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Pecos Valley Rainbow
Alice Duncan

Five Star
March 2013 / ISBN: 978-1432826901
Historical Mystery

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

It is 1923 and Annabelle Blue is riding out the latest thunder storm at home in Rosedale, New Mexico.  This is not your average storm - but one that requires residents to use rowboats to navigate the roads.  The only way to get around Second Street, after the storm, is to row there.  That is what Annabelle does to get the materials her father needs to fix the roof.  She also gets to see her fella Phil Gunderson who works for his brother Pete at Gunderson's Hardware store.  Phil helps her get the shingles, nails and tar in her boat.  Annabelle casts off and then screams.  She sees a body floating in the murky water of Second Street! 

It turns out to be Mr Calhoun – president of the Rosedale Farmers and Ranchers Bank.  This was no accident – Mr. Calhoun was shot in the back.  Annabelle’s sister, Hannah, is married to Richard MacDougal who is a banker at the Rosedale Farmers and Ranchers Bank.  Maybe Richard can help Micah Tindall, the rancher who claimed Mr Calhoun had tricked him into taking a loan he could not repay. Guess what happened next – Mr Calhoun foreclosed on his ranch.  Did I forget to mention that Mr Calhoun was not liked by many of the people in Rosedale. 

Things to ponder: What was Mr. Calhoun doing out in the storm?  Who hated him so much that the only way to settle things was to shoot him in the back? What were Richard and Mr Calhoun arguing over? Will Annabelle solve the murder before the wrong person is arrested and put on trial … or even worse? 

This is the first book I have read by Alice Duncan – I can tell you it will not be my last.  I love how she immediately brings you right into 1920’s New Mexico. You begin worrying if the electricity will be on soon after the huge thunder booming storm.  Pecos Valley Rainbow is a murder mystery that will be solved by nineteen year old Annabelle Blue.  She wants to see the world before she settles down with Phil Gunderson. I see no reason for Annabelle to leave Rosedale, NM since Alice Duncan has given her and the reader all the excitement needed.  This is a fast- paced, page-turning read.  So if you like your mystery set in another era, Pecos Valley Rainbow is a good choice for you.

Reviewed 2013