Cause For Elimination

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
358 Pages
Reviewed on 09/30/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Crissi McDonald for Readers' Favorite

Mystery and romance merge in Cause for Elimination by Marla A. White. This feisty and engrossing story is set in Los Angeles, California, and takes place within the cutthroat world of horse showing and training. Emily Connors, an equestrian, and Justin Butler, a local detective, cross paths when Emily’s friend and employer Pam is found dead in a stall. Emily, still healing from a traumatic horse wreck, rallies herself and convinces Detective Butler that the horse didn’t kill Pam. Through the twists and turns of a complex murder investigation, Emily and Justin grow closer, even as outside forces threaten to keep them apart.

Marla A. White has done an amazing job combining the best elements of two genres I enjoy: a good murder mystery and a complex romance. Cause for Elimination (much like L.A. and the equine Eventing world) shows both a flashy surface and a dark underbelly, filled with humans ranging from benevolent to murderous. I especially enjoyed the banter between Detective Butler and his partner, Dennis Ames. Ms. White skillfully blends male humor and police dynamics using dialogue that is modern and clever.

There are numerous strands of stories in this plot. Besides the complex characters of Emily and Justin, there are several murders, ongoing barn and horse dramas, family dynamics, and even an animal communicator. All are handled with deft skill, and the resolutions to each are fulfilling. I’m also an equine professional and know that when I don’t stumble over details about horses or the people who work with them that I’m in the hands of a knowledgable horse person. Ms. White is an engaging writer, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

CJ Bahr

Competition can certainly be a killer! Set in southern California in the equestrian sport of Eventing, Emily arrives at the barn to find her boss dead in a stall. Not a great way to start the day, especially when she has to defend the innocent horse being blamed as the murderer to the handsome homicide detective, Justin. Emily and Justin team up to find the true killer, all the while she tries to hide her own secrets. This story has everything you’d want in a mystery—action, suspense, and an amazing cast sprinkled with quirky fun and danger. “Cause for Elimination” is a must-read page-turner.

Literary Titan

Cause For Elimination by Marla A. White tells the story of Emily Conners, a horse lover. Emily’s boss, Pamela Yates, has been viciously murdered, and Emily is determined to prove it. Justin Butler is a detective that happens to be handsome and wealthy. He wants to solve the Pamela Yates case, but things aren’t easy, and his interest in Emily isn’t helping.

The characters in the story are wonderfully written and have the reader questioning their motives and wondering just what they might do next. Emily’s character has depth and an engaging storyline that has you wondering about the things people get up to when you are not looking. The secondary characters are superb. Lottie, Emily’s best friend, easily makes the story more light and fun. Dennis, Justin’s colleague, and friend is the perfect voice of reason and usually brings Justin to his senses. The characters provide enough entertainment to keep you turning the pages.

The story’s setting is set in such a way that it’s a stunning backdrop for mystery and adventure. Emily’s love for horses brings a lovely element to the story. Horse lovers will cheer and gasp at the interesting way horses are woven into the story. Those new to all things horses might find themselves curious about these magnificent animals. The story also has another case, besides Pamela Yates’s murder, that brings friction and mayhem, which is interesting and keeps the reader glued to the story. Marla A. White has created a story that explores the lengths people will go to hide things. She’s written a tale many readers will enjoy and remember after closing the book.

Cause for Elimination by Marla A. White is a wonderful and entertaining read and perfect for those who love a riveting murder mystery with a dash of romance.