Mystery...Adventure...Romance...Humor...Intrigue! When Julia's brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman's goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly's dude ranch is ruined?
While Sharlene and Faith are busy helping their uncle save the ranch, April and Matthew are planning their wedding but everything seems to go wrong
This is the 4th book in the "Adventures of John and Julia Evans" series by Linda Weaver Clarke. I will admit that I haven't read the other books in the series, but it really didn't seem to matter. There were a lot of interactions between the characters that you can tell have come about after time together, but you catch right on quickly. John and Julia have a storybook marriage, their strengths counter each other's weaknesses. As a guy, it was really great to see a man, check that men, being shown as strong not only physically, but emotionally as well. I've read a lot of books where the guy in the book isn't shown as being connected to his wife/girlfriend through anything other than surface thoughts. With John and his brother-in-law Kelly, though, I saw them as "men's men", and ones that also were invested in the life of the women around them. The additional storyline of the 3 daughters gave you the view of a family that you wanted to know more about.
I was a little concerned going in about whether or not I would like this book. I do enjoy a good adventure and I can handle a little bit of romance as long as it didn't overshadow the story. I will say, Linda handled both of these aspects well. Within the first couple of pages, I was already running to "Google" to learn more about this story. I'm not a "true life story" person, but it's always interesting when there's some truth added to a story. I also got a kick out of how one of the landmarks in the story got it's name (wink, wink). The story moved quick enough, there were plenty of red herrings to keep me guessing, right down to the ending of the book. To me, this read like a TV script of "Murder She Wrote", and I always loved that show.
So, should you read it? Sure, but I would step out further and say that if you're going to read this, why not go ahead and start from the beginning with the first in this series. Check out Linda's website (lindaweaverclarke.com) to read the first chapters and to purchase the ones that you'd like.
About Linda Weaver Clarke
I was raised on a farm surrounded by the rolling hills of southern Idaho and have made my home in southern Utah among the beautiful red mountains and desert heat. I have been happily married for 36 years and am the mother of six daughters and have four wonderful grandchildren .
After my family began to leave the nest, I decided it was time to finish what I had started long ago. I decided to go back to college and get a degree. It had been 30 years since I had been to college and it was one of the most frightening things I had ever done. I had to learn how to study and take tests all over again. The first day of college, I was a nervous wreck and wondered if I could do this, but with the support of my husband and children I was able to graduate. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and Music at Southern Utah University and received the Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award for the College of Performing Arts in 2002. During the meantime, I cut a CD named "Romantic Love Songs of Sigmund Romberg and Victor Herbert."
I have enjoyed writing short stories and novels for several years but it took a lot of courage to begin submitting them. After "Melinda and the Wild West" was published, I entered it in the Reader Views Literary Contest and my book was chosen as a Semi-Finalist in the "Reviewers Choice Awards 2007." It was one of the top ten out of hundreds of other entries.