment was in how the story seemed to end suddenly. The romance that grows between Dom and Millie is sweet, but her incessant wonder/worry about just what a husband’s “rights” might be stops a little too abruptly. I would have liked to see her move beyond the bedroom to embrace her new life and destiny. The setting is particularly effective. Not only does the author provide detailed word pictures of the area, but she fills in with a number of amusing and historically-accurate stories and details. Overall, The Lucky Hat Mine is an engaging, funny, clean romance. With fainting goats. Who could resist?
Amazing new author for me who brought everything possible to this adventure. A mail order bride, Colorado Territory, Gold mines, and fainting goats. Millie who becomes Widow D. before she takes her vows because her intended is dead. Inheriting a cabin, a gold mine, and dozens of marriage proposals as she steps off the stagecoach in Idaho Springs. Town folk seem welcoming and friendly to Millie so....who is trying to get her to leave or DIE? Got a copy of this from Hansen Publishing Group via Netgalley.
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite The Lucky Hat Mine is a wonderful mystery that takes place in 1863 during the gold mining heyday. Millie travels from New Orleans to Idaho Springs, Colorado to become the mail order bride of Johannes Drouillard. After an extremely difficult journey, Millie is told that Johannes has died in a mine landslide. Unwilling to travel back to New Orleans, Millie decides to stay in the well built cabin Johannes had waiting for her and take possession of his mine as his will stated. The townspeople welcome her and all of the available men are interested in marrying Millie, mostly to obtain the rights to the mine. When Dominic Drouillard, Johannes' brother, an ill-mannered, coarse man appears on her doorstop one winter morning, Millie is not happy having to share her new home with him. Dom is convinced that someone killed his brother and wants the mine because of the gold that Johannes most surely had found. This quickly becomes apparent when the pair is shot at. They are forced to work together to survive and the results make for some interesting developments. The Lucky Hat Mine combines murder, mystery, gold mining and life on the early frontier in a perfect blend of fact, fiction and diversion. J.v.L. Bell has certainly done her research of the times and written a story that was hard to put down. Millie and Dominic became my friends whom I really enjoyed being with. The townspeople of Idaho Springs were interesting and added mystery to the story. I recommend this book to young and old, mystery and historical readers, and those who just enjoy a well written book.