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Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite
In Lucinda Jones by Tank Gunner, Lucinda Jones, fresh out of Paris Junior College, is eager to fulfill her dream of being a newspaper reporter. She makes a big splash when she arrives in the quiet town of Palomino and starts her new job investigating a murder. Racial tension and neglect of the country school for children of color come with the territory in 1950 North Texas, but Lucinda wants to change that. In the process of getting her feet wet as a reporter at the Palomino Press, she meets locals who make her feel at home and are eager to adopt her as one of their own. However, Woodrow Collins can’t get enough of the spunky redhead’s personality and captivating way, and he hopes to establish something more permanent with Lucinda. She’d signed on for just a few weeks, planning to strike out for Austin and a journalism degree, but there are plenty of reasons to stick around, so there’s a difficult decision to make as her time in Palomino comes to an end.
Tank Gunner introduces this spunky redhead with mismatched colored eyes in such a way that, just like the townsfolk of Palomino, you can’t help falling in love with Lucinda Jones. Gunner nails the tone and the setting of just about any post-World War II town in North Texas, integrating the mixed culture of blacks and whites as the two races struggle to work out their place in the world. Woven into what would be a common story about a cub reporter getting her start are elements of intrigue and romance that kept me wanting more. Like me, you will cheer for her successes and shake your head at her mistakes, but keep believing she’s moving in the right direction. The author's writing style is smooth and easy to read. Gunner has done such a fantastic job with Lucinda Jones that I’m eager to catch up on the other three books in the series.