Going, Gone: A Gail McCarthy Mystery
by Laura Crum
Cover Artist: Peter Thorpe
Review by Mel Jacob
Perseverance Press Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781880284988
Date: 10 April 2010 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Laura Crum's eleventh novel featuring Gail McCarthy, Going Gone, provides a leisurely read with plenty of Sierra Nevada scenery, horses, and mother love. When Gail and her family take a vacation at the ranch of close friend Lonny Peterson, they don't anticipate murder or Lonny's arrest. Just before their arrival a brother and sister, Cole and Lorene Richardson, auctioneers, are killed. Lorene was Lonny's girlfriend.
Initially, the pace feels almost glacial as Gail and her family enjoy the campsite, swimming in creek, riding, and fine spring weather. When an old friend, Bret Bocantini, now a deputy sheriff arrives with news about Lonny, it upsets Gail. Both she and Bret agree Lonny is no murderer. However, the local sheriff believes he has an airtight case against Lonny. Bret and Lonny appeared in earlier Gail McCarthy mysteries, but not in the last five.
No other suspects surface although Gail takes a dislike to Lorene's ex. After talking with Donna Wells, Cole's girlfriend, Bret and Gail wonder if Cole, not Lorene was the target and she witnessed the murder. Suspicions surface about a scam associated with the cattle auctions. Bret knows an old rancher who swore Cole had shorted him.
Lonny purchased another horse for Gail. The Palomino gelding, Sunny, was originally rescued by his neighbor Kate. She rescues horses, old or abused, and has incurred the enmity of many ranchers. After talking with her, Gail suspects she may have seen the killer, but Kate refuses to say anything.
The relationship between Gail and her son Mac and how to answer questions about death and what happens afterwards occupy center stage. Crum saves the main action for an exciting climax.