Somebody’s Business (Nickel Hill, 3)

Written by Irene Bennett Brown
Review by Beth Kanell

Look through a stack of vintage postcards, and find the intriguing ones that show automobiles and horse-drawn carriages sharing the downtown roads: That’s the 1906 world of farmer Jocelyn Pladson. But at the Kansas frontier, there aren’t yet abundant horseless vehicles, or even gas stations—which is just as well for Jocelyn, who’s especially fond of mules and horses. When she decides that livery stables will continue to have a future for years to come and purchases one from an elderly friend who badly needs to leave town, her husband Pete’s cheerful support of the venture should make it all work out well.

But Jocelyn hasn’t factored in the malice of other speculators. Her new livery stable is under attack before she even holds the papers for it—so she’ll have to round up political support, as well as local law enforcement. In Irene Bennett Brown’s Kansas, that’s made much easier by a friendly marshal and his wife, Cora, who serves as deputy. Overall, the town of Skiddy seems to agree with Jocelyn’s position, but the pair of villains involved, dedicated to their own hopes of profit from flashy motorcars, are willing to take drastic action to separate Jocelyn from her dream.

A gently told tale filled with loving families, sturdy friends, and ideals of honest success, Somebody’s Business offers warmth and promise in an all-American manner, where losses are compensated for by integrity, and affection and loyalty win the day.