Jolie Tunnell brings the past to life in a historical mystery series with a voice all her own. Author, freelance writer, blogger, and professional mom, she lives in Southern California with her hubby, five kids, and a pear-shaped cat. Minus the murders, Idyllwild has been her summer retreat for years.
Cozy up with a cuppa and enjoy her mountaintop mysteries with a feisty small town community, hidden villains, and the unsinkable Loveda Brown. She offers readers a historical whodunnit with the flavor of turn-of-the-century Wild West.
Visit JolieTunnell.com to find her blog, newsletter, sales calendar, and upcoming new releases!
Book Buy Link: https://amzn.to/3s8zWaz
Loveda Brown has inherited a tiny hotel in 1912 Idyllwild, California... well, sort of, as the owner lives in the woods and Loveda is a ‘squatter’ who takes care of the place for the mysterious lady. As a cosy, fun, historical Western reminiscent of reading the dime-store novels of the early 1950s set in the Wild West, you know you are off to a rollicking ride when the book starts off with the main character dangling from a rooftop with her knickers showing as the stagecoach shows up with guests. As to why Loveda is dangling from the rooftop and what ensues after her lawyer comes to the hotel, well, let’s just say there is a lot of page-turning excitement filled with a whole gaggle of Boy Scouts (whose mischievous encounters and spying eyes actually help Loveda in the end – from rooftop to rooftop), a pair of pompous newlyweds (a husband with a secret, and a wife with an even bigger secret), intolerable suffragettes, and a love interest – all colliding together in this little hotel. Sounds harmless, right? Not so fast... there is a murder and a kidnapping, and Loveda is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and find the culprits, along with the secrets behind the crimes. And to think, all she wanted to do was to run a small hotel in this town she calls home.
Loveda is a spunky, corset-wearing, gun-toting main character, very likeable, whose gritty wit, courage, and detecting skills grab you right from the start and keeps you intrigued right to the end; and this story is such a refreshing and delightful diversion from the meaty historical fiction which is more common in the genre – a quick, fun mystery that you can zip through in an evening. For anyone who likes the old B-Western shows and movies of the 1950s such as Gunsmoke and The Lone Ranger (except with a woman lead), this is could easily fit right into that category, and if there was ever a comeback of those type of shows, this book and the others in the Loveda Brown series might make a very enjoyable and entertaining TV show.
Here are some of my favorite excerpts to give you a taste of this snug Western:
Legend asserted that Chief Tahquitz resided beneath the peak with a rattlesnake and a condor for company and shook things up once in a while when he got bored. Thankfully, I had never experienced a California earthquake, but the Cahuilla tribes in this area had long known that, after Tahquitz killed his sweetheart, he succumbed to an evil spirit that locked him deep in the mountaintop as penance. The Cahuilla left years ago, but the fire spirit lived on.
Resorts rarely had murder on the activity list. - (this made me laugh out loud - ‘rarely’?)
And in a serious moment, a moment when Loveda is reprimanding the naughty Boy Scouts for thinking life is like a penny novel - “Real life isn’t glamorous. It’s dangerous. You should be ashamed of yourselves for taking it so lightly.”
The fall should have hurt so much more than it did. Between my terror and the fact that I couldn’t breathe in properly for a good scream went a long way toward my becoming a hero of epic proportions in the eyes of the Boy Scouts.
Electricity had its place in the world, but it was no substitute for a moonlit night.
And last - “I don’t know what it is, but I am destined never to wear a clean, pretty frock.”
“Loveda Brown Comes Home” by Jolie Tunnell earns four stars from The Historical Fiction Company