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Three Seconds to Thunder Paperback – May 27, 2012
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In the Northwest, the focus was on timber and the wealth represented by great tracts of forest. When a ruthless group attempts to intimidate homesteaders into selling their property it leads to murder. Feisty China Bohannon once again finds herself and her partners in danger.
Her Uncle Monk disappears while checking on a client's kin in the rugged Idaho wilderness. China, reluctant office manager and would-be agent of the Doyle & Howe detective firm, isn't content to sit around learning to type. Against the better-judgment of partner and secret love Gratton Doyle, China heads off to find Monk.
Braving rogues who don't shirk from shooting at or beating up a woman, a raging forest fire and assorted other threats, China shows her spunk, solves the case and even wins a bit of tender expression from dour Doyle.
Well-drawn characters, a sure sense of place, riveting plot with plenty of action, humor and romance make this a winner for any Western fan.
Once more China gets in over her head. It starts with Gratton taking China to a dance because he needs a partner and cover while he is following a married woman, whose husband believes is cheating on him, the usual PI stuff that pays most of the bills. She supposedly hangs out at the local dance pavilion and so that's where China and Gratton go. Actually, China likes it because she is sweet on Gratton, but he is all business. From dance onward, things get dicey as the husband, who is a powerful land baron, has actually forced his wife into an unwanted marriage. This only the tip of the iceburg.
China follows a path of murder, kidnapping, and homestead swindals, and in the midst of it all she is caught in a horrendous forest fire as she tries to rescue Monk and Gratton almost at the same time from horrible deaths.
The writing is tight and fast moving. The descriptions are vivid and you feel you are in old Spokane and in the middle of the fire, you almost feel the heat of the flames and your hair singing.
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who likes mystery and adventure that is set in turn of the twentieth century USA.
First, the book is set in the US Northwest in the 1890's. Hence it has a western flavor, but logging not ranching is featured.
Second, the lead character China Bohannon is a combination of Nora Charles from the Thin Man" series and Millie from the movie "Thoroughly Modern Millie." She's a feminist in the making, but funny and sweet.
Third, the book is blessed with Nimble, a Bedlington terrier. Nimble is reminiscent of Asta in the "Thin Man" series and adds a playful touch to the novel.
There's lot of action - forest fires, chases, runaway horses - in this romantic historical mystery. It's a fun read.
In short, it really hits the spot! China is a one-of-a-kind heroine -- spunky and determined -- and she is fun to follow along behind as she and her dog go looking for answers.
Perfect for a nice summer day!
Set in 1896, in the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, China Bohannon longs to move up from office girl, dogsbody and book keeper to be an investigator in her uncle's detective agency. She also has crush on her uncle's partner, Grafton Doyle.
The book begins with a murder in a logging camp, but moves forward to China and her first investigative job--sort or, as Grafton uses her as a cover when he's investigating allegations of a wife's unfaithfulness.
The story progresses at a quick pace, with both the uncle and Grafton's disappearance and China's determination to find them. Her quest finds her in danger from villains of both sexes, a rampaging bear, and an engulfing forest fire.
China is a gutsy heroine with a loyal but not always obedient dog called Nimble. The story moves quickly from one exciting adventure to another, and is flavored with a light touch of romance. The author has a delightful voice and I highly recommend Three Seconds to Thunder.