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Secure the Ranch: A Josephine Stuart Mystery (The Josephine Stuart Mystery Series Book 1)

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Josephine Stuart is blessed and cursed with an overactive curiosity, a strong sense of right and wrong and a willingness to put herself on the line for her friends. Josephine has been hired to paint murals in the secluded Munger mansion, located at the top of a wooded mountain. Certain local reprobates have their reasons for wanting the Mungers to leave. Accidents, fires a Josephine Stuart is blessed and cursed with an overactive curiosity, a strong sense of right and wrong and a willingness to put herself on the line for her friends. Josephine has been hired to paint murals in the secluded Munger mansion, located at the top of a wooded mountain. Certain local reprobates have their reasons for wanting the Mungers to leave. Accidents, fires and the death of a forest ranger have everyone on edge. Josephine’s curiosity drives her down the mountain, into a world of illegal activities and nefarious characters. Her situation becomes dire—no way to escape. One captor has a knife, the other has a rifle. Can she save herself and her friends?


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Josephine Stuart is blessed and cursed with an overactive curiosity, a strong sense of right and wrong and a willingness to put herself on the line for her friends. Josephine has been hired to paint murals in the secluded Munger mansion, located at the top of a wooded mountain. Certain local reprobates have their reasons for wanting the Mungers to leave. Accidents, fires a Josephine Stuart is blessed and cursed with an overactive curiosity, a strong sense of right and wrong and a willingness to put herself on the line for her friends. Josephine has been hired to paint murals in the secluded Munger mansion, located at the top of a wooded mountain. Certain local reprobates have their reasons for wanting the Mungers to leave. Accidents, fires and the death of a forest ranger have everyone on edge. Josephine’s curiosity drives her down the mountain, into a world of illegal activities and nefarious characters. Her situation becomes dire—no way to escape. One captor has a knife, the other has a rifle. Can she save herself and her friends?

46 review for Secure the Ranch: A Josephine Stuart Mystery (The Josephine Stuart Mystery Series Book 1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Chase

    Josephine Stuart is a heroine that you’ll cheer for in this carefully crafted mystery. She’s an artist and muralist who gets herself in a heap of trouble while on a job in a remote mountain community. There are strange happenings with accidents, fires, and of course murder. Secure the Ranch is a well-written, entertaining mystery with characters full of depth that builds from the first page and doesn’t stop until the very end. You won’t see what’s in store for Josephine – I guarantee it. I could Josephine Stuart is a heroine that you’ll cheer for in this carefully crafted mystery. She’s an artist and muralist who gets herself in a heap of trouble while on a job in a remote mountain community. There are strange happenings with accidents, fires, and of course murder. Secure the Ranch is a well-written, entertaining mystery with characters full of depth that builds from the first page and doesn’t stop until the very end. You won’t see what’s in store for Josephine – I guarantee it. I couldn’t put this book down. I couldn’t believe that this is a debut novel for Oroz. It drew me into the lives of the likeable, and some not so likeable, characters in the story. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves mystery and suspense stories. I can’t wait for the next installment to see what’s in store for Josephine

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kt.

    Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plumb novels will love this book. Oroz's main character, Josephine Stuart, is an every day "Jo" (ha ha) who gets into pickle after pickle in the scenic Santa Cruz mountains. Jo, and her trusty side kick Solo, is a woman you'll want to spend more time with after the book is over. Oroz has created a funny - at times laugh out loud - adventure that had me staying up late turning pages. Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plumb novels will love this book. Oroz's main character, Josephine Stuart, is an every day "Jo" (ha ha) who gets into pickle after pickle in the scenic Santa Cruz mountains. Jo, and her trusty side kick Solo, is a woman you'll want to spend more time with after the book is over. Oroz has created a funny - at times laugh out loud - adventure that had me staying up late turning pages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Interesting story A little slow and too descriptive. Great storyline and characters though, it seems to be more geared for young readers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you. Secure the Ranch is the first book by debut author Joyce Oroz. Secure the Ranch follows a mystery surrounding Josephine Stuart, an artist who is hired to paint some murals for a wealthy client high in the mountains of California. After strange accidents, occurrences, and the death of a wildlife ranger, Josephine f Disclaimer-If you read the review and feel there is a spoiler in it, please let me know and I will remove that section. Also, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you. Secure the Ranch is the first book by debut author Joyce Oroz. Secure the Ranch follows a mystery surrounding Josephine Stuart, an artist who is hired to paint some murals for a wealthy client high in the mountains of California. After strange accidents, occurrences, and the death of a wildlife ranger, Josephine finds she is unable to set aside her curiosity and delves deep into a mystery best left alone. Some subplots involve her friendship with one of her neighbors, visits with her mom and dad, and others that would lead to spoilers. I will have to admit that the writing in this book is well done. Even though I may have found myself hesitant at times to pick the book back up from other things I was doing, once I did, I was engrossed and read chapter after chapter. The characters were also better than I imagined they would be at the beginning. I had a vision of the wealthy clients to be the snobbish type and they turned out to be much better than that and I was thankful. There was some nice depth to the characters and they were easy to connect with. Some criticisms: 1. The dialogue, though done well enough throughout the majority of the book had some abrupt endings to it. It just felt like there was more to be said, but the next thing I know, the story moves on to something else. Mostly this happens while Josephine is searching for answers of what is going on. 2. There were a couple of inconsistencies in this book. The main one is at the beginning when Josephine is getting ready for bed; she sets the alarm for 7:30. In the next chapter, she is woken to music coming from the clock radio at 7. Some Positives 1. I really did enjoy the characters in this novel. Everyone had their own voice and was easy to distinguish from the other characters. The reader can easily connect with the characters. 2. In just about every chapter, something happens to keep the reader engaged in the story. Ms. Oroz really knows how to keep a mystery going and giving just enough tidbits for the reader to try to figure out what is going on and who is involved. 3. The imagery is nicely detailed without overbearing the reader with all the details. It is a nice mix of giving the author's vision while at the same time leaving out enough so the reader can fill in the rest. There are reviewers who compare this with Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Aside from having a pet, bill collectors calling constantly, and an overactive sense of curiosity, that is about where the comparison ends. I will say I did enjoy this book and if there are to be more books from this author, I will definitely buy them. I know most of Janet Evanovich's fans are getting tired of the stale trail the plum books have been following, so I would recommend this one to them for a refreshing view away from the every day. Happy reading -Dimndbangr

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Very entertaining "female snoop with a lovable dog" mystery. I enjoyed it a lot as it takes place in the California Santa Cruz mountains in towns I'm familiar with. The main character is smart, funny, and down to earth, a nice person to spend a few hours with. The dog is perfect of course. The only negative about this book is the editing, or the lack of it, and it gets even worse toward the end. Distracting at the beginning, the frequent mispellings and left-off letters are aggravating when you'r Very entertaining "female snoop with a lovable dog" mystery. I enjoyed it a lot as it takes place in the California Santa Cruz mountains in towns I'm familiar with. The main character is smart, funny, and down to earth, a nice person to spend a few hours with. The dog is perfect of course. The only negative about this book is the editing, or the lack of it, and it gets even worse toward the end. Distracting at the beginning, the frequent mispellings and left-off letters are aggravating when you're about to find out "whodunit".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Oroz

    By Katherine M. Orlopp "Kt." (Valley Springs, CA United States) - See all my reviews This review is from: Secure the Ranch by Joyce Oroz(Paperback) Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plumb novels will love this book. Oroz's main character, Josephine Stuart, is an every day "Jo" (ha ha) who gets into pickle after pickle in the scenic Santa Cruz mountains. Jo, and her trusty side kick Solo, is a woman you'll want to spend more time with after the book is over. Oroz has created a funny - at times By Katherine M. Orlopp "Kt." (Valley Springs, CA United States) - See all my reviews This review is from: Secure the Ranch by Joyce Oroz(Paperback) Fans of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plumb novels will love this book. Oroz's main character, Josephine Stuart, is an every day "Jo" (ha ha) who gets into pickle after pickle in the scenic Santa Cruz mountains. Jo, and her trusty side kick Solo, is a woman you'll want to spend more time with after the book is over. Oroz has created a funny - at times laugh out loud - adventure that had me staying up late turning pages. Help

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda Cole

    Fast paced Full of action and adventure. I thought this was a cozy mystery but I was surprised. I really liked Josephine and her curiosity

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Good book, twisty mystery book. Simple enough for my 11 year old to read but had enough umph to keep an adult reader interested.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christina Sullo-Cannon

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michele

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sharidya Rahman the Vampires empire

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deborah McCanna

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Mayton

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sanaz

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ron Langley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paloma Kinley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Jan Beaver

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Isaacs

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eating Burrito's

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janette

  24. 4 out of 5

    K. Rozier

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Salaiz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  27. 4 out of 5

    Harley

  28. 4 out of 5

    ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Madison

  30. 5 out of 5

    biblio • bliss

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ann Keller

  32. 5 out of 5

    Christos Tsiailis

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  35. 5 out of 5

    Gina

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lynne

  37. 4 out of 5

    Adele

  38. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  39. 5 out of 5

    Shirley

  40. 4 out of 5

    P.Q. Glisson

  41. 4 out of 5

    wolf spirit

  42. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

  43. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  44. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Headley

  45. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  46. 4 out of 5

    Heather

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