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The Clincher

(Horseshoer Mystery #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  419 ratings  ·  77 reviews
The first book in the Horseshoer Mystery series by bestselling novelist Lisa Preston featuring farrier and amateur detective Rainy Dale, for fans of William Kent Kruger and Craig Johnson.

Rainy Dale is The Clincher, a twenty-something high school-dropout turned farrier (horseshoer) who is haunted by a secret she carries. Estranged from her California D-list actress momma a
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Skyhorse
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Paul Falk
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Lisa Preston kept my nose buried in the pages with a fascinating tale. The main protagonist added flavor to the storyline with colorful language reminiscent of the Old West. There was no wasted digital ink for the sole purpose of consuming space. The scenes kept pace to the steady beat of the farrier's hammer. It was a refreshing trip into the backcountry of Oregon.

Rainy Dale attended horseshoeing school to learn the archaic trade. Bottom line, she loved horses. Having started off in Texas, she
Gail C.
Thanks to NetGalley and for providing me with an advanced digital copy of The Clincher by Lisa Preston. The first book in a series that takes place in ranch country in Oregon, this book features Rainy Dale, newly minted horseshoer, who is trying to establish her business in a small town in Oregon. This book focuses on Rainy, her landlord/boyfriend Guy, and the owner and widower of the murder victim. There are a number of secondary characters such as the veter ...more
3 stars

The first book in a new series, The Clincher features a young farrier, Rainy Dale, who doesn’t have much to her name but is starting to establish her new business shoeing horses on Oregon ranches. The mystery begins with the suspicious suicide of a wealthy woman soon after Rainy finished shoeing her somewhat difficult to handle stallion. Rainy is brought in for questioning as one of the last people to see the victim alive which pokes her curiosity and proceeds in multiple directions.

Cathy Cole
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picking up a mystery with a female horseshoer may sound like an odd choice, but when you love horses like I do and when a man from your little hometown was a farrier for one of the teams of Budweiser Clydesdales, the choice suddenly doesn't seem strange at all. I often say that I am a character-driven reader-- and I am-- but I also read for "voice." If the main character speaks in a way that draws me right into the heart of the story, 90% of the battle is won as far as I'm concerned. Rainy Dale ...more
Randee Green
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thanks to NeGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

THE CLINCHER by Lisa Preston is the first novel in the Horseshoer Mystery Series. The novel is due out on November 6th, 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing.

Rainy Dale is a twenty-something, high school dropout turned horseshoer who is running from her rough past and aspiring to a better future. After tracking down her childhood horse in Oregon, Rainy decides to stick around open up her own farrier (horseshoeing) business in the small town of Cowdry. When
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Lisa Preston's The Clincher (Skyhorse Publishing 2018), first of her Horseshoer Mystery series, Rainy Dale thinks her life is finally coming together despite a rocky start and secrets she won't even share with her boyfriend and landlord, Guy. When one of her farrier clients is murdered and she is the last to see her alive, Rainy takes it upon herself to run down clues she remembers from that last appointment, her client's unease with something she didn't explain, and several unusual events Ra ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The first in the horseshoer mystery series finds Rainy Dale, a high school dropout in her late 20’s, making her way by shoeing horses out of her truck, Ol’ Blue, in Cowdry, Oregon. She lives in the garage she rents from Guy, sort of her boyfriend and the cook at the Cascade Café.

The same day Rainy shoes Spartacus, the stud at Flying Cross ranch, owner Patsy-Lynn is found murdered. Rainy was already shoeing another client’s horse at the time of death but she is a person of interest since a rasp,
Krishna Shah
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a bookclub book. It was okay but nothing that would make me want to read another by the author.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Says it's the start of a mystery series but the mystery really was on the back burner. Took some getting used to the rhythm of the writing. Good not great.
Carolyn McBride
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderfully refreshing book that I enjoyed reading more than I thought I would! The main character is not your average sleuth and not your average character. I liked her grit, her stubbornness and the fact that her secret bothered her so much. That alone gave her a believable humanity. She could have been me, or anyone, she was that well written. She was determined to live life according to her rules and watching the push-pull of wanting to do the right thing within the investigation ...more
Carolyn McBride
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This was a wonderfully refreshing book that I enjoyed reading more than I thought I would! The main character is not your average sleuth and not your average character. I liked her grit, her stubbornness and the fact that her secret bothered her so much. That alone gave her a believable humanity. She could have been me, or anyone, she was that well written. She was determined to live life according to her rules and watching the push-pull of wanting to do the right thing within the investigation ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

To begin with, kudos to the author for setting this in a very specialized world without making the plot feel contrived. There were several aspects that I found uncomfortable, however, and one of those was the fact that I have no knowledge in the field of farriering. That wouldn't have been so much of a problem (I love picking up new knowledge), but then we come to the second aspect of discomfort - the heroine, Rainy Dale, was very disdainful of people with limited knowledge of horses a
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Clincher is the first in a new series based on Rainey Dale. She is a somewhat new farrier in the small town Cowdry. When one of her clients is found dead, she find herself on the suspect list. Most of the book I found it hard to like Rainey. I didn’t like the way she treated Guy and she didn’t say much that was nice. There were a lot of unexplained terms regarding horses, so those parts were difficult for me to get through. It did get better and by the end you know what makes Rainey the way ...more
James Ziskin
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rainy Dale, the firecracker heroine of Lisa Preston’s THE CLINCHER, is one of the most unique voices you’ll come across in today’s crime fiction. Truly remarkable and addictive narration. I loved her every quirky turn of phrase. Rainy is a tough-as-nails farrier who holds her own in the macho world of horseshoeing. A great plot and compelling cast of characters round out THE CLINCHER. This one is a winner.
Pamela Hutchins
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a delight to discover Lisa Preston and The Clincher. Witty, original mystery with a tough, unique-voiced protagonist and fast-paced style. Wonderful love interest in the chef, too. I'll be picking up the next installment in the Horseshoer Mysteries.
Not for Me

I have to say I found this particular book extremely hard going, but I did finish it - by the time I got to the end I did wonder why I'd bothered though.
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery, particularly as my grandson is a farrier (ie horseshoer) and it was great to be immersed in his world for a while. The main character, Rainy Dale, whose upbringing was split between Texas and California, is a likeable one even though some of her moodiness makes it difficult for her to get on with her landlord/boyfriend and the residents of the town she has only lived in for about a year.

Her boyfriend Guy is a chef and enjoys preparing great meals for them but R
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I agree with one of the other reviewers, that the mystery takes second place to character development. But I liked it enough that I plan to give book 2 a try.
Cozy Cat Reviews
Rainy Dale is a professional farrier (horseshoer). I loved this mystery as the protagonist Rainy is complex , complicated and realistic. Her character loves horses . The descriptions of her work with horses is fascinating to those of us that love and appreciate all things horses. Rainy turned herself around after suffering childhood trauma and consequences of a bad childhood, got her farrier's license, and settled in rural Oregon where she works as a farrier. This fascinating to read about as th ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Lisa Preston's the Clincher, the first installment in the Horseshoer Mystery series, you'll be hooked and lassoed into the wild world of horseshoes and clinching. Meet Rainy Day. She's a high school dropout who works for a barn in small-town Cowdry, Oregon, when she works as a horseshoer for barn. When she works for the Flying Cross ranch, her first assignment is for Patsy-Lynn Harper, who runs the ranch. Things tend to go well, except when later on, Patsy-Lynn turned up in a supposedly "suic ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a good book! I really enjoyed Rainy Dale. She has such a strong voice plus I'm not sure I've read any books about farriers (horseshoers) before. I learned all sorts of things about horses and shoeing. The cover was what first attracted my attention to this book and then the fact that it was also a mystery. When I read a little of the synopsis and realized it took place somewhere in Central Oregon (where I grew up) this looked like a match for me! And it was.

The mystery is good, the characte
#1 in the Horseshoer Mystery series. This 2018 series entry by author Lisa Preston is an impressive debut and introduces both a winning protagonist in Rainy Dale and her offbeat occupation as a horseshoer. In this debut, she spends too much time agonizing over her past and errors she made as a teenager. I hope she has gotten it out of her system and future entries will be relatively angst free. This was a good enjoyable read and I look forward to future series entries.

Horseshoer Rainy Dale becom
Cathy Geha
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Clincher by Lisa Preston
A Horseshoer Mystery #1

Rainy Dale is a delightful new character that I enjoyed getting to know. She is in the business of shoeing horses and highly competent in the profession though only having been on the job for a relatively short time. As I read I learned a great deal about horses and hooves as Rainy and Guy, her boyfriend, figured out who killed Mrs. Harper. The scene was set in such a way that I felt I was there. Knowing exactly what Rainy was thinking at all ti
Beth McCauslin
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'll say it right up front, I'm a horse person, have been for many years, and I like reading books written by horse people. But this one, not so much. I was not thrilled in the 1st few chapters with the behavior of the farrier, if I had a farrier take a rasp to my horse, I'd have fired her on the spot. Rasp's are not ways to discipline horses. I did think the plot was plausible, I did like her boyfriend. But character development of Rainy Dale left something to be desired. Her language was way t ...more
Giselle Smith
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: western
This is a new author for me and I was not disappointed with my find. Lisa's protagonist; Rainey Dale is a young, female farrier (horse shoer) who has moved to Oregon to start her carrier. She has a horse named Red and an Australian shepherd named Charley and rents space from Guy who is an aspiring chef.
One of Rainey's clients ends up dead and she is the last person to see her so of course there is suspicion about her from law enforcement.

It may take you a bit to get into the flow of how Rainey
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a exciting start to a new series, The Clincher. I found Rainy Dale to be a great lead character with an unusual profession, A Farrier. When I was young we had a horse and I loved watching him put horseshoes on her. Rainy is a loner who has settled in Oregon estranged from her family. When one of her clients is found dead she starts investigating because she's sure this woman would never commit suicide. Great story as Rainy and her landlord/boyfriend, Guy discover all isn't as it seems in ...more
Thomas Mihalchick
Something new for me

It took me a very long time to get comfortable with the main character, Rainy. If I were to meet her in real life I wouldn't give her the time of day.. But then, she wouldn't like me either. I stopped reading this several times, and even deleted it from my Kindle ... But i kept coming back to it, and I'm glad i did. Rainy remains true to herself throughout the story. She grows as a person too. The description were all crystal clear and i could see them in my mind. I learned a
TITLE The Clincher
DATE READ 02/07/20
GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF Crime Fiction/2018/ Brilliance Audio/ 8 hr 12 min
CHALLENGE Good Reads 2020 Reading Goal 20/120;
CHARACTERS Rainy Dale/ Farrier and boyfriend Guy/chef
COMMENTS Rainy Dale was not someone I could warm up to and neither was the narrator. I do like the Western setting and the horses but the mystery was not very engaging either. Think this will be a one o
Doug Yonce
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rainy Dale is a Texas girl who doesn’t really fit in Oregon. She ends up there because that’s where her childhood horse, Red, has moved through a number of trades/sales.. A farrier by trade, she becomes a detective in this story when one of her clients is murdered on the same day she shod the horse. Not content to be a suspect, Rainy sets out to find the real killer and puts herself in harm’s way. Destined to be a series, I look forward to meeting Rainy again. I received an advanced digital copy ...more
Jan Locke
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Look to the future

A very interesting story about something I know nothing about - being a horseshoer in a small town in Oregon. As Rainy Dale begins searching for a murderer she is also searching for the missing pieces of herself. As the story evolves I became more and more invested in Rainy and in Guy and as the skillful twists brought everything to a climax I couldn't wait to turn the page to find out how the end would come! Humor, suspense, action, romance and a lot of compassion make this a
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Lisa Preston (1964- ) turned to writing after careers as a fire department paramedic and a city police officer. Experience in her earlier professions enhance the medical and legal passages of her fiction and non-fiction.
Her debut novel, Orchids and Stone, is scheduled for release by Thomas & Mercer in April 2016, and has been described both as a thriller and as domestic noir. Advance reviews incl

Other books in the series

Horseshoer Mystery (3 books)
  • Dead Blow (Horseshoer Mystery #2)
  • Forging Fire (Horseshoer Mystery #3)

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