We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Murder on the Ranch.
Aptly named story in this rural Coloradan tale of family infighting, a failing ranch, and fatal consequences. Russ Morgan gets hired to investigate an issue of vandalism on the Ellis ranch, but that's just the beginning.
Personal, confidential tone to the storytelling with the first person narrative that works well. Russ is an honest, straightforward man: no bullshit, no showboating, and to the point. He's not perfect, but he's a damn fine man.
Nice little mix-in of his personal life that's woven throughout the mystery. Just a bit that carries the down time as events are proceeding and information is processing. Non-graphic, but it helps to round out Russ's personality. Also, the personal reflection and Russ's philosophy on life is very rural western in its viewpoint and helps set the story firmly in Colorado.
Real humdinger of a twist at the end, which I really appreciated and made me smile. Not cozy, and lacking the urbanism of a hard-boiled detective novel this travels a middle road giving the reader the benefit of both. This is my second Meeker novel and I pleased to have found an author the I can turn to for a good yarn with a likable MC.
3.5-4 Hearts, rounding up for being in the perfect mood.
Overall, a dependable diversion.
I kissed the soft-spiky top of his head, feeling my solitary life ready to scatter into chaos.