Hitch your imagination to an intriguing new mystery series set in the world of competitive carriage driving - an elegant yet cut-throat realm in which gorgeously costumed drivers and their magnificently harnessed horses vie for championships in the challenging obstacle course of the show ring.
Jane Austen, meet Mad Max.
Fans of the long-running Mossy Creek Hometown Series will gallop to bookstores for this spin-off equine mystery series by veteran Mossy Creek author Carolyn McSparren, a nationally known novelist and expert carriage driver, who owns and shows carriage-driving horses in her home state of Tennessee.
Open your barn doors and fasten your (buggy's) seatbelts for The Cart Before the Corpse
Famous southern carriage-horse trainer Hiram Lackland, a handsome widower, dies mysteriously after retiring to a farm outside Mossy Creek. His estranged daughter, Merry Abbot, also a horse trainer, arrives to settle his estate. But Merry quickly plunges into bit-chomping dilemmas when her father's friend and landlord, mystery-novel maven Peggy Caldwell, insists he was murdered.
Before Merry can so much as snap a buggy rein, a handsome and annoying GBI investigator, Geoff Madison, is on her case. Then there's the troublesome donkey: Don Qui. Short for Don Quixote. And the fact that Hiram was teaching all of Mossy Creek's lonely women how to - ahem - drive his carriage.
Can Merry rein in the truth? What kind of horse play was her rakish dad involved in, and why would someone want to giddy-yup him into an early grave?
Stay tuned for the answers in this first episode of, "As the Carriage Wheel Turns".
©2009 Carolyn McSparren (P)2012 BelleBooks, Inc.
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"Good beginning for a new series"
I have never read a book by this author. I was pleasantly surprised. The story was funny and interesting. This is the first cozy mystery in which the lead character allows the police to do their job without a lot of interference. Merry goes about doing her job carry for horses, facing her fears, and finding a way to forgive her father while the police does the investigating. However, she does manage to solve the case and save herself by the end. The story kept my interest and the characters were believable and likable. I wish the second installment was available on audio, but at this time it is not. However, I might buy it on Kindle. This book is worth a credit and your time.
"The Cart Before the Corpse"
Very entertaining, very educational, very worthwhile.
Having no experience of 'driving' horses, or even awareness that carts and carriages are driven, I painlessly learned a bit about the sport. This story is about a woman whose father dies before she gets a chance to complete a reconciliation. When she inherits his life's dream property and its headaches, her life gets more complicated. It doesn't bog in despair, but it allows time and space for real grief. It's a decent mystery, too. I recommend it and I will be reading more of this writer's work.
"Good story ruined by performance"
McSparren writes a good story with fun characters and decently paced action. However, between the poor editing (repeated words, sentences and stumbles just shouldn't be there) and horrible performance by the narrator I would recommend you give this book a miss.
Not all southern accents are the same and picking the correct ones for Tennessee and Georgia would be appreciated. Nasal is not required and inflection that matched the action rather than swapping out monotone with sing-song could vastly improve the quality of the performance.
I may read follow-on books in this series, but I will avoid this narrator.
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