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Elder Creek is a tiny mining town that is slowly dying. Writer Tucker Stevens has returned home to head a revitalization project which will turn the town into a cultural and historical point of interest and hopefully bring in tourists and much-needed dollars to the depressed town. On her return home, Tucker discovers that prior to her mother’s recent death, her mother had rented her house to Leah Hudson, a high school librarian from the nearby town of Portero. Tucker and Leah soon make a lively connection that quickly leads to a well-drawn romance.
As Tucker and Leah get to know each other better, Tucker reveals that she is a writer with four published novels, all of which focus on women in the Old West during the 1800s. Leah tells Tucker that when she rented the house she realized that Tucker’s name was oddly familiar. Shortly after she googled Tucker, Leah realized tht she had seen Tucker’s name on several websites showcasing lesbian books.
While spearheading the revitalization project, Tucker begins experiencing uncanny visions where she finds herself transported to the Elder Creek of the early 1800s. Meanwhile, in the present day, she is faced with strong opposition from locals to her idea of re-opening the mine to tourists, even though Elder Creek mines had long since closed.
Throughout of all this, Tucker remembers how she and her mother would piece together jigsaw puzzles. Her mother always said look for the pieces with straight sides, as they will form the edges of the puzzle. With this in mind, Tucker tries to make sense of the pieces in own her life, which seem to be full of secrets, strange happenings, and deceit, as well as a burgeoning new relationship.
Other than the two main protagonists, the book features dynamics secondary characters, such as Tucker’s best friend, Jackie O’Malley, who owns the St. Charles Saloon, otherwise known to the locals as The Charlie. Jackie is encouraging of all Tucker’s endeavors and she shows her support of Tucker and Leah budding relationship throughout the novel.
The novel, in general, features very well-developed characters. Tucker, in particular, is a complex and multifaceted character, raised by a mother who suffered from depression, causing Tucker to worry that she too might succumb to her mother’s melancholia.
Incident at Elder Creek concludes with an exciting ending, that connects all of the puzzle pieces in this superbly well-crafted novel of mystery and romance.
Incident at Elder Creek
By Anna Furtado
Paperback, 9781619293069, 230 pp.