Category Archives: Lisa Preston

Review: Forging Fire by Lisa Preston

Title: Forging Fire by Lisa Preston
Horseshoer Mystery Book Three
Publisher: Arcade Crimewise
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


The Third Book in the Horseshoer Mystery Series, Featuring the Incorrigible Female Horseshoer, Rainy Dale

Days before her wedding, Rainy Dale jumps at a chance to visit the fabled Black Bluff bull sale down in California, but things go awry when she is assaulted and her truck is stolen.

In this twist on the “locked-room” form, more than one mystery is hidden on the ranch where Rainy and her dog, Charlie, end up. Everyone—the owners, ranch hands, angry neighbors, and perhaps even the deliveryman who brings coke coal for the ranch’s old-fashioned forge—is harboring a damaging secret. When Rainy realizes that even her dog knows a grisly hidden truth, the stakes are raised as high as life and death.


Forging Fire by Lisa Preston is an intriguing mystery starring amateur sleuth and horseshoer Rainy Dale.

With her wedding just days a way, Rainy Dale makes the impetuous decision to haul a tempestuous bull to the Black Bluff bull sale in California.  Upon her arrival, she is able to check an item off her bucket list but everything goes downhill from there. Rainy is unexpectedly the victim of a crime and even worse, her beloved dog, Charley is missing. She finds herself on a nearby ranch and accepts the hospitality that is offered by ranch owner Ivy Beaumont. Rainy eventually finds Charley and she also ends up solving the mystery of a ranch hand who disappeared two years ago.

Rainy is determined to make it back to her safe harbor, fiancé Guy Kittredge in time for their wedding. But a mild concussion and a stunning discovery mean she must remain on the Beaumont Ranch. She likes ranch owner Ivy and they easily bond over their love of dogs. Rainy also meets housekeeper Eliana who makes meals that rival anything Guy whips up at his restaurant and their home kitchen. Ranch hands Gabe, Stuckey and Oscar round out her new acquaintances.  Rainy also runs into neighboring ranch owner Reese Trenton who bears appears to bear a grudge against his neighbors.

Since Rainy is unable to leave just yet, she cannot resist trying to understand what happened on the ranch two years ago. She stumbles across one clue after another but it takes a while to put the pieces together in the right order. Rainy is also trying to discover who is responsible for the series of events that brought her to the ranch.

Forging Fire is an absorbing  mystery with a plainspoken, independent and honest to a fault lead protagonist who will do anything to find her beloved dog.  The other happenings on the ranch are interesting and the final reveal is rather shocking. Lisa Preston keeps the Horseshoer Mystery Series fresh by putting Rainey in a new location and surrounding her with strangers. Fans of the genre will enjoy this engaging mystery.

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Filed under Arcade Crimewise, Contemporary, Forging Fire, Horseshoer Mystery Series, Lisa Preston, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense

Review: Dead Blow by Lisa Preston

Title: Dead Blow by Lisa Preston
Horseshoer Mystery Series Book Two
Publisher: Arcade Crimewise
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, suspense
Length: 264 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


The Terrific Second Book in the New Horseshoer Mystery Series, Featuring the Incorrigible Female Horse Shoer Rainy Dale

A dead blow hammer leaves little to no mark on the surface it strikes. It’s not a shoer’s tool, but horseshoer Rainy Dale knows them and knows there are more questions than answers about how her new client became a widow. The old woman says there was hardly a bruise on her dead husband. Why was he driving his tractor so dangerously near the killer bull? How long did it take him to die after the machine rolled and pinned him? The whole town seems aware of the dead man’s wandering eye. Did the widow know? It all happened just before Rainy came to town, about the time that her fiancé, Guy, volunteered with his buddy to help search for a young woman who went missing from Cowdry, Oregon. Rainy is supposed to be making wedding plans and friends, but she can’t help being drawn into the town’s old intrigues.

Once again, Rainy will have to dig deep and use all the tools in her box to both defend herself and the people she’s just learning to love.


Dead Blow by Lisa Preston is an intriguing mystery starring horseshoer Rainy Dale. This second book in the Horseshoer Mystery series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the previous installment as well.

Horse Shoer Rainy Dale is still building up her clientele, so she is thrilled for the opportunity to work for local rancher owner, widow Donna Chevigny. Donna has a decent sized herd to re-shoe so Rainy welcomes the chance to get to know her client better. Their first day working together comes to a very shocking end when Donna’s dog makes a grisly discovery.  Rainy’s curiosity is also piqued by the accident that claimed the life of Donna’s husband, Cameron. She is puzzled by a few observations at the scene where he died in a tractor accident. However, once the remains of Arielle Blake are discovered, Rainy becomes more convinced Cameron’s death might not be an accident. But are Arielle’s and Cameron’s deaths connected? And who would have wanted to murder Cameron?

Rainy is still adjusting to her decision to marry her chef fiancé Guy. So she welcomes the distraction of trying to figure out what happened on the Chevigny ranch and  nearby  federal land. Although she and Guy are now more settled as a couple, Rainy is not in any hurry to set a wedding date. She enjoys many aspects of their life together, but she reamins irritated by Guy’s devotion to creating new dishes. But with her self-awareness continuing to evolve, Rainy begins to realize Guy might feel the same way towards her passions in life. As they truly settle into domesticity, Rainy make a concerted effort to make friends and become a little more sociable.

Rainy does not intend to become involved with the investigation into Arielle’s death but she cannot help asking questions about Cameron’s accident. After finding out the local detective only gave his death a cursory look before determining it was an accident, Rainy starts asking a few questions of her own.  Unexpectedly aided by police clerk Melinda Kellan, they make a discovery that turns Cameron’s case upside down. But is it too late to unmask his killer? And will Rainy accept Melinda’s friendly overtures?

With a rural setting, Dead Blow is a clever mystery with an unusual but likable lead protagonist.  Rainy is an extremely likable yet somewhat quirky young woman. With  Rainy and Melinda close to finding out the truth about Cameron’s and Arielle’s murders, Lisa Preston brings this engaging mystery to an exciting conclusion. I highly recommend this latest outing in the Horseshoer Mystery series to readers who enjoy women sleuths and small town settings.

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Filed under Arcade Crimewise, Contemporary, Dead Blow, Horseshoer Mystery Series, Lisa Preston, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense