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Humor, Mystery and Romance March 17, 2014
Mystery, humor and romance meet in Margaret Brownley's "Gunpowder Tea". Pinkerton operative, Miranda "Annie" Hunt, has taken the job as the next possible heiress to Last Chance Ranch in order to discover the identity and whereabouts of a famous criminal. Several humorous mix-ups occur when Wells Fargo detective, Jeremy Taggart, has also been given the assignment of discovering this same criminal. Neither one knows who the other is and suspicions run high!
Even after reading four other Margaret Brownley novels I forgot how well she writes humor into ordinary situations. Mrs. Brownley is talented at crafting words in such a way that makes me smile and then laugh out loud as I'm reading.
Miranda was a brave heroine, but still had a vulnerable soul underneath. I liked how she still wanted to feel feminine and be loved as a woman even when doing tough, dangerous work. Miranda "Annie" was able to separate her work and private life too.
Jeremy was a wonderful, handsome man. That saying, he was a little bit of the stereotypical hero of hundreds of other books I have read. His one humorous bad habit and the cute bantering back and forth with Annie about suspects and cases, just saved him from this fate.
The romantic elements were much better here than in the two previous novels in this series. Having the hero and heroine in the same location for most of the book definitely helped. That aspect was greatly missed in the others.
I love tea and so enjoyed all the different kinds brought forward in this book! That was a nice break in the middle of all the intrigue.
If you are wanting to read a lot about ranching then this novel isn't for you. The mystery is the whole focus. Even though I enjoyed the intrigue I'm glad it wasn't more suspenseful than it was. Obviously, it was necessary to have a mystery as the plot because it was their assignment and I understand that.
I enjoyed my trip west while reading this book and loved the Pinkerton elements. As always, the quotes at the beginning of each chapter are something to which I look forward. I wish more authors would do this.
Review by Sylvia
Hint of mystery, hint of romance November 12, 2013
Gunpowder Tea... This is a book written by Margaret Brownley. 316 pages long, with Pinkerton agents and Wells Fargo agents. Set in the west. I reviewed this book for Booksneeze.com.
Reading a variety of books is fun for me, reading historical fiction with a hint of mystery is just icing on the cake. :) I enjoyed reading this book and if you enjoy reading these kind of books, you will too. :) It is not a hard read, I was able to get it done in two days (It would have been one day if I'd been able to devote the whole day to it, but I have a family to care for as well).
That said, let me tell you a bit about the book. It's part of a series of books called "the Last Brides of Last Chance Ranch". It is the third in the series. Last Chance Ranch is set in the Arizona Territory, in an area that is not well suited to farming, but a stubborn ranch lady is successfully managing her beef cattle on a ranch. She has a fine assortment of ranch hands, each with interesting nicknames such as Branch, Able and Stretch.
The main character is Miranda Hunt, a female agent with the Pinkertons. She has a mystery to solve and so poses as a single woman looking to become the heiress of the Last Chance Ranch. Can she find the phantom? And can she do so before the Wells Fargo agent does so? The race is on between two agencies with no love for each other.
I enjoyed learning what gunpowder tea was (you'll have seen the image above). :) Makes me think it's something my hubby (an avowed tea snob) would enjoy. From the book I learned this "It's fun to listen to the little popping sounds as the leaves unfurl during the brewing."
In this book there is a mystery, a change of heart, stubbornness, anger, frustration, love, tea time, misunderstandings, history... and for me a surprise ending! I did not manage to guess who the guilty party was! I wonder if, should you choose to read it, if you'll guess before the end of the book. :)
Review by Annette
Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley October 21, 2013
Pinkerton Operative, Miranda Hunt, needed an important assignment. One that would prove she is as good as any man on the job. When her boss sends her to Cactus Patch to The Last Chance Ranch to track down the Phantom, a local robber that is terrorizing the area, Miranda is determined to get her man. Once and for all this will give her the respect as an Operative she has always craved. Ranch owner, Eleanor Walker, is looking for a female heiress to take over her ranch but there is one condition. The woman wanting the position has to sign a contract stating she will never marry. So Miranda goes undercover as Eleanor's new potential heiress, Annie Beckman. When the new ranch hand Branch comes on the scene, Miranda sees him as a suspect but she also doesn't know how to handle the new feelings he awakens in her. She has always been content with the lonely life of being an Operative but after being in Branch's arms she isn't sure she can ever be content with that life again. When his true identity as Jeremy Taggert, a Wells Fargo Detective, is brought to light Miranda must deal with the issues of her past in order to move toward her future. Can her love for Jeremy and her love for her job come together or will her love of one push her away from the other?
Jeremy Taggert had semi retired from his job as a Wells Fargo Detective but when his best friend is killed by the Phantom, Jeremy is determined to bring him to justice. Working undercover as a ranch hand at The Last a Chance Ranch gives him access to several suspects. It also puts him in close proximity to Annie Beckman and Jeremy soon realizes it's a dangerous position to be in. He might find the Phantom but, in the process, he might also lose his heart. When Annie finds out that Jeremy is the detective involved in the case that resulted in her father's death she wants nothing more to do with him. Can Jeremy break through her defenses and win her heart or will he continue on with the lonely life of a detective?
This being the third book in The Brides of The Last Chance Ranch series, I was waiting anxiously to read this book. I was in no way disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the characters I had come to love so much. Mrs. Walker's sharp tongue and tough exterior hides the warm, caring person within. I like her toughness, strength and gumption. I love Ruckus' pension to always point others to God when the chips are down. I also love Miranda's determination and the fact that she kept a GTF (God The Father) file where she wrote down all of her questions and concerns that only God could answer. I also loved the quirky little quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I found myself chuckling at them quite often. The characters were lovable and the story was thoroughly enjoyable. A blend of romance, western culture and a dab of suspense all in one. Margaret Brownley is one of my favorite authors because she never disappoints. I highly recommend this book, this entire series, to fans of historical western romaces.
**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review**
Review by Wanda Barefoot
Great Read! September 8, 2013
I just finished reading "Gunpowder Tea" by Margaret Brownley, published by Thomas Nelson books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would give it 4.5 stars.
The story is about a Pinkerton agent and a Wells Fargo detective who, unbeknownst to each other, are on the trail of “The Phantom”, a thief and robber. The Phantom seems to work from a central location, The Last Chance ranch. His gang members change frequently and even though some are captured, no one knows the identity of The Phantom, even those who are supposed to work as part of his gang.
Miranda Hunt is the Pinkerton operative, who under cover as Annie Beckman, answers an ad for an heiress to the Last Chance ranch. Without giving anything away, Annie comes to the Last Chance to find answers and along the way becomes quite fond of the lady rancher. You’ll have to read the book to find out the identities of the Wells Fargo detective and The Phantom.
I enjoyed this book very much because it is a blend of adventure, mystery and humor. The title of the story comes from a ritual that Annie institutes with the irascible Miss Walker, owner of the Last Chance. I was intrigued from the first page to the last. I highly recommend this book as a light-hearted mystery with wonderfully interesting characters. The ending will be quite a surprise.
You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-7M, and on Goodreads.com at http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/714746866.
Review by Barbara
She’s a Pinkerton detective. He’s working undercover for Wells Fargo. Neither has a clue about love.
Annie Beckman arrives at Last Chance Ranch in the Arizona Territory holding the classified ad she found. Miss Walker’s search for an heiress who is single and willing to remain so gives her the perfect cover. As a detective for the Pinkerton Agency, Annie’s latest clandestine task is to discover the identity of the mysterious Phantom, a train robber thought to be hiding out at the ranch.
Ranch hand and undercover Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggert is secretly tracking the Phantom too, but Annie suspects he may be the train robber she’s after. They’re constantly at odds and she even goes so far as to serve him gunpowder tea in an attempt to gain the upper hand.
Danger lurks around every corner and everyone is under suspicion—even Miss Walker! It’ll be a race to the finish to see which rival detective finds the Phantom first. Nothing—not even romance—can get in their way.
|Series||The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch Series|
|Publication Date||October 8, 2013|