Review: Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley

What a way to kick off the new year! Maybe I should just start my Top Ten of 2016 right now… 😉

Calico Spy

Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley

From the back cover:

Pinkerton Detective Katie Madison Makes a Lousy Harvey House Waitress. . . .

But it’s the only way she can get close enough to the scene of the murders of two of the restaurant’s servers to solve the mystery. Between having impeccable posture, a perfect Harvey Girl smile, and memorizing menu specials of the day, not to mention dealing with the temperamental French chef, her mind might be too full to make any headway in the biggest case of her career.

Sheriff Branch Whitman knows there’s something fishy about the pretty new Harvey girl with the flaming red hair, but he never would’ve guessed her to be a Pinkerton! And he’s never met a Pink he liked—but there is something intriguing about her.

Soon a tornado hits town, and a shadow from the past puts Branch’s eight-year-old son in danger. Now the sheriff has no choice but to work with Katie—or chance losing everything he holds dear. Tracking a murderer is dangerous even for a man, and he fears for Katie’s safety. But as they get closer to the killer one thing becomes abundantly clear. Protecting Katie is one thing; protecting his heart something else.

My thoughts:

Margaret Brownley has done it again! A young woman tracking criminals during an era when such jobs were considered “man’s work” is bound to find herself in some interesting situations. I love Margaret’s sense of humor and found myself giggling through many scenes!

A cast of lovable characters — including an oft-angry French chef, an adorable young boy, a silent pantry maid, and a determined bell-ringer — help set the stage for solving more than just the mystery Katie was sent to solve. And the sheriff… Sigh…

There is indeed a mystery to solve, but the clues and foreshadowing are well timed, guiding your suspicions to a satisfying conclusion.

Calico Spy is the third Undercover Ladies novel. All three can be read as stand-alones, but this is an entire series you won’t want to miss!

(I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. The thought expressed here are entirely my own.)

This review was shared on the Booknificent Thursday link-up.

6 thoughts on “Review: Calico Spy by Margaret Brownley

  1. Caryl Kane

    Sarah thanks for the great review. I love the idea of female detectives. I’ll be looking into this series. 😉

    • I hope you do have a chance to read them, Caryl! I have SO enjoyed them! 🙂

  2. Thank you, Sarah, for such a great review and for letting me visit your wonderful blog. Happy New Year!

    • This was definitely a great start to the new year, Margaret! I appreciate the time you’ve taken to visit this week, too! 🙂

  3. I need to read these immediately because I am a total sucker for stories about female Pinkertons! Have you read Love in Disguise by Carol Cox ( – it sounds quite similar and I absolutely loved laughing my way through it!

    Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on! I can’t wait to check them out!

    • I have not read ‘Love in Disguise’ yet, but it sounds like I need to! Thanks for the suggestion, Tina! I like a variety of books, but humor is almost always a win! 😉

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