Daniels has produced an engrossing mystery with some suspense and wonderfully intriguing characters — a great “just one more page” story. The secondary mystery is also quite good, and the romance between Jack and Kate develops nicely. Frank and Nettie’s denied yet still-strong love is heartwarming, too.
After spending two years in prison when he is framed for cattle rustling, Jack French is back home in Beartooth, Mont. He soon becomes interested in the new owner of the Branding Iron Café, Kate LaFord. Kate is an enigma, a woman with secrets — secrets Sheriff Frank Curry has been urged by general store owner Nettie to discover. Nettie has another person she wants to know about, too: her new tenant, Tiffany Hayes. And everyone becomes interested in the identity of a man found murdered, especially since he could be connected to a tragedy that happened 30 years ago. While Kate sneaks off to dig for treasure, and Jack seeks to find out who framed him, Nettie worries that Tiffany may present a danger to Frank. (HQN, Feb., 384 pp., $7.99)