Trouble in Store by Carol Cox
Mercantiles are not known for murder, but Melanie has landed in trouble in her new job as business partner with Caleb Nelson. Caleb wants nothing to do with his new partner, but she cannot be denied her place in the store.
I was amazed at the many twists woven into this piece of historical fiction. It was more than historical fiction - it was a mystery. The beginning opened up with Melanie's final adventures as a governess then quickly moves on to her move to her cousin's mercantile in the West. The arguments between Melanie and Caleb are very believable, because everyone has moments of feeling out of place and taking a stand for their place in the world. The reveal at the end took me by surprise, which was great. I won't spoil the end because I want the new readers to enjoy the final chapters. Cox wrote a great standalone novel that can be enjoyed in an afternoon or over a vacation.
Time Period: Western, 1880's
Location: Cedar Ridge, Arizona Territory, USA
Reviewed from a NetGalley copy. Thank you, Bethany House Publishers!