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#FlashbackFriday – Murder on the Last Frontier (A Charlotte Brody Mystery) by Cathy Pegau #Review / #Giveaway / #FF @KensingtonBooks

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Murder on the Last Frontier (A Charlotte Brody Mystery)
Historial Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Kensington (November 24, 2015)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 1496700546
ISBN-13: 978-1496700544

There’s many who feel the Alaska Territory is no place for a woman on her own. But Charlotte Brody, suffragette and journalist, has never let public opinion dictate her life choices. She’s come to the frontier town of Cordova, where her brother Michael practices medicine, for the same reason many come to Alaska—to start over.

Cordova is gradually getting civilized, but the town is still rougher than Charlotte imagined. And when a local prostitute—one of the working girls her brother has been treating—is found brutally murdered, Charlotte learns firsthand how rough the frontier can be. Although the town may not consider the murder of a prostitute worthy of investigation, Charlotte’s feminist beliefs motivate her to seek justice for the woman. And there’s something else—the woman was hiding a secret, one that reminds Charlotte of her own painful past.

As Charlotte searches for answers, she soon finds her own life in danger from a cold-blooded killer desperate to keep dark secrets from seeing the light of day…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Cordova, Alaska Territory 1919

Journalist and suffragette Charlotte Brody travels from Younkers, New York to Alaska to visit her brother and report on women in the territory for a series of articles to appear in The Modern Woman Review. The trip was not ideal but she is thrilled to see her brother Michael, who is a very busy doctor. He gets her settled in at Sullivan’s Boarding House but their visit gets off to a bumpy start. He brother has changed and so has she.

Their differences get cast aside when one of the girls from a local brothel is tragically murdered near the rooming house where Charlotte is staying. She may have even heard some of the victim’s last moments. Feeling guilty that she may have been able to do something to save the woman and the fact that a prostitutes death is a low priority for the authorities, Charlotte follows her heart and beliefs to investigate the woman’s death on her own. When a key piece of evidence is found, she finds herself in the killer’s sights putting herself and several others in danger. Will she survive her trip to Alaska or will a Murder on the Last Frontier be her last protest?

I loved this story. I wish I had read it when it was first released. The author takes on social issues of the day, many of which are still hot topics today.

Charlotte Brody is a very likable protagonist. She is smart and curious about her new surroundings and the people that inhabit it. She realizes the town is more primitive than what she imagined but she is up for the challenge. She is independent and open to meeting everyone for the mayor to the working girls. Everyone knows her brother, any are his patients, so she is welcomed in all the circles. But she has a secret.

Charlotte’s brother, Michael is a generous man with his time, which is a requirement for an Alaskan physician. He has made a life for himself and seems happy. Charlotte is a little surprised that his very small home is also his office, which is why she is staying at Sullivan’s. But he too has secrets.

We are introduced to many residents of Cordova in this first installment. The author does an excellent job of making them feel real, believable, interesting, and memorable. There are many reasons people have come to Cordova but for most, it was to start over or get a second chance. I enjoyed the depth that has already been created for these characters.

What I really enjoyed was Cathy Pegau’s descriptive writing style. She brought Alaska, the town of Cordova and all the people in this story to life, in a carefree way. Sometimes author’s descriptions go way over the top, taking away from the actual story. That is definitely not the case here.  I could picture everything I needed to easily. Not only the places and people but the extra hours of sunlight, the neverending rain, the muddy paths, and the boots worn by everyone due to the muddy paths. The balance was superb. Readers are totally transported to 1919 Alaska.

The mystery was very well-plotted with many surprising twists. The pacing was exactly right and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I was surprised by the final twist setting up a perfect ending.

Even before I reached the end of this book I knew I wanted to read more of this series. I was surprised to find the other two books in this series already on my Kindle. I hope to be reading and reviewing them soon.

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