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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Loveda Brown: Summer Storm by Jolie Tunnell is the fourth book in the Idyllwild Mystery series. The wild west will never be the same after reading the delightful mysteries that Loveda finds herself in. Loveda is no stranger to the issues that plague her charming town. She's solved everything from murder to an orphaned baby left at the hotel. Now she'll face a gang of outlaws. A train robbery sends the robbers directly to Loveda's hotel where they set out to settle a grudge against someone in Idyllwild. Meanwhile, more guests bring new mysteries while a secret comes to light and Loveda faces new dangers. To protect the town she loves, she'll face a choice that could lead to a betrayal.
The writing is delightful thanks to Jolie Tunnell's fun prose that delivers a blend of humor, mystery, and the wild west. This tone is evident in various scenes, like an adorable moment when Loveda writes her name and thinks about how her name smacked of humble spinsterhood. Loveda will quickly become a favorite sleuth, as she has an endearing personality that is a joy to read. She has a playfulness about her, such as putting on her new holster with pride, yet has the strength to run a hotel, solve mysteries, and stand her ground against dangerous forces. The guests provide a new assortment of characters to the hotel, along with the other chaos that invades Loveda's life.
Tunnell delivers vivid details such as a weather-lined face, the aroma of manure masking the smell of an ancient community outhouse, and rain bringing a thunderous pounding as the heavens finally opened. The setting is 1912 and is established through various mannerisms, dialogue, and details, revolving around a quaint town that is authentically true to the wild west. Subtle details are used to capture the feeling of this period with horses, cowboys, and outlaws, while minor elements are included to show the growth of the town out of this time period such as references to automobiles. The wild west comes to life in Loveda Brown: Summer Storm which has a fast-paced mystery with a plot that moves quickly, charming characters, an idyllic town, and train robbers.