The Carolina Connection
by Lee Mims
Black Opal Books

"’Sissy’s done fainted!’ Joelle dropped her phone back in her pocket and hurried to her children. She’d call 911 when she got to the car. One thing was sure – a few more minutes weren’t going to make any difference to the man in the berry patch."

A timely mystery with its focus on the controversy of illegal immigrants and including a plethora of mayhem, murder, sorrow, love, and good old boys, the book takes us through the life of Boo Overton and her trials and tribulations overcoming the accidental death of her husband. As she works to change the focus of her business by becoming a cattle rancher for grass-fed beef while also learning how to deal with horses, she finds that odd happenings keep popping up around her. Boo is drawn into the local mysteries that surround her usually safe town in North Carolina. She and others continue to find information regarding murders, a past accident, horse business (literally and figuratively), kidnapping, a missing kid, attempted bombings, amulets, gangs, and illegal operations including drugs. Her new friend, Detective Felix Truly, who returns home after the death of his father, becomes enchanted with the non-enchanting Boo. Much to the detective’s chagrin, Boo keeps putting her nose into police business.

The author expresses some strong, personal views, especially in the book’s “Author’s Notes,” about illegal immigrants that might distract some reader’s from the book’s intriguing and engaging narrative. Overall, though, this is an interesting and fun novel with many twists and various plot lines. The book is well-written, the dialogue descriptive, and the various characters are just that—characters. These characters are usually entertaining, but they also have some horse sense, and there is a lot about horses in this novel. The act of connecting all of these plots is well-done, and the surprising romances are also interesting.

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