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Chasing Cans: A Gail McCarthy Mystery    by Laura Crum order for
Chasing Cans
by Laura Crum
Order:  USA  Can
Perseverance Press, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Chasing Cans is Laura Crum's tenth book in her Gail McCarthy series. Gail has for the time being given up her practice as a veterinarian for horses to raise her eighteen-month old son Mac. It wasn't that tough a choice and she is sure she made the right one.

A neighbor who trains barrel-racing horses wants to take over a pasture that Gail has leased for her own horses. The fact that she can't stand the neighbor only makes the pill harder to swallow. When the neighbor dies in what seems to be an accident on board a feisty horse, Gail isn't sure it was an accident. After another death, Gail feels her own life is in jeopardy.

The pace of this mystery builds slowly to an all-out crescendo. Gail doesn't take a back seat to danger. She's sensitive, a good mother, has an adoring husband, and believes in doing what is right. When the police don't agree with her findings, she continues on her own to find an answer to why two women died.

Crum builds the suspense with just enough potential murderers to keep the reader guessing. The background, of owning and training horses, added to my appreciation of the mystery as my own Dad broke horses and played polo. Mentions of the wildlife, wild flowers and trees made Gail's home in California a place I would like to visit.

Chasing Cans is a good book, though a little too short to suit me. But it ended when the author's story was told and Laura Crum knows how to bow out gracefully.

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