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The Lucky Hat Mine

Written by: J.V.L. Bell
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A recipe for true love or murder? Ingredients: one Southern belle, one Colorado gold miner, a wife wanted classified, and a fainting goat. Let simmer.

What's a Southern belle to do in 1863? Wife-wanted ads are always risky business, but Millie Virginia never imagined she'd survive the perilous trip across the Great Plains to find her intended husband in a pine box. Was he killed in an accident? Or murdered for his gold mine? Stuck in the mining town of Idaho Springs, Colorado territory, without friends or means, Millie is beleaguered by undesirable suitors and threatened by an unknown assailant. Her troubles escalate when the brother of her dead fiancé, Dominic Drouillard, unexpectedly turns up.

Dom is an ill-mannered mountain man who invades Millie's log cabin, insists that his brother was murdered, and refuses to leave until he finds the killer. Compelled to join forces with her erstwhile brother-in-law, Millie discovers the search for Colorado gold is perilous, especially with a murderer on their trail.

The Lucky Hat Mine interlaces the tale of a feisty heroine with frontier legend and lore making for an arousing historical murder mystery.

©2016 J.V.L. Bell (P)2016 J.V.L. Bell

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Leslie F.
  • 2016-11-28

This story has it all!

I really enjoyed this book. It had mystery, romance, and was filled with humor (thanks in part to the fainting goats). I liked that the book is filled with strong female characters. Its funny that the main character refers to her hair as "auburn with a few streaks of red" because as a child, whenever someone commented about my red hair, I would tell them, "My hair is not red, its auburn." My husband would probably attest to the fact that life with a redhead is very similar to how it is portrayed in the book. All the characters were entertaining and I loved Millie's reaction to them.

I listened to the Audible audio version of this book narrated by Nancy Wu. She did an EXCELLENT job with the narration. All the voices were really unique and really demonstrated her range well. I had never listened to anything she has narrated before, but I will definitely be checking out more of her work.

If you like mystery and romance, but like to laugh, too, I highly recommend this book. This is the first book I have read by J.V.L. Bell, and I enjoyed it so much that I want to see more from this author.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 2017-01-10

Loved it.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who like historical mysteries set in America.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Millie and Dom equally. I enjoyed their banter and all their little arguments. I found it quite funny in places.
The side characters were also well written and provided much amusement. The darker characters were menacing enough that the suspense and intrigue had me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed this book and would certainly look out for more by the author.

Have you listened to any of Nancy Wu’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narration was very good and I found it easy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

I voluntarily received a review copy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J.v.L Bell
  • 2016-11-24

What Fun!

What made the experience of listening to The Lucky Hat Mine the most enjoyable?

I loved the Lucky Hat Mine. It made me laugh and taught me some fun Colorado History.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Buttercup, of course!

Which scene was your favorite?

The runaway stage coach and meeting Dom.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

1 person found this helpful

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  • Spaz Girl
  • 2018-05-20

Mystery, History and Romance!

This book was a delight. J.v.L. Bell weaves colorful historic anecdotes throughout the main narrative. The sense of time and place was immersive and fun! There are colorful characters a-plenty, a whodunnit, and a strong female main character.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ka Ma Ma
  • 2017-06-22

A great read....

This was an engaging story from beginning to end. J.V.L. Bell takes you an adventure
like no other. The story draws you in and you're transported back in time. I enjoyed getting to know the characters as they evolved.

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  • Kate
  • 2017-05-01

As a Coloradan, this was fun!

Any additional comments?

The story of a mail-order bride who arrives to find her husband-to-be dead. I read a lot of mysteries, but this felt new.

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  • Lomeraniel
  • 2017-01-23

Hilarious, endearing and intriguing.

Any additional comments?

Review originally published at Lomeraniel dot com slash Audiobookreviews

I was offered a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.

1863. Decided to escape a life serving a family, Millie Virginia answers a wife-wanted ad and leaves New Orleans in a very dangerous trip towards the mining town of Idaho Springs, Colorado territory, to meet her future husband, somebody she does not know apart from a couple of letters and a picture. After all her expectations, upon her arrival she finds out that her fiancé was found dead at his mine one week before, and against all common sense, she decides to stay at his house and accept the mine that he has left her before he died. Soon after, Millie starts receiving threats to her life and then suddenly one day, Dom, her fiancé's brother appears at her cabin, not knowing about his brother's death. Dom will turn Millie's life upside down and together they will discover that perhaps Millie's fiancé's death was not just a terrible accident.

This was a book that I really enjoy from beginning to end. The characters got me completely hooked. Millie was naive, but also ver strong willed, and with a temper. I loved the way she started to know her fiancé, by the things he left behind at his cabin, his clothes, his books and the special stove he bought for her. I also loved the way Dom made her evolve and find a world that she did not imagine before. Mary's character was also endearing, but the rest of characters were flat, and just a background for the main story.

I usually shy away from love stories. It is not that I am not a romantic person, but I dislike shallow romances just for the sake of it. This was different. The characters were deep and they evolved with the story in a way that it almost felt natural, and even though romances are the parts I tend to dislike in a book, I really enjoyed this one. Millie and Dom felt real people to me, with real motivations and reactions. I will miss them now that I have finished the book.

Another important character in this book was Buttercup, the fainting goat Sarah gave to Millie during her trip. After a while she became an important part of Millie, and I found her adorable in a way that only pets can be. Buttercup was the first reason for Millie to evolve, this is why I think she was an important character inside the story.

It is quite clear that there was a lot of research done to write this book, and I learned that Bell is a Colorado native who spent much time hiking through ghost towns and learning old history. This is what gave depth to the book, Bell really knows what she is talking about.

The narrations was beautifully done. Nancy Wu did not only give a distinctive voice to all the characters, but she delivered a very special interpretation of Millie. I had to laugh hard at the times she repeated again and again about her auburn hair with red streaks. I think Wu really caught the exact tone for this novel and this character, and the result was spot on.

Hilarious, endearing and intriguing, this book has everything for everybody to enjoy it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and I am sure it will stay with me for a very long time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Simona
  • 2016-12-02

Quality writing in a mail order bride concept

A very entertaining and well-written mail order bride'ish story mixed with mystery/suspense. I don't like mail order bride stories, but this one is really quality work, when it comes to the writing.

However, besides the entertainment and action of this novel I didn't really care for the characters or events. Many things isn't believable at all and I don't need to waste my time. I had hoped for real history and real people.

Narrator Nancy Wu did a wonderful job and I'll check out more of her work. She nailed the suspense, voices and emotional aspects of this story.

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful