Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Series: The Brides of Last Chance Ranch, Book 3
Giveaway Copy from Goodreads.com
“Of course I have enemies. Making enemies is so much easier than making friends, and they’re far less trouble to maintain.”
This quote is just one of the many dry witticisms found throughout Gunpowder Tea. The novel centers around the story of Miranda Hunt and Jeremy Taggart’s search for the Phantom, a notorious robber. However, the secondary characters in this novel, such as Miss Walker, play strong supporting roles and add depth to the story.
Miranda Hunt, AKA Annie Beckman, is a lively young woman with the unlikely career of being a Pinkerton operative. She rides; she shoots; and she disguises herself. These were unique talents for a young woman back in the year 1897. She meets her match when her train is robbed by Jeremy Taggart, AKA Branch. Jeremy is also an operative; however, he works for Wells Fargo, the dreaded rival of the Pinkerton Agency.
Annie Beckman answers an ad in the Arizona territory to become the heiress for Miss Walker, who owns the Last Chance Ranch. Working undercover she begins to try and solve the identity of the Phantom while learning the business of ranching. At every turn in her investigation, she comes into contact with the new ranch hand, Branch. The problems get more dangerous the deeper they delve into the mystery of the Phantom and the attacks get more deadly.
The book offers mystery, a bit of romance, and a lot of the Wild West tossed in together with dry humor. The plot offers twists and turns; the mystery keeps you guessing at who the Phantom might really be; and the romance is inevitable. A fun, clean read! I recommend it to fans of historical fiction. Although the book is part of a series, the novel is easily read as a standalone story. I have not read the first two books, but intend to do so now.
I received this copy from Goodreads.com in exchange for a fair review. The opinions and statements above are my own.