I don’t normally read mysteries that fall on the cozier side of the spectrum, but I’d come across Talented Horsewoman by L.C. Evans in the forums, heard some good things, and decided to give it a read.
Talented Horsewoman introduces you to the world of Leigh McRae, a single mother trying to live a comfortable small town life with her young daughter. Both mother and daughter share a passion for horses and riding, something her controlling, demanding ex-husband refuses to understand or accept. The book draws you in immediately as Leigh stops by her friend Rita’s ranch, only to find Rita dead from what seems a terrible accident. As events unfold, Leigh begins to question whether Rita’s death was truly what it seemed or something more sinister. The story keeps you hooked from the first pages and only builds as Leigh delves further into her late friend’s life and past, uncovering some surprising secrets along the way.
In this equine who-dun-it, L.C. Evans deftly pulls the reader in with vivid imagery that flows seamlessly as she paints the picture of south Florida with its oppressive humidity and relentless sun. Her writing is smooth and fluid, and she presents horses, as well as their care and keeping, in a way that even someone with no horse experience such as myself can appreciate and understand. The main character, Leigh, is very believable and likable, and I found it easy to relate to her strengths and weaknesses, especially when it came to her daughter and her family. Her sister plays a strong roll in her life and the closeness they share comes across beautifully.
The deeper you get into the story, the more you’ll be guessing as new characters with motives come to light. This is not as hard-boiled as I usually read, but it was a fun book with plenty of plot twists that kept me guessing until the very end. If you’re looking for an enjoyable read, Talented Horsewoman blends murder, relationships and horses into one exciting mystery.