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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Gwenonwyn of Aileen is a mystery novel centered around the world of horses, written by author Cher Griffin. This is the third novel in the Marla Mesconti Mystery Series in which each book centers on Marla the horse trainer as she uncovers unusual goings-on wherever she works. Layla is a buckskin Gypsy horse who loses her rider and disappears, only to be found dead in a pond a long way from the original route. Marla and her crew take their investigation all over Vermont as they track down the killer of this beautiful creature, and they are accompanied by Rick, police official and Marla’s supportive and helpful boyfriend.
Entering the world of horse fiction isn’t something I’ve done since I was a child, but this book is no safe little Jilly Cooper tale! The mystery is well grounded and quite shocking in places, and I felt a great deal of empathy for Beth in losing her prized horse. It’s clear that Cher Griffin knows both the world she’s writing about and the luscious Vermont locale, bringing both to life in incredibly vivid detail throughout the plot. I felt that Rick’s character development was somewhat sacrificed to the plot development overall, but Marla is a strong heroine who is well-defined and sticks to her core beliefs right through the novel. It was easy enough to come in at book 3 and still enjoy this story without prior knowledge, and I believe that Gwenonwyn of Aileen would be a very enjoyable mystery read for fans of sleuthing and animal lovers alike.