Cat is constantly annoyed by the bad behavior of ten-year-old Bubba. The book opens with the boy throwing rocks at her truck. She’s also unhappy with the retired actress Glenda Dupree who thinks she can win riding competitions just because she will look good on a horse.
When Cat finds Glenda beaten to death, and Bubba’s hat covered in blood, her dislike of these people makes her a suspect in the mind of the local Sheriff. But Cat thinks any child is worth trying to save, so she begins looking for Bubba.
I liked The Opium Equation a lot. For starters, it begins with a cast of characters list, just like an old Perry Mason book. And the descriptions of the characters are quirky enough to pique interest.
Cat is funny and sarcastic- the current word is snarky- and I enjoyed that part of her personality. The owner of one of the horses claims the mare Sally Blue is psychic, and Sally Blue does seem to act strangely until the mysteries are solved.
The plot is just complex enough for a cozy. There are several possible suspects, so the reader-sleuth has plenty of potential outcomes to contemplate.
The setting includes a mixture of real places and some imaginary ones. The inclusion of local history and geology in the plot appeals to me.
The story is well-written and the pace doesn’t drag. The ending is well-crafted. Final details are placed in an epilogue. Some people like knowing how all the loose ends tie up. I guess the epilogue format allows the other people to skip them!
The cover leads one to expect a book with lots of horsey parts, however, other than the ownership of the stable and the intriguing Sally Blue, this book isn’t really about the horses. Perhaps there are other Cat Enright books in the works. At any rate the stable allows plenty of opportunities for interaction with a group of people.
Lisa Wysocky is also the author of several non-fiction books.
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