Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Basket of Trouble (Claire Hanover, Basket Maker #3), by Beth Groundwater

Midnight Ink, ISBN  9780738727035, November 2013

Claire Hanover is thrilled to be attending the official opening of her brother's riding stable, now relocated from Durango to Colorado Springs. She's also hoping that, with her younger brother close by now, she'll be able to grow closer to him, and heal some of the wounds from their childhood, when she was held up as the shining example he could never quite live up to.

What she's not expecting is that the day will be marred by the death of one of Charley's trusted wranglers, apparently kicked to death by one of his most valued horses.

It's the first of a series of frightening events that will threaten the survival of Charley's business, and test the relationship between the siblings as never before.

Groundwater skillfully develops the relationship between brother and sister, as well as between Charley and his wife, Jessica, while planting the clues and building the tension in the murder mystery. Claire's own husband, Roger seems almost an afterthought, though I gather he figured much more prominently in an earlier volume. The rivalries between Charley and his competitors, as well as Jessica's hippotherapy non-profit and the other hippotherapy provider in the area, Nancy Schwartz, are also well-developed. And Claire turns out to have some really interesting friends, frenemies, and occasional allies who make the whole texture of the novel richer.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the publisher via NetGalley.