Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trouble in Store by Carol Cox, ©2013

Cover ArtFired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin. But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile, and he’s not about to let some obstinate woman with newfangled ideas mess up all he’s worked for. He’s determined to get Melanie married off as soon as possible, and luckily there are plenty of single men in town quite interested in taking her off his hands.
   The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry up with any of them. He’s drawn to Melanie more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store unexpectedly offer positive results.
   But someone doesn’t want the store to succeed, and what used to be just threatening words has escalated into deliberate destruction and lurkers in the night. When a body shows up on the mercantile steps–and the man obviously didn’t die from natural causes–things really get dangerous. Can Melanie and Caleb’s business–and romance–survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

My Review:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
   --Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
Marietta, Ohio
April 1885
   Melanie clamped her lips together, knowing full well that her opinion wasn't really being solicited. She made a mental head count, trying to keep her consternation from showing on her face. The Templetons had two children, and the Martins three, meaning she would be riding herd on seven youngsters instead of only two.
   --Trouble in Store, 9
What would you do if you were to watch seven rambunctious children out on the lawn during an outdoor party for hopes of candidacy votes? Not in their play clothes, mind you, but their best finery? Before we begin it is obvious who is going to get blamed for the turmoil that is sure to follow ~ in and out of the dining tables? Well, actually stopped short of the tables... thrown from the pony.
   Clarence's lips trembled as he met his father's stony glare, and he spoke in a piteous tone. "Miss Ross told me I could."
   --Ibid., 17
Melanie Ross sees the end from the beginning. Packing her trunk she comes across letters.
   "I've kept everything he left behind . . . . I'll keep it safe, should you choose to come out and claim it."
   --Ibid., 25
Signed by her deceased cousin's partner in the Ross-Nelson Mercantile in Arizona, Melanie has a way of escape.
   Levi flinched."I was just lining up my soldiers."
   Caleb ran his finger around the edge of his collar. "But why on . . . ? Why there?"
   Levi pointed at Melanie. "She told me to."
   --Ibid., 182
Not again. Poor Miss Ross!

Soon music is in her heart.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him
securely on high, because he has known My name.
“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
“With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

   --Psalm 91:14-16 NASB
So important in Melanie's life. I really enjoyed this book and it had turns and twists I didn't expect. It had me holding my breath too for her actual escape. There was a sub-character I was suspicious of and despite clues, I didn't select the right culprit. Our protagonists sided with me. A very visual story. I was glad I wasn't along for part of it! Excellent writing.

***Thank you to author Carol Cox for sending me a copy of Trouble in Store. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received. Her Pinkerton story you will enjoy is Love in Disguise.*** 

Chapters One and Two


  1. You have a beautiful site, Kathleen. I look forward to visiting again.

    1. Oh, yes, please do. Thank you, Mary Vee, I love reading and God's gifts. I commented over at your Let's Talk about wanting to read your depot story. I would be attracted to trains too. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House