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Crime Scene At Cardwell Ranch (Montana Mystique #1)

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  3,624 ratings  ·  313 reviews

After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again. Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch. Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way-to investigate a decades-old crime.

Five years ago, Hud left town with a heart load of regrets. But now, as acting interim marshal, he had a job to do. And
Paperback, 250 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by Harlequin Books (first published February 14th 2004)
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Community Reviews

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This as a very good "whodunit" story, who kept me guessing - incorrectly, LOL - about the killer's identity until the end. I could have sworn it was someone else but, when the mystery was solved, it made sense and I wasn't left thinking where the heck that had come from.

The romance part of the book was kind of weak - especially the silly Big Misunderstanding that kept Hud and Dana separated for 5 years - but I knew that beforehand, so it didn't bother me. I read this book mainly for the mystery
Julie (jjmachshev)
If you read enough of my reviews, you'll know that one of my pet peeves is poor editing. "Crime Scene At Cardwell Ranch" by B.J. Daniels suffered from this...which caused me to suffer while reading it.

Five years ago Hud left his small hometown, and his love, behind after he was caught in a compromising situation with his love's sister. Now a mysterious letter and a job offer have hastened his return and Hud intends to get to the bottom of exactly what happened that night. Before he can start his
Oct 20, 2014 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: I saw Alathea's review
I have been reading paranormal for over a year now. I felt I'd gotten so deep into that world that I wouldn't enjoy a regular romance/suspense book. I WAS WRONG! Not a huge surprise either being wrong, it does happen from time to time.

This was a quick read and very enjoyable. It had all sorts fo twists and turns in it. It was a true "Who Dun It". I kept changing my mind as to who the villan was and I was very surprised by who it actually was. I just didn't see that coming till just before the b
Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch was a 2009 publication and is currently being offered for free as an ebook on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And free is good. It's the shortest of the 4 Harlequin Intrigues I've recently read, coming in at a brief 160 pages. And I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. The love part is for the well-crafted mystery, the confident writing style that moves along at a rapid pace and kept me reading to find out who committed the crimes. The hate part was bec ...more
Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)
This is another 3.5. Which shocks the hell out of me. I keep reading these little Harlequin books hoping to like them and most of the time they are two-stars. The real shame of it is that this is a free book. It has been free for years, while the other ones cost money.

The only real complaints I had were:
-The slow reveal of what happened five years ago. I hate that. Stop mentioning and dropping hints about this mysterious five years ago and just tell me what the hell happened! I had already guess
I don't remember how this Harlequin "Romance & Mystery" book came into my possession. I know I didn't buy it. The cover says "Enjoy this free book" so somehow, somewhere, I picked it up. For free. But the other day I wanted something dumb to read and lo and behold! my eyes spied this book on my shelf. My brain was happy--it barely had to turn itself on to read this book and I was amused for a few hours.

Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch (a boring, if precise, title) is meh. I mean, it's a Harleq
An Abundance of Books
Crime Scene At Cardwell Ranch opens with a woman coming to after falling down a well. Injured and confused, she calls out to her lover, only to have him shoot at her. Fast forward 17 years and Dana Cardwell is starting a very bad day. Her foreman comes to her about some bones in an old well on the property and they call the sheriff in. The old sheriff had just retired and as the new one drives up to conduct the investigation, Dana realizes it's her former fiance, Hudson Savage. Hud left town 5 y ...more
Feb 04, 2009 Wendy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of mystery and romance
Still researching what's hot and new in category romance in the new millennium.

This is my third in the lot of sixteen free downloads, and the one I've most enjoyed so far. There's a mystery at the core of the book, and it's a fairly gripping mystery, well unfolded. In story terms, the mystery aspect is at least the equal of the romance aspect, and the two tie together nicely; I never felt that either part had been tacked on to the other.

The lead couple are more well-rounded than the last two I
I just love “short” Harlequin stories. They’re just long enough to cram everything in without the whole thing seeming hurried and short enough to finish it elegantly without the plot-dragging devices and predictable turns.

This book is one of such stories. The suspense was nicely done, even had some traces of a thriller in it, and surprise of all surprise I didn’t see that ending coming. The villain was utterly unexpected for me (yeah, you can call me naïve if you want) and the added bonus of a t
I'm not crazy about het, but I'll read it if the price is right, and being a freebee definitely fits that description. I picked it up from Amazon, loaded it to my Kindle, and decided to read it while I was cruising.

First off, left me just say that a reader in her late teens (and possibly younger)/early twenties might think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but frankly, I found the heroine TSTL. The front door is open, and she blithely walks on in? Uh... no. What half-way intelligent
Romance/western mystery is not my genre--or genres, admittedly. But when Harlequin Romance donated no less that 4 large boxes of THIS book to our school, I began promoting it aggressively just so I could get rid of the copies, and clear space in my library!
Then, I realized that if I am trying to get students to take a free copy of this, I had better get over my initial distaste for the title/cover/genre and general vibe I was getting and actually read the book.
This book was wrought with cliches
Ok so I had this book for a long time and I didn't read it. My sister had given it to me b/c she got it for free from somewhere and when I saw the cover it put me off so I decided not to read it. But then one day I was bored and didn't have anything to read so I picked up this book and decided to see what its all about. AND to my surprise it was actually a really good read. I could not put it down, it was a page turner and had lots of twist and turns. It also had romance but mainly focused on th ...more
Paige Prince
It was an interesting premise, so I was kind of excited to read this book. I didn't get to it for a while, but once I did I was drawn in. I wish the author would've explained things a bit sooner because it got tiresome to keep hearing about the same problems again and again, but the murder plot line kept me interested enough to finish. The subplot where the heroine was going to have to sell her family's ranch because of her jerk siblings irritated me, at best. Romance novel heroines have become ...more
Donna Porter
Great book. Dana Cardwell was trying to get the family ranch together to sell, she didn't want to sell it but her sister and brothers wanted the money for their share. Dana kept telling them their mom had written a revision on the will before her death so she could pay them over a period of time, but she couldn't find it. As if that wasn't bad enough they found a skelton in a well on their property. The body was 17 years old and it was a woman. Return Hudson Savage, ex deputy who came back as ac ...more
Harlequin has a special offer right now: you can download 16 books from their different lines in ebook format. I could never turn down a free romance, so I grabbed all of them (except the NASCAR one, which unsurprisingly I own) and am working my way through.

This book is from the Harlequin Intrigue line, the suspense/mystery line, and I liked it quite a bit: an interesting mystery with multiple plausible suspects, a decent Unsurmountable Obstacle separating the lovers, and a strong setting (a Mon
Original review posted at Not Now...I'm Reading!

3 stars

Now that I have a Kindle 3 and more reading apps on my phone than I know what to do with, I like to peruse the freebie e-book sections of Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon and the like to see if there’s anything that catches my eye. It’s one of the ways I work around my self-imposed book ban. *waggles eyebrows* What’s that? My TBR pile is still going to get bigger that way? I can’t resist free 99! It’s a disease! *Ahem* Enough about my imp
Jul 28, 2014 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Shelves: romance, mystery
3.5 Stars. Interesting enough to read in one day. There were snatches when I thought the author might have been struggling with the plot, a couple sections sagged a bit, but overall not a bad book. So many suspects my head started spinning. One of my pet peeves is someone running off alone when they know they are in danger, and this happened several times in this book. Yes, have a strong female character, but don't let her be so stubborn she's willing to put herself in danger. And if you have a ...more
Carol Malone
This is the book that started my love of B.J. Daniels and her romantic suspense. Though it might have a few rough patches of writing in it, the whole book was something I wish to pattern my own suspense stories after. I am a big B.J. Daniels fan.

Dana Cardwell has to hold on to the ranch she inherited from her mother, but without a will, she has no hope. Then a body is found on the property and her siblings become suspects. The only person she trusts is the man that betrayed her and broke her tru
It was just a convenient read on a long bus ride, not too bad and can keep you turning the pages. But it really doesnt play your mind much, very predictable plot.

The romantic tension was nice, but really makes you wonder if what Dana and Hud did 5years ago sound as convincing if they really do love each other that much.

One extra star only because it was a free read
This was a free book given out by shirtless cowboys at the Minnesota State Fair this year so how could I not take one? :)
It was exactly what you would expect a Harlequin Romance Novel to be, very light reading with a predictable ending but that's not always bad.
Bonnie Staughton
As I read in other reviews of this book, I received this book for free. Not sure where but it may have been with an Amazon order. I'm not really a mystery book reader so I let this book just sit for a few years without picking it up. Without any other books available in the house that I hadn't already read, I started reading it and found it very hard to put down. The "victim, was not who I had expected and the "killer" came totally out of the blue. This was a very good story that flowed very wel ...more
The plot was great, I was quickly hooked and wanted to read more and more... unfortunately the actual writing was Horrible. It tried to hard, and when the author found a good line or thought stream they used it over and over and OVER. There was even one spot where the author tried so hard to explain a character's reaction that they ended up contradicting themselves. If you simply can't handle bad writing, don't read this. But it was a good crime story with a bit of love and family drama, over al ...more
Light, mystery - After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again. Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch. Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way—to investigate a decades-old crime.

Five years ago, Hud left town with a heart load of regrets. But now, as acting interim marshal, he had a job to do. And this time he wasn't walking away. Because now Dana's life was on the line—as the unsuspecting target of a k
Jan 16, 2014 Pattianne marked it as to-read
Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch - Montana Mystique #1 - (Hudson and Dana) - After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again. Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch. Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way-to investigate a decades-old crime.

Five years ago, Hud left town with a heart load of regrets. But now, as acting interim marshal, he had a job to do. And this time he wasn't walking away. Because now Dana
Like BJ Daniels and Lorena McCourtney ... I think that more authors should offer one free e-book for readers to get a taste of their writing. If it were not for those two authors giving away a free e-book of theirs I would have never come across these authors with such great talent for creative writing!

I was certainly very very surprised to see that that such novels were Harlequin Romance novels because I am surely not a "romance reader." But over time I see that Harlequin books (or authors) do

So this was more of a mystery than a romance. Probably because there wasn't enough time to fit both a romance and a mystery in the book. Something had to be left out.

Hudson Savage is back in town to be a temporary Marshall. So it's not the greatest of instances when his first case is a dead body found on Cardwell Ranch. Mainly because the owner of the ranch is his ex-fiance. An ex-fiance that was hurt terribly by him and someone that he still has feelings for. As for Dana, she's having the worse
Dana doesn't want to sell her family's Montana ranch, but her siblings are insistent that they want the capital from it now rather than wait for gradual pay-offs in the future. Without her mother's new will, Dana doesn't really have a leg to stand on. Things get even more complicated when a body is found in an old well on the ranch. The town brings in a new marshal to investigate, and he turns out to be none other than Dana's ex-fiancee, Hud.

Daniels does good job with the intrigue element of thi
♡ Sassy ~ Amy ♡
This was a pretty good mystery novel. I wouldn't say it was a romance book, but there is a light love story involved. I don't have much to say except I did enjy it & never felt like I was wasting my time.

A body is found in a well on the cardwell ranch. She was a red headed woman killed about 15 years ago... There are plenty of suspects.

The interum marshal, Hud< returns to cardwell to chase his old flame, Dana, who is being forced to sell her ranch, by her brothers & sister because th
Livia Dane
Blurb from Amazon:

After Hudson Savage betrayed her, Dana Cardwell hoped never to lay eyes on the seductive cowboy again. Until a bunch of old bones showed up on her family ranch. Suddenly her former lover was back in her life in a big way—to investigate a decades-old crime.

Five years ago, Hud left town with a heart load of regrets. But now, as acting interim marshal, he had a job to do. And this time he wasn't walking away. Because now Dana's life was on the line—as the unsuspecting target of a
Anna's Herding Cats!
Originally posted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Might not be the catchiest title but it's a pretty good book! I picked up Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch not too long ago when I needed a book with a cowboy hat on the cover. I hadn't read Daniels before so didn't know what to expect and gotta say I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The story was very light in the romance department and not steamy at all but the mystery and crime were very well done and kept me turning the pages. I enj
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B.J. Daniels' life dream was to be a policewoman. After a career as an award-winning newspaper journalist, she wrote and sold 37 short stories before she finally wrote her first book. Since then she has won numerous awards including a career achievement award last year for romantic suspense.

She lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, two Springer Spaniels, Jem and Spot, and a temperamental tomc
More about B.J. Daniels...

Other Books in the Series

Montana Mystique (4 books)
  • Keeping Christmas
  • Big Sky Standoff
  • Justice at Cardwell Ranch (Cardwell Ranch #2)
The New Deputy in Town (Whitehorse Montana #2) Justice at Cardwell Ranch (Cardwell Ranch #2) Unforgiven (Beartooth, Montana, #1) Branded Atonement (Beartooth, Montana, #4)

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