Much Ado About Marshals
Set in 1885, Oreana, Idaho Territory. Daisy Gardner is a twenty-two year old spinster. Though she has nothing against marriage, Daisy does not want to end up wed to some rancher and stuck out in the sticks forever. Daisy wants to be a female detective, just like Honey Beaulieu, the lead character in her favorite dime novel series. Recently, Oreana has hired its first town marshal, Sidney Adler. But Adler's arrival has been delayed due to his being shot in the leg. Daisy plans to woo and wed the new marshal as soon as possible. (It is the only way she could continue with her detective work and be married at the same time.) So when a man named Bosco Kunkle rides into town asking for a doctor to help an unconscious man near town (who has a gunshot wound in his leg), everyone assumes the new marshal has arrived.
Cole Richards runs a ranch on Sinker Creek. Two miners, Porker and Gib Rankin, have sluiced his ranch's creek into a muddy dribble. Cole makes the mistake of telling Bosco that if the bank in Silver City loans the miners any money, the ranch would then be in a world of trouble. Bosco, who is not too bright at times but is the best-hearted man Cole has ever known, decides to rob the bank of the miners' would-be money. While trying to stop Bosco, Cole ends up getting his leg shot by the female teller, Iris, and the duo find themselves on the run.
After blacking out, Cole revives to find himself in the small town of Oreana and being sworn in as Marshal Sidney Adler. He cannot do much about the misconception except play along, or he and Bosco (who has been sworn in as a deputy) would be suspected of holding up the bank in Silver City. Cole plans to leave town as soon as his wound allows, but who should happen to be in Oreana than the Rankin brothers? Cole decides it is in his best interests to play marshal for a bit and find out what the miners are up to.
Daisy has just received a fingerprinting kit in the mail, the latest in crime solving advancements, when a stranger enters town claiming to be Adler. Subtle clues inform Daisy that the man is lying. This stranger is hardly gotten rid of before another one appears. However, this short stranger really is Sidney Adler. Upon learning that "Marshal Adler" has been keeping Oreana running pretty smoothly for a month, Sidney's decides to keep his real name hidden until he could figure out who is impersonating him and why. So he introduces himself as Sam Jones.
While all this is going on, Cole is doing his best to avoid Daisy. Her parents do not want Daisy to wed a lawman because they often die young, leaving their widows and children without income or protection. Unfortunately, Daisy is not making it easy for Cole to avoid her. In fact, she is as wily as a fox and determined to rope her marshal. As Cole is slowly losing his ability to dodge Daisy's lasso, Daisy's sister comes to Oreana to visit her family. The sister turns out to be Iris, the lady who had shot him in Silver City. Should Iris see them, Cole and Bosco may hang.
***** FIVE STARS! A hilarious, yet romantic, comedy of errors and assumptions that kept my emotions in constant turmoil. One minute I am nodding and agreeing with Daisy's logical deductions, the next I am worried she is sticking her nose into the business of someone who would cut if off her face. One minute I am worried the locals would see through Cole's charade and the next I am loudly laughing at his methods of solving the town's unusual problems. One minute my heart is melting as Cole and Daisy are falling in love, the next I am giggling at some sort of humorous interruption. I grinned. I frowned. I worried. I sighed from tension relief. I snickered at Bosco's romantic troubles with two widows. I often found myself laughing until I thought my side would split.
Author Jacquie Rogers penned a fabulous historical romance and then inserted her own brand of wackiness. As a result, this story quickly grabbed me by the throat, kept me reading long past my bed time, and earned a place of honor upon my Keeper Shelf. Unforgettable! I cannot recommend this title highly enough. *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch
This page updated January 23, 2011
All content, including graphics copyright © Jacquie D Rogers 2005-2011, All rights reserved.