Today we’re visiting Colorado Springs, CO with Claire and her brother Charley. Charley has just opened a riding stable where we can take a horse ride on the park trails nearby. This is guided by Charley’s wonderful skilled wranglers who help him care and train the horses. These trained horses also help with hippotherapy for disabled children that is led by Charley’s wife Jessica. If we haven’t had enough excitement for one day, Claire can take us on a shopping spree or to Leon’s restaurant for some great BBQ.
On opening day, the lead stable hand is found dead in one of the horse’s stalls. Surprised that Gunpowder would trample Kyle or anyone, immediate action is taken to prevent this from happening to anyone else. It is later discovered that Kyle was murdered and not the horse who hurt him.
Title: A Basket of Trouble
Series: Claire Hanover, Gift Basket Designer #3
Author: Beth Groundwater
Publish Date: November 8, 2013
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: eARC from Publisher via Netgalley
There were a lot of characters, but not too hard to keep track of. They were developed very well with a place and a job. My favorite character was Leon, even for the brief moments in this book. I definitely want to read the prior books in this series after meeting him and find out how Claire got to know him. I really respected Claire and her dealings with him.
Location and Setting:
I loved the stable description and the short mentions of the trail rides. Having been to Colorado before, I could picture this place and would love to visit. It was a lot of fun learning about horses and their care, however, it wasn’t cumbersome and overbearing to draw away from the story either. I liked being introduced to hippotherapy. This was new to me and I enjoyed the insight.
Crime: Well, I thought with all the clues that I would have guessed this one. Nope, not quite. I loved the twists and the thoughts that were shared. I enjoyed the crime part of the story. Det. Wilson was a great character in his involvement with Claire and her sleuthing. He definitely seemed like a decent guy.
Romance: This aspect in this book was very different. There was a lot of romance between couples and this romance was at different stages. Jessica and Charley, who were losing a little bit; Claire and Roger who were happy and content with their romance; Nancy Schwartz and her flings with boyfriends that upset her daughter and vice versa her daughter, Brittany, with her flings that upset her mother.
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Bestselling author Beth Groundwater writes two mystery series, the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series and the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. The first book in her Claire Hanover series, A Real Basket Case, was released in hardcover in 2007 and was re-released in trade paperback and ebook in November, 2011. The book garnered good reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and other national reviewers and was nominated for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award. The second book in the series, To Hell in a Handbasket, was released in hardcover in 2009, also to good reviews, and was re-released in trade paperback and ebook in the fall of 2012. The third book, A Basket of Trouble, will be released in November, 2013.
To learn more about Beth, visit her website at Beth Groundwater.