A Heap of Trouble
Author: Lorrie Unites-Struiff
Publisher: MuseitUp Publishing
American release date: September 11, 2012
Format/Genre/Length: EBook/ Western/150 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Sheriff Cole Walker’s biggest concern is what to have for lunch, at least until he walks into his office to discover part of that lunch missing, and the culprit hiding under his desk. He would have gladly rid himself of the little monkey except, wouldn’t you know it, his secret crush, aka Miss Mattie, walks in and takes a shine to the varmint. What’s a feller to do but give in and take the critter into his home, along with a whole heap of trouble.
Cole likes Mattie, but he’s never had the nerve to tell her so, ever since she arrived in town. She’s a strong woman, and he admires her greatly, but he has his own issues and isn’t about to inflict them on her. Now he’s got a thieving monkey on his hands, as well as cattle rustlers, which is a far more serious problem. Sides are being formed, and trouble’s surely going to break out. It’s all Cole can do to keep the peace while he and his deputies try to figure out what’s going on and rectify the situation.
To be honest, I’ve never considered westerns a genre I was greatly interested in. Since reading this book, I’ve re-evaluated that position. Ms. Struiff has taken the genre and injected it with her own special brand of humor, in the form of a thieving runaway monkey named Beggar, who will steal your heart (along with anything else that isn’t nailed down!)
This book flows from beginning to end, and you’ll be caught up in it like a cow in a stampede, but in a good way. Cole Walker, the sheriff/hero, is a strong character, but he’s also human, and he has his weaknesses, although he isn’t exactly eager to admit to them. Miss Mattie is lovely and smart, but she has her own past to deal with, one she isn’t ready to share. The mystery of who’s stealing the cattle is intriguing, watching them solve it even more so, as Cole and Mattie find themselves thrown together more and more.
The humor is what especially makes this book. I love the realism. People do dumb things, yeah, and not every guy looks like he just stepped off a catwalk. Or every woman, for that matter. Cole and Mattie are both characters I’d love to know. After this, I aim to read more of Ms. Struiff’s writings, and search for that same wicked sense of humor.
This book has something for everyone—humor, mystery, romance, intrigue… it’s good old-fashioned fun. It’s safe for all ages, and I think it’s enjoyable by men and woman both. Pick up A Heap of Trouble—you’ll be glad you did!