Friday, February 7, 2014

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley - Review of the third book in Brides of Last Chance Ranch series

Annie Beckman (Miranda Hunt) and David Branch (Jeremy Taggart) are both on the train to Cactus Patch, Arizona although they don't know each other they are both headed to the Last Chance Ranch. When a man appears to have dropped an envelope Annie picks it up and returns it to him causing Branch to think she's the Phantom, the leader of the Phantom gang or at least a member. Right before the train arrives in Cactus Patch the man that had dropped the envelope and two others, including Branch, rob the passengers but to their despair they are all three arrested as soon as they get off of the train.

How did the sheriff know the train would be robbed, they got a call from the Phantom telling him and while he was arresting the three robbers, the Phantom was robbing the bank. Annie catches a ride to the ranch with Stretch but when she gets there no one is at the house. She waits and finally having to use the facilities she goes inside but when she comes around a corner she surprises Miss Walker who falls and breaks her femur. Now Annie has to be a nurse to the crotchety old lady and still try to find the Phantom for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, she has her work cut out for her.

Branch is released from jail on a ruse, because he actually works for the Wells Fargo Detective Agency, and goes to work on the Last Chance Ranch also. The two agents from opposing agency's suspect everyone, including each other and even Miss Walker.

This was the best book in the series, it has a mystery to it and it stays a mystery to the end. When Annie discovers what Branch is responsible for she wants nothing more to do with him, as if she wanted anything to do with him before. If you think Miss Walker was a bossy person before, her demeanor being laid up with a broken let hanging from the rafters, so to speak, make things worse. There is a very surprising ending though!

Margaret really outdid herself with this book and I would highly recommend investing in this series.

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