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Lumby's Bounty    by Gail R. Fraser order for
Lumby's Bounty
by Gail R. Fraser
Order:  USA  Can
New American Library, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Good old Hank the plastic flamingo is back, dressed in attire appropriate for whatever event is next. We meet him once again in Lumby's Bounty with his little red wagon full of the things he wants to sell at the town's annual Tailgate Sale. And the moose that is a fixture around Lumby, always with some bizarre object (read that as: deck chair or child's tricycle) caught in his antlers still wanders and appears at inappropriate times.

As in the previous two books in this delightful series Lumby Lines and Stealing Lumby the Green Chile Restaurant thrives as a focal point of this small village in the foothills of the Rockies. Brian Beezer, son of the restaurant owners, precipitates - through machinations known only to Brian - a hot air balloon festival. At first, the village of Lumby digs in its heels and rants and raves. Then, cooler heads take over and the whole citizenry gets behind an idea that will bring a short span of prosperity. Anyone interested in hot air ballooning will find the facts, figures and methods of said sport to be great reading. I must admit, I skimmed over these parts being more interested in the end result.

It was a great pleasure to be back in Lumby, a favorite (however fictional it may be) little town of mine in the Pacific Northwest. I enjoyed catching up with the doings of Pam and Mark at the Montis Inn - including the tractor they bought to dig a little hole. Brother Matthew, a tower of strength, scatters his calm among the villagers. Fans wonder will Jimmy finally tempt his reclusive wife Hannah out of the house? Jamar and Kai from Indonesia are accepted in this little mountain town until Kai oversteps himself. And the monks at the nearby abbey turn out to be everyday citizens, as well as having a religious bent.

I especially get a big kick out of the editorials and police reports from the Lumby Lines, the local paper. Instead of drug raids, rapes and murders, the items worth mentioning are the wandering moose, or the cow that stands in the middle of the road and won't move, or possibly the chicks that appear mysteriously behind the Feed Store. Fun. Author Gail Fraser has the ability to take everyday life and make it interesting reading. Lumby's Bounty is a feel-good story by a writer who knows her audience.

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