Playful and funny secondary characters lighten things up, and even the judgmental church ladies prove teachable. Brownley strikes a fine balance of humor and realism, not glossing over the darker side of the Wild West as she explores childhood abuse, broken families, and double standards.
Brownley's story, based loosely Kate Warne's life (A real-life female detective), is a fresh look at a historical period on the American frontier. Set against a backdrop of America's oldest profession Ms. Brownley takes on a story that is both uplifting and heartbreaking. The characters are realistically written and multi-layered. This looks to be a great new series.
A careful blend of mystery and hilarity make this both an exciting and charming read. I loved the characters: the depth of emotions as the author subtly considered the lives and times of "sporting women", and the bonds of friendship that surmount the obstacles of class. It wasn't an easy read, but it was a cleansing one, for both the characters and the readers. The dialogue and dialects were as amusing and distinctive as the characters. The twists and turns of the plot sinister and varied, without blocking out hope or love.