I’m thrilled to share a brand new historical fiction, The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell. I have an excerpt for you to read, a giveaway to enter below and of course, as always, my honest thoughts having read this book myself!
Publication Date: January 1st, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
From the back cover:
“Never guessing that their very lives might be in danger, well-to-do women come from all over the country to stay at guest ranches around Reno to establish the six weeks’ residency required for a quickie Nevada divorce in 1955.
When a Circle E Ranch guest dies after her Cadillac plunges off Mount Rose Highway, a mountain road between Lake Tahoe and Reno, Washoe County Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident.
His inquiries lead him to question everyone at the Circle E, where he meets Mary, an attractive prospective divorcée from New York, who soon has an accident of her own.
In the meantime, Ben’s case takes a turn as twisty as the Mount Rose Highway, and when Mary suffers a second accident, he quickly figures that someone is out to get her.
Unless Ben can discover who’s targeting the out-of-towners, some of them won’t live long enough to have their day in court.”
What did I think?
Reno was known for years as the divorce capital of the world. The history of divorce in the USA, and specifically the legislation in Nevada from 1931 when applicants had to demonstrate residency of just six weeks, is fascinating. This novel touches on this history of the area and imagines some of the women who went through this process.
From the outset Paula Darnell’s language draws you in and delivers a novel full of intrigue, love, friendship, drama and mystery. It doesn’t take long for the suspense to build, with the first twist to the story coming in Chapter 3. The fluidity of Darnell’s language makes this book an easy to read page turner, I read it in two sittings! The plot line is well thought out and leaves you guessing until the conclusion as to who the perpetrator is.
The characterisation is nicely built up across the chapters, and the pace is steady throughout. There is switching between scenes which works well to keep you hooked until the end. The overall length feels spot on, with no extraneous information but enough to feed your imagination clues, location detail and provide a few dead ends in terms of who the culprit might be!
If you enjoy a whodunnit murder mystery, this book is for you.
Excerpt from The Six-Week Solution:
“I can’t see a wreck down there,” Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron said, swinging the beam of his flashlight from left to right. He stared at the dark mountainside below, before pointing his flashlight at the tire tracks in an earthen embankment. “But the car went off right here.”
The lanky deputy stood at the side of Highway 27, the narrow road that wound its way up Mount Rose from Reno to Lake Tahoe. Two other deputies, the undersheriff, and the sheriff himself stood beside Ben, peering into the abyss below.
“Let’s get a spotlight on it,” Washoe County Sheriff Mark Rogers directed, his gravelly voice crackling. “Jeff, pull your car on over here and angle the front tires over that embankment.”
Deputy Jeff Jergens, a twenty-year veteran of the department, broke into a sweat as he slowly inched his cruiser up and over the embankment.
“A little farther now,” Undersheriff Al Mansfield guided him. “Whoa!” he shouted as the car’s front tires approached the edge of the drop-off.
Jergens gripped the car’s spotlight, sweeping it back and forth until they spotted the crumpled black Cadillac about fifty yards down the side of the mountain.
“Don’t think anybody could’ve survived that,” the sheriff said. “Poor bastard,” he added. “OK, boys, Al, you and Jeff set out the flares and block off this lane. Ben, you think you can climb down there without a rope?”
“Yes, sir, looks like it.”
“Virgil, you go with him. I’ll keep the spotlight ahead of you, so you can see where you’re going.”
Ben and Virgil inched their way down the rocky hillside. The steep terrain, covered with manzanita shrubs and tobacco brush, made the descent tricky, and the deputies, dislodging loose rocks along their way, struggled to stay on their feet. As they approached the long black Cadillac, now a mangled wreck, they could see that it had crashed into a huge Ponderosa pine tree directly in front of the passenger’s side of the car. Rookie Virgil, who’d joined the sheriff’s department just a month earlier, hung back as Ben shone his flashlight into the car.
“Empty. The driver went through the windshield,” Ben told Virgil as he picked his way through shards of glass and circled to the front of the Caddy.
“There she is. Oh, God!”
“Is she . . . ?
“Dead. Smashed up pretty bad.”
Retching, Virgil turned away from the bloody body.
“First accident scene?” Ben asked.
“First bad one.”
Ben’s walkie-talkie sizzled.
“Sheriff, the driver’s dead.”
Paperback – Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Six-Week-Solution-Paula-Darnell/dp/1887402012/
Paperback – Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-six-week-solution-paula-darnell/1135997234?ean=9781887402019
Hardback (Large Print) – Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Six-Week-Solution-Paula-Darnell/dp/1887402020/
Hardback (Large Print) – Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-six-week-solution-paula-darnell/1135997234?ean=9781887402026
About the Author:
An instructor at five colleges over the years, Paula Darnell most often taught the dreaded first-year English composition classes, but she’s also been happy to teach some fun classes, such as fashion design, sewing, and jewelry making. Paula has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Paula’s interest in DIY craft projects and fashion led to her writing hundreds of articles for print and online national publications. She is the author of Death by Association and Death by Design, both in her cozy series, the DIY Diva Mysteries.
Paula lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband Gary and their 110-pound dog Rocky, whose favorite pastime is lurking in the kitchen, hoping for a handout.
Author’s website– https://www.pauladarnellauthor.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/PaulaJDarnell
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/paulad0057/
Giveaway: 3 print copies & 3 digital copiesa Rafflecopter giveaway
N.B. I was gifted a copy of The Six-Week Solution as part of the book blog tour and in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to Paula Darnell for the book, and to Shannon of Reads and Reels for organising the tour. For more information about reviews and how I work with others, please see my disclosure page.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com
Cup of Toast (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com