“In the middle of the nineteenth century, an essential link between the capitals of the Old World and the New was a dozen young Nova Scotian wild-riders.
A new syndicate called the Associated Press made a deal with Cunard Steamship Lines that the Royal Mail Ships would carry a news packet to be telegraphed to New York City. A steam launch would speed the packet across the Bay of Fundy to the nearest telegraph station, at St. John. But, despite the modern miracles of steam power and electromagnetism, the fastest way to carry the news packet from the Halifax docks to the Fundy shore would still be relays of galloping horses. The Halifax Express needed riders who were light in the saddle yet long-limbed and strong enough to handle the monster thoroughbreds of the day…” – publisher
“Martha Lessen is a young woman on the run, taking with her the three horses she loves. It is 1917. Looking for work in the dry-grass country of eastern Oregon, she touts herself as a breaker of horses. Most of the young men are overseas fighting, so Martha is hired on at the Bliss family ranch. Word spreads of her gentle horse-whispering ways. As she rides daily from ranch to ranch to work with various horses, she becomes a sort of one-woman Pony Express, carrying messages and food and learning to act quickly in cases of illness or injury. For the shy Martha, with a less than desirable childhood behind her, the acceptance she earns is transformative. Gloss’s fourth novel (after Wild Life) is based on historical accounts of cowgirls in the American West. With obvious appeal for horse lovers, it has a homespun quality, and varies in action between a gentle canter and energetic gallop. Strongly recommended for public libraries” – Library Journal
“Smalltown hilarity buoys O’Sullivan’s charming debut, winner of Malice Domestic’s best traditional first novel competition. On a hot Fourth of July, Colleen McCabe, the fire chief of Corolla, N.C., goes to the scene of a burning house owned by cantankerous former school teacher Myrtle Crepe. Inside lie the remains of a charred female, whom everyone fears is Myrtle. Later, Colleen inspects another burned body, which washed up on the beach earlier in the day. Colleen knows better than to do some inconspicuous investigating, especially since her best friend and town sheriff, Bill Dorman, has given her a stern warning against it, but keeping her nose clean proves easier said than done. Readers will enjoy the quirky supporting cast-from Pinky Salvatore, the town’s closest thing to a criminal, to Little Bobby, Myrtle’s beleaguered only child-though some will hope the author will develop Colleen more in future installments. The Outer Banks setting, home to wild mustangs, adds to the appeal.”- Publisher Weekly