Thursday, October 6, 2022

ARC Review: Canter with a Killer by Amber Camp

Canter with a Killer

Amber Camp
Series: A Horse Rescue Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)

Description: Perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Mollie Cox Bryan, Amber Camp’s debut novel will have you galloping through the pages, as a horse rescue owner races to find a killer and clear her name.

Mallory Martin left her marriage and her unfulfilling job to move back to her hometown of Hillspring, Arkansas, and start a horse rescue. It’s everything she’s been missing, with paddocks of happy horses and one very quirky donkey. But when her cantankerous neighbor and longtime critic, Albert Cunningham, is found murdered in his fancy show barn, Mallory becomes suspect number one. Since Sheriff Grady Sullivan is ignoring all good sense and focusing only on Mallory, she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Aided by her best friend, Lanie, and rescue volunteer Tanner, Mallory races headlong into the investigation in search of the real killer. But horses and murder aren’t the only thing on her mind when she meets Albert’s handsome son, Braydon. Sparks fly, and soon she’s got a new boyfriend. But there’s a case to be solved, and she redoubles her efforts to learn the truth.

The suspects mount quickly. There’s Albert’s girlfriend, Kathleen, who was on the farm when he was murdered; organic farmer Heather Rogers, who accused Albert of contaminating her creek; and Philip Atwood, who’d been trying for a right-of-way across Albert’s farm. None of the evidence is holding up though, and Mallory learns that she'll need to take the reins on this investigation if she's going to clear her own name.

My Thoughts: Mallory Martin has left her unfulfilling marriage to begin a horse rescue operation in her hometown in the Ozarks. Her rescue is next door to a fancy quarter horse breeding farm with a very cantankerous owner named Albert Cunningham who is constantly complaining that her operation is an eyesore. When Albert is found murdered in his fancy show barn, Mallory becomes the prime suspect.

Since Mallory feels that the sheriff is focusing on her alone, she begins her own investigation and finds a few possible alternate suspects. Heather Rogerd, the owner of a local organic farm, has had many loud arguments with Albert about her complaints that he is polluting a stream the runs through her farm. And Philip Atwood was in the process of suing Albert for access to some land Philip owned that was blocked by Albert's land. Albert had taken out a restraining order to keep him from doing more mischief on his land. 

Unfortunately, both Heather and Philip had strong alibis for the time of Albert's murder. But since Mallory knows she isn't guilty; she is trying to break their alibis. Both of them are threatening her with harassment.

Mallory isn't alone as she tries to prove her innocence. Her lawyer ex-husband shows up which gives her a chance to clear the air about their divorce even if he isn't much help in her murder investigation. She also has childhood friends - Lanie and Bill - who are definitely on her side and supportive. As are her two young volunteers - Ashley and Tanner. Also, she makes a new friend in local lawyer Andy Hannigan who is by her side even though he doesn't usually practice criminal law. 

I enjoyed this story even though I had figured out who the murderer was pretty quickly. I enjoyed watching Mallory interact with her rescues and dust off her old investigative skills. This was an entertaining mystery.

Favorite Quote:
Dad always told me that "curiosity killed the cat," which I would counter with my favorite teacher's often repeated Einstein quote: "The important thing is to not stop questioning."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I think if I ever retire, my reading habits will be very similar to yours! I'd love to read a cozy mystery now.


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