Featured: Hasten to Their End by Penny Richards
Review: A novel that vividly evokes the bygone era of competitive walking matches and weaves in a page-turning mystery.
Is It Time to Exit the Stage?
A close brush with death in Texas has left Pinkerton agent Lilly Long wondering if the demands of the job she wanted so badly are more than she can mentally and physically endure without becoming cold and uncaring.
Instead of allowing her time to reflect on her future, William Pinkerton sends her to hone her skills with renown self-defense master, Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery, and when she and her partner, Cadence McShane, are summoned for a new assignment, she goes, despite her reservations.
Their mission is close to home—just across the city—and it seems simple enough on the surface: determine if pedestrian promoter and manager J.D. Ames’s death was the suicide the police claimed, or if it was murder by one of those connected with the sport, as his wife, Dora, suspects.
To learn the truth, Lilly and Cade must become part of the community of endurance walkers who undertake to walk a specified number of miles in a specified time.
Lilly, straight from her training with Monstery, will infiltrate the close community as Irish competitor, Lil McShane, and Cade will be her brother and trainer, Andrew. It doesn’t take long to recognize the antagonism, aggression and rivalry among both the established walkers and the new ones, hoping to make a name for themselves.
How can they possibly solve a murder when there is so much conflict both on and off the track? Can Lilly learn anything useful while immersing herself into a role that seems designed to physically reduce the competitors to shadows of themselves while crushing their spirits and stealing their dreams?
Meet Penny Richards:
Penny Richards is the author of 43 books for various imprints at Harlequin, Silhouette and Harper Paperbacks.
Her books have made many bestseller lists, and she has been nominated for, or won, many industry awards, including the Romance Writers of America RITA in the Inspirational category, a Lifetime Achievement award from Romantic Times magazine for Eden, book four of the Calloway Corners series, and Storyteller of the Year.
She currently writes historical mystery for Kensington Publishing. Her first historical mystery, An Untimely Frost, the first book of the Lilly Long Mystery series, was awarded Best Historical Mystery of 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors as well as an award for the cover art.
Review by Eclectic Mike:
I just finished a very enjoyable read of Richards’ latest offering, Hasten to Their End. I relish stories (and movies) that skillfully and completely cast me into a very unfamiliar setting – a different time period, different culture, etc. – and Ms. Richards’ tale was very effective in getting me totally immersed in the unique setting of pedestrianism.
I am certain that it was through a great deal of effort that the author was able to create such a genuinely convincing setting – clothing, food, mannerisms, morals, technology, vocabulary—for this historic murder mystery.
I was really surprised and shocked, by the ending! The author has done an excellent job of tricking the reader; that was masterfully done.
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