Review: Lion's Pride

Lion's Pride, by Debbie Jordan

Occasionally I like to step outside my comfort-genre-zone. Many times this will backfire and I beat a hasty retreat back to 16th-century Europe, but other times I am pleasantly surprised and rewarded for my efforts. Lion's Pride, by Debbie Jordon, turned out to be a reward.

A Quick Synopsis
It's 1911 and the Arizona territory is on the brink of statehood. In the small town of Moon Valley, sheriff Paco Alaniz keeps watch over his sleepy town which, like the territory, is riding the winds of change. When a local wealthy cattleman turns up murdered, the good-hearted sheriff is suddenly faced with more than he bargained for: a murder that needs solving, a beautiful widow, a randy local priest, a sect of rogue Mormons with a couple dozen wives, and a mysterious stranger who just blew into town. And the icing on the cake? There's a blood-thirsty puma on the loose and threatening everyone.

The Literary Criticism
Debbie Jordan draws the reader in within the first few pages and doesn't let go until the (pleasing) end. Characters, no matter how brief their appearance, are well-rounded and provided ample motivation for their actions. The whodunit portion isn't too difficult to figure out, but that doesn't detract from the story. This is a wonderful piece of regional fiction and a nice change from your typical western.

The Recommendation
Even if westerns aren't normally your cup of tea can of beans, I'd be willing to bet you'd like this novel. It's not your typical shoot-'em-up, head-out-on-the-trail-and-herd-cattle kind of book. It's got mystery, detective work, religious history and some romance thrown in for good measure. Nothing too gritty or explicit (thank you, Debbie!), which is a nice change from some of the shock-value writing that is so common these days. Sometimes, clean and well-written make for a delightful read.
Four Stars!

Title: Lion's Pride
Author: Debbie Jordan
ISBN-13: 978-1432703301
372 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date: April 20, 2007

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  1. Nice review! Oh and I love the Puma picture. BTW - where did you find the stars thing? That's cool!

  2. This sounds like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the review. Although I am not sure of the puma thing. :-)

  3. Great review, Michele. Have I told you (I probably have since I have a bad habit of repeating myself) that I like your new format for reviews?

    I would typically shy away from Westerns - no, maybe run as fast as I could is more accurate - but you do make this one sound tempting.



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