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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
A huge black Percheron stallion, Duke, is purchased for the Manchester Police Department’s mounted horse unit. The Department thought they were getting a great deal on the purchase, as well as a great horse. But when the horse spooks, throwing its rider, Officer Pete Daniels, the Department turns to Marla at Reach for the Stars Stables to help sort out the horse. Duke arrives at the stables and right away Marla recognizes a horse with a problem. It seems he’s in a great deal of pain and the mystery behind his name, Duke, and his registration papers calling him Captain Courageous just don’t add up. The mystery thickens when the trail leads to a seedy character, Gus, who buys beat-up old horses bound for the meat factory, drugs them enough so that he can make a good sale, and then manages to mess around with the registration paper work. It all leads to a good mystery, especially when Gus is murdered and Marla is framed for the murder.
This is the second book in Cher Griffin’s Marla Mesconti Mystery Series. Captain Courageous has all the makings of a page-turning mystery thriller, plus the added bonus of a horse theme. There are lots of interesting tidbits about horse trading, rules and regulations in the horse industry, horse ailments and, on the more positive side, horse training, riding and showing. This is definitely a horse lover’s book of choice. As the plot thickens, Marla, horse trainer and riding instructor, shows her knowledge of horses and the horse world, and helps unravel the mystery of who really did murder the lecherous scumbag thief, Gus. A good read.