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Cutter (Gail McCarthy Mystery series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Laura Crum
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Western horse themed mystery series featuring an equine veterinarian. When veterinarian Gail McCarthy finds a horse trainer dead at the bottom of a gully, she finds no shortage of suspects among the hostile girlfriends, angry horse owners, and legendary rivals he left behind. This is the first book in the Gail McCarthy mystery series.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Half of cutting-horse trainer Casey Brooks's stock is down with colic. Veterinarian Gail McCarthy's suspicions of poison are confirmed by lab tests. Then Casey, asking questions on the cutting-horse circuit, is thrown by his horse and killed. Gail investigates on her own and soon finds out more about bitter rivalries in the horse world than she wanted to know. City slickers content to admire horses from afar may puzzle over such terms as "team roping" and "confirmation flaw," but they'll also learn that some horses like beer and that horse barns are best built of metal, since horses eat wood. Unfortunately, Crum is less authoritative in narrative groundwork and characterization. Casey's girlfriend is described variously as "a Barbie doll come to life" and "excessively pretty in a Goldilocks kind of way," while Gail's ruminations about casual sex and the specter of AIDS smack irritatingly of self-consciously responsible writing. Once Crum canters into the heart of her story, however, the plot races nicely to a satisfying finish.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Seven sick horses aren't the only trouble veterinarian Gail McCarthy, of the Santa Cruz Equine Practice, finds at Ken Resavich's Indian Gulch Ranch. Casey Brooks, Ken's cowhorse trainer, insists that the colicky horses have really been poisoned (and he's right), and it's not long before Casey's own horse has two more mishaps, the second of which leaves Casey dead. Even so, know-nothing Detective Jeri Ward is content to call Casey's fatal fall an accident, so Gail launches her own unofficial investigation in two phases. First, she follows one hunch after another in an attempt to implicate the obvious suspects: dominant rival trainer Will George (who Casey insisted had ridden a ringer in the prestigious West Coast Futurity for working horses); Martha Welch, penny-pinching owner of a ``colicky'' horse Gail had put down (did she poison the horses boarding at Indian Gulch herself to cover an insurance scam?); and Melissa Waters, once Will's girlfriend, then Casey's (since Gail's not-quite-lover, Lonny Peterson, insists, cherchez la femme). When none of that works, she launches phase two and traces the phone calls Casey made the night he died, and voil…. Crum's no threat to Dick Francis or Sue Grafton. Despite this first novel's appealingly offbeat cowhorse background, you won't hold your breath for the sequel. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 421 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071F5BSS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing debut September 1, 2003
It's a pity that Crum's earlier books seem to be out of print; as with any mystery series, you're always best advised to begin at the beginning, which is this one, followed by Hoofprints. Amateur sleuths who are veterinarians are not unknown, and many literary sleuths interact with smaller animals like cats and dogs, but Crum has made horses the focus of her mystery, and in the process imparts a lot of information about them (though I question her assertion, or rather implication, that *all* horses eat wood; some do (they're called "cribbers"), but it's a habit of which they can be broken (if that weren't true, there would be few 19th-Century barns and stables still standing!)). She has clearly done her homework regarding horse-based eventing (cutting, endurance riding), and knows something of equines at work (her descriptions of cutting horses working cows verge on poetry). She also has a gift for humor--she had me giggling helplessly over her description of Lonny Peterson's kitten Gandalf. She's a bit slow getting started--it isn't till we're more than a third of the way through the book that the body is discovered and the detection actually gets under way--but once she does, the mystery unrolls with suitable red herrings, and the ultimate perpetrator isn't one I would have suspected. I'll be looking for further novels in this series.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not a show stopper August 9, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had been tearing the local bookstores apart looking for a Laura Crum book, after reading a review of her latest in Western Horseman. After ordering a paperback copy of this book from Amazon, and reading it (a total of two hours) I have hope that Laura Crum may turn out some really good horse-related mysteries, but alas, this is not one of them. Don't get me wrong, at less than [price] it's decent entertainment, but nothing great. Parts were a little thin, characterizations were only so-so (my own favorite character was Blue, the grouchy old Australian Cattle dog) and when the murderer is finally revealed, I found myself thinking, who? Oh, yeah, that guy. There are no really stunning twists or revelations. However, the horse related details were accurate, and probably, if it hadn't been for the equestrian slant, this book would have been awful.
I do have hopes that the books will get better. I didn't like the first Carolyn Banks book I read, but now I love her little mysteries. I'll buy my next Laura Crum book in paperback, and we'll see how that one reads.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first book.. April 19, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book by Laura Crum and look forward to readingthe others. The main character is very independent and the storyresolves around horses and a good mystery. Another favorite to add tomy list!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good. August 14, 2013
By Nefer
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The only reason I gave this book four stars was the rather odd punctuation habit the author has. She has a habit of using a dash(-) instead of a comma, which throws off the flow of the sentences until you get used to it. But...she can really write! This author doesn't just describe scenes, she paints them with words. You get not only the visual sense of the scene, but the emotion of it even if the scene being described is just a battered central California town seen through the window of a pick-up on a warm autumn evening. The mystery is good as well and I really like the main character Gail. I figured out who the bad guys were before the end although I did not figure out the reason for their actions till the author revealed them. I highly recommend this book and will be reading others in the series when possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read August 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good story. Definitely shows the cut throat world in the horse industry. An looking forward to the next series book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good horse mystery May 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first read this book almost 20 years ago when it was first published. I enjoyed it then and I enjoyed it again when recently rereading it on Kindle. Laura Crum's books were hard to find for a long while, so I am thrilled to finally have the chance to read the series as they are released for Kindle at a low price. The stories are chronological. I'm currently reading them in order. Cutter is the first story. The biggest strength of these stories to me is that Laura Crum is a horsewoman herself, and all her horse details are accurate. It drives me crazy when authors write about horses and make mistakes that just aren't true to life. This Kindle edition has some minor formatting issues, mainly with paragraphs, but it doesn't detract from the story. I recommend Cutter and all the Gail McCarthy series to everyone who loves horses, the central California coast, and cosy mysteries.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book! December 29, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Cutter was exciting, fast-paced and entertaining, and the equine details were accurate. Just what I was looking for to enliven a rainy evening. A great find for horse and mystery lovers.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent content for horse lovers May 30, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this book kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I wish she (Gail McCarthy) really existed. I hope to see more from Laura Crum in the near future!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I just started reading this author - what a wonderful escape! I can't...
I just started reading this author - what a wonderful escape! I can't ride horses, so I really enjoy reading about them. The book goes fast and easy - a very enjoyable read.
Published 1 month ago by ANNE G SPICER
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutter
Well structured plot and well,developed fast moving with enough fear and humorous diolog to balance the drama knowledgeable horse facts.
Published 2 months ago by Fg Middlebrook
5.0 out of 5 stars An equal to Sue Grafton!!
An AMAZING author that submerses you in the world of horses, mystery and suspense! An equal to Sue Grafton!! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Angela Freitas
4.0 out of 5 stars ENJOYABLE READING!
Published 10 months ago by J. STITT
5.0 out of 5 stars Approval from an expert horsewoman!
I bought this for my Mom......Maryland's Jumber Champion, back in her day. She told me how good the book was and how well written, noting that it was western oriented rather than... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Susan S. Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars A great effort for a first book
I felt the finish was a bit abrupt but I can see lots of promise in the writing style. It's such a lovely change to have horses well portrayed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Roy Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Laura Crum Series
These books are very well written, very knowledgeable about the subject. A very nice, enjoyable read. The author has a way of using words to make a picture!
Published 15 months ago by Irma Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good.
it's a bit cheesy in places, but a good story. I enjoyed it. I really like Gail and look forward to reading more adventures
Published 16 months ago by Shelley Engel
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy fun read
I enjoyed this book because of the horse theme and the geographical location of Santa Cruz County. It's fun to read a book that takes,place in your back yard.
Published 16 months ago by Cyclingbuddie
3.0 out of 5 stars I was hoping for more.
I was hoping for more. Sort of tired of the amateur slueth who doesn't know what their doing, butts in, and almost gets killed in the process of solving the crime. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Marvella Peterman
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More About the Author

Laura Crum is a mystery author who has spent over twenty years training and competing on western cowhorses. She has also written twelve books in her mystery series featuring equine veterinarian Gail McCarthy. Laura still rides and owns horses and lives in the hills near Monterey Bay in California with her husband and son. Trail riding is her current passion. She may be emailed and visited at and she blogs on Wednesdays at equestrianink blogspot.

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