Denver City Justice takes place in the historical western era during the latter half of the 1800s. The book opens in Idaho Springs, then a small mining community. Millie arrives in Colorado after answering a ‘Wife-wanted’ ad; her prior adventures in the west can be read in The Lucky Hat Mine.
The book opens with Millie’s marriage to Dom, but the happy celebrations turn sour after a wedding guest and local widow is found murdered. Everyone is shocked, but it soon becomes apparent that Widow Ferris had been blackmailing residents of Idaho Springs, and a list of murder suspects grows. However, when Millie’s new husband is arrested as chief suspect and taken away to Denver City, Millie is left scampering after him in a desperate rescue mission.
There was plenty of historical information included in this book, particularly elements relating to the white man’s migration west, suppression of the native American Indians, and the African American underground railroad campaign. I felt that some of these other stories took me away from the murder mystery, and, though interesting, did not always fit with the mood of the story; I would have enjoyed a smaller history lesson and more concentration on the main story theme. I did enjoy Millie’s fainting goats, they were fun and lifted the seriousness of several situations. The story was often told through colloquialism filled dialogue, which may particularly appeal to fans of Western style stories.
Overall, this book offered humour, history and humanity, and would perhaps suit those looking for a lighter read in this genre.
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Territory of Colorado, 1864. Millie and Dom Drouillard return with more murder, mayhem, and misadventures in J.v.L. Bell’s latest novel, Denver City Justice.
The newlyweds are barely settled into wedded bliss when their neighbor the Widow Ferris is found dead with an icicle piercing her cold heart. Suspects abound–Widow Ferris has been blackmailing most of the upstanding citizens of Idaho Springs, including its sheriff. Millie’s new husband Dom soon becomes the main suspect and is hauled off to jail for a taste of Denver City justice.
Can Millie arrive in Denver City in time? Joined by an unusual ensemble of proper matrons, her best friend Mary–a free black woman–and an Idaho Springs “fancy girl,” Millie heads to Denver City willing to do anything to keep Dom from swinging from the end of a rope.
Denver City Justice is a historical novel, rich in frontier lore, interesting Colorado history, and endearingly quirky characters.