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Friday, December 16, 2016

"Four Furlongs" By Carol Wright Crigger

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

China Bohannon works for her Uncle Monk and Grat, his investigator, at the Doyle and Howe Detective Agency. The men are good detectives but bad at record keeping. How is she supposed to bill clients for the jobs done when neither Monk or Grat can keep track of their hours or expenses? Still, revenues are up and China enjoys the work, especially when she gets to go out into the field herself.

The Derby Day fair is under way and that means pickpockets and scam artists will be all over the fairgrounds. The police are of no help since many of them are on the take and as likely to split the money with the thieves as arrest them. Monk and Grat are working long days to keep the peace for fairgoers.

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China meets Neva Sue who believes her brother, a jockey, was murdered, not killed when his horse fell at the turn and kicked him in the head. China is inclined to believe the girl, but without proof, who will believe either of them? Neva says she heard her mother and grandfather talking about the race, and it seems the horse was to start strong but fail to finish to build the odds for Derby Day.

China decides this is a job she can do herself, without a conflict of interest for the job Monk and Grat are doing at the fair. She and her dog, Nimble, a Bedlington terrier who looks more like a lamb than a dog, are eager to find out the truth. When the horse disappears and men accost China and one breaks into the office, she knows they aren’t looking for the horse there. Neva disappears too, in spite of China’s efforts to keep her safe. Monk and Grat aren’t happy about her involvement but do believe there’s a case for the jockey’s murder to solve.

Image source: Five Star

This is set in a time where Nimble gets to ride on the streetcar with China, all for a nickel. Long skirts sometimes hamper her efforts to escape the mayhem that seems to follow the case, and she longs for a bicycle of her own, so she’s not limited to going where the streetcar can take her.

China is a delightful character and Nimble a fierce protector unless she’s hiding under the desk. There’s a bit of flirting between China and a policeman, but her heart is set on Grat, not that he seems to notice all that much. Monk is a crusty old guy, gruff on the outside and a softie where China is concerned. Readers can only hope Neva shows up in future books, she’s too good a character to lose. This is a good mystery, set in a slower time, one to savor with a favorite afghan and beverage as China solves the case.

To enter to win a copy of Four Furlongs (either a print ARC or ebook), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “furlongs,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 24, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.

You can use this link to purchase the book:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, "Arthur", included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.


  1. The book sounds great, and I find the cover intriguing. Congratulations on its release! Historical novels are such a wonderful way to learn about life in another era without feeling like it's a lecture.

  2. Thank you for the excellent review, Sandra. I'm so happy you enjoyed the story.

  3. Sounds like a book I want to read. I love horse stories & this time period is a lot of fun. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. Sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to read a print copy and leave a review on a few sites. ptclayton2@aol.com Love the subject used to go to the horse races with my dad then i taught my son and now he goes .

  5. All reviews are appreciated, ptclayton.

  6. Looking forward to reading this book. I've read others in the series and they're great.

  7. I read Four Furlongs and thoroughly enjoyed it!