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The Lucky Hat Mine

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  61 reviews
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 k
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2016 by Hansen Publishing Group, LLC
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book The Lucky Hat Mine has everything to keep you completely immersed for hours: adventures, mystery, interesting historical details and, of course, romance. The romantic plot between Ms. Virginia and Mr. D. is developing on the background of Colorado Gold Rush in 1863, where at first Mr. D. appeared as a rude uncivilized miner. But as the time goes by in search for gold, a murderer and an answers about Ms. Virginia’s parents, Mr. D. shows up as a kind, caring and gentle man, saving Ms. Vir ...more
Sally Ross
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a lot more historical information in this light hearted read than I expected, but my favorite part of this book was the fainting goats. Hilarious.
Kellyn Roth
Originally posted on Reveries Reviews.

This was a great book that kept me entertained and wanting more. It was funny, adventurous, and intriguing, truly a wild and whacky ride. However, I did find the content (mostly the constant stream of innuendo) to be a little more than I was comfortable with.

Plot {4/5}:

The plot was (mostly) amazing. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. In the middle it did drag just a little bit, but after Dominic arrived, it picked up again and was as entertaining and captiv
Inishowen Cailín
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
I really enjoyed this historical mystery-romance. It is a clever tale of greed, murder and suspense with a good dollop of romance and humour.
I liked Millie and Dom. I found their banter and all their little arguments to be quite funny in places. I listened to the audio book and the humour in the pair verbally sparring came across very well. Millie was adorable every time she protested against being called Red.
The side characters were also well written and provided much amusement. The darker, da
Paula Adams
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fun historical cozy based in gold mining country in Colorado during the Civil War. Where the men outnumber the women by huge numbers as you can imagine. The hardships of living in the Rockies and the winters. There must have been a lot of research done as the book starts in New Orleans and then travel to a small mining town in the territory of Colorado. All the men courting this one single woman. There are some laugh out loud funny moments. There are times you want to cry. The ending is the be ...more
Jessie Stevens
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Ahhhhhhh" (That's the sigh of a contented reader who just found a book that was exactly what she hoped it would be.)

The Lucky Hat Mine is a classic old west tale complete with miners, murder and mail order brides.But... the mail order bride's husband-to-be was the murder victim and all the miners are lining up to propose.


And repeatedly.

Fortunately, our heroine is made of stern stuff and despite the fact that she spouts off rules of etiquette at every occasion and constantly reminds th
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wom-reads, rtyr
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.
Sort of reminds me of a western (which is a good thing) but with a little romance thrown in. You get a glimpse in what it was like traveling across territories back then and how treacherous it was. How men can be gunslingers or wish they were. Men will propose marriage to get a piece of something they want.
The MC Millie drove me a little crazy wit
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2017
A nice enjoyable, light read, a solid 3 stars. I was given a copy of this in exchange for an honest review, and must say I liked it, even if it's not my typical read. The main character has answered a "wife wanted" ad placed by a man in the Colorado goldfields and finds him in a pine box upon her arrival. Having lived in Colorado for the past almost 40 years I had to give it a go. It's well written and Ms. Bell did some homework on her history. While a bit short on mystery for me, I'd recommend ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This one gets a big, fat 3 stars. It’s a cliche woven around a cliche, culminating in a very, very predictable cliche. It’s kinda like a made-for-TV movie that was momentarily, eye-rollingly entertaining. It’s not one I’d recommend, but there were a few cute moments, and I did stick with it to the end, so that’s saying something, right?
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun story written by author J.v.L. Bell. It is part comedy, historical,, cozy murder mystery, mail order bride book. It's a very cute story. Thanks to NetGalley and Hansen Publishing for the advance copy. ...more
Beth Berve
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really fun read, and the historical facts that coincide with the story are great! The characters are interesting and colorful...I highly recommend this as an audiobook for a road trip as that is how I enjoyed it!!
Martha McCarver
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely entertaining, funny, clean romance and historically interesting information about the gold rush in Idaho Springs, Co during the Civil War years. I had the privilege to meet the author and can't wait for the sequel coming soon. ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing! I'll review it soon. 4.5 stars. ...more
Pauline Plissner
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Delightful tale of pioneer history in the Rocky Mountains. It made the towns around me come alive.
Marion Marchetto
Millie Virginia is a Southern bred young woman trapped in a dead-end position as governess to two irascible children whose mama is a delicate but deadly New Orleans flower. As a child she was orphaned and has no family to turn to. To escape her situation, Millie answers a newspaper ad for a wife. After several weeks of correspondence her new fiancé, Mr. Johannes Drouillard, sends her a ticket and additional funds to travel to the tiny town of Idaho Springs. Millie undertakes the journey by saili ...more
Barb Taub
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: I was asked to review The Lucky Hat Mine for Rosie’s Book Review Team. Because I was traveling, I wasn’t able to download it from Netgalley or even download the offered copy of the audiobook. But when I heard that the audio was narrated by Nancy Wu, I went straight to my Audible UK account and bought a copy. And I’m so glad I did, although the mix of humor, historical detail, and great story earned me some odd looks as I laughed out loud while walking the dog. The following review uses the ...more
Robyn Dolan
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Millie decides to leave New Orleans to become a mail order bride, she is completely unprepared for the adventure of a Colorado mining camp. When she arrives and discovers that she is already a widow, her new life takes on a whole new twist. Should she marry one of the many suitors she suspects are just trying to gain control of her dead fiance's mine? Or should she keep the mine and make a new life for herself?

Narrated by Nancy Wu, this audiobook kept me entertained for days. I could not w
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If your looking for an old fashioned, old west romance/mystery this book has it, but it has SO much more and with a little more grit than most! The historical detail about Colorado and women in history made this book amazing,

I stayed up way past my bedtime reading about the southern young woman looking to better her life answering a wife wanted ad out in the wilds of gold mine country in early Colorado. That young lady, known as Millie was stronger than even she thought and her tale of getting
E Oygard
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humorous dialogue and excellent main characters

A unique snapshot into life in a mining area of the mid 1860's without going into huge amounts of fact. A little is enough to get the flavour without it being laborious, leaving you to either simply sit back having enjoyed the story or wanting to research the little snippets of facts dropped into the book.
Written well with humorous dialogue between Millie and Dominic. Millie, being determined to be a lady, resorts to a book on ladylike behaviour, wh
Mary E Trimble
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
J.V.L. Bell has written a fun, rollicking novel about Colorado gold mining in the mid-1800's.

Millie Virginia answers a wife-wanted ad after a brief correspondence with a gold miner in Idaho Springs, Territory of Colorado. She leaves her position as a house maid in New Orleans, takes a paddle-boat up the Mississippi, crosses the Great Plains in a prairie schooner, then finally travels by stage coach to Idaho Springs. It was a long trip, fraught with danger and hardships.

Finally arriving in Idaho
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Millie Virginia works for a family in the south. Not much better than a slave she embarks on adventure out west when she answers a wife want add for a man in Colorado. After arriving from the treacherous trip she finds that her betrothed is dead. He left her all that he had and she decides to stay. Though it seems that someone doesn’t want her there and people are starting to suspect that her husband to be death was really murder. She’s survived the great trip there will the Southern Belle survi ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book was a light hearted historical romance/mystery set in 1860's gold rush era Colorado. The lead character, Millie, was charming, feisty, and independent. There were plenty of humorous episodes and interesting historical details woven through out the book. The romance was predictable but sweet. I especially enjoyed the setting - Idaho Springs, Colorado. My main critique would be with the author's handling of race and race relations in that era; I felt it was just too glib, simplistic, and ...more
Gail V Clenton
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Well written, love that pioneer period. You really have a feel for that time, from the time Millie starts her journey. I could really put myself in Millies shoes. I loved her attitude, and was happy when her dead husbands brother arrives. He would be exactly how i picture a strong pioneer man. I really look forward, to reading what unfolds. I hope they find the killers of his brother.
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS is fun, wild read about early Idaho Springs, CO. A red-headed, mail order bride, a fainting goat, bandits, eager suitors, threatening break-ins to her cabin, a treasure map, a gold mine, a fine, new cookstove, and an obnoxious brother in law. Lor', what has Millie Virginia from Louisiana got herself into?

This is Idaho Springs as you've never known it. Every page has a shocking, and/or hilarious surprise. Every man has his eye on Millie, on her mine, and on her goat. All appreciate her great
Oct 12, 2019 added it
In early September, I drove 1,900 miles in three days. One of the things that made the many solitary miles tolerable was listening to Julie VanLaanen (Bell)'s Lucky Hat Mine on CD. Yes, you can be pretty sure that the fainting goat will be fine, evil will be punished, and romance will blossom somehow. But there are times when a well-told story, with well-drawn, adventurous characters, that ends well is exactly what you want to hear. So, thank you, JVL Bell, for a good tale well told!

The audio bo
Michelle Thomas
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a cute read that included some interesting information about mining and life in Colorado in the mid-1800's. It also has some humor, romance and mystery. (And, the fainting goat was a great touch!) Just an overall fun book to read! ...more
Julie Weston
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Lucky Hat Mine tells the story of a mail-order bride whose intended doesn't make the wedding. Her story of what she does then is intriguing, funny, sad, and fascinating. A good book to read about mining in the West!
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-series
Whimsical romance soaked in adventure with historical tidbits sprinkled throughout for flavour and mystery served as a side dish. This book was quickly devoured.
Bepe Tomko
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elena Alvarez Dosil
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review originally published at

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, u
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NetGalley Readers: Fun Historical Mystery 1 12 Nov 30, 2016 04:24PM  
Audiobooks: Fun Historical Mystery 16 42 Nov 28, 2016 04:44PM  

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Author J.v.L. Bell is a Colorado native who grew up climbing 14,000 ft. mountains, exploring old ghost towns, and backpacking through the back country. She and her family love to hike, raft, and cross-country ski together.

She loves reading and researching frontier history and incorporating these facts into her novels. Her historic mysteries are interwoven with amusing historical stories and lore,

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