Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
It’s 1933 during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Thea Knight, who works in RKO Studio’s costume department, uses her holiday break to go back and help out at her family’s Arizona ranch. There she meets Eugene Tanner, a lyricist seeking inspiration to help create what he hopes will be an award-winning song for a Western film. But Thea and Eugene soon find themselves caught up in a ghost town mystery near the ranch in Desert Duet by author Debra E. Marvin.
Well! I believe this is the first inspirational historical Western romantic mystery Christmas novella I’ve ever read. A mouthful, if I’m even saying it right, but whatever the case, I enjoyed this read.
I immediately appreciated the voice carrying the story, with a clever and upbeat but unpretentious and down-home kind of wit. The main characters come off as real and likable, and the romance is natural, without sappiness or melodrama. Hints of big-city glamour, Hollywood ambitions, 1930s popular culture, and the sting of the Great Depression are woven into the grit of country life and the danger lurking in the Arizona hills and desert.
And without snowmen, sleigh rides, or fragrant evergreens twinkling with lights, this tale pulls out its own country Christmas. Worth the read for sweet and inspirational historical Western romantic mystery/suspense fans—or some combination of what I just said!
When you go looking for this novella, you’ll find it with the newer book cover below.