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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / General
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Firehouse Family
  • Series Number:4
  • Pages:694
  • eBook ISBN:9781617925481

Demise of the Horse Fairy

by Laurie Loveman

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Over the space of several weeks in the summer of 1935, 13 starving horses and ponies, along with one very fat pony and a goat, are left in Woodhill, Ohio. The unknown person behind the arrival of the horses earns the nickname, The Horse Fairy, but The Horse Fairy is not out to save lives; he is gangster Bobby Darvey, who is determined to harm Laura Darvey and Fire Chief Jake McCann to avenge his cousin, Dan Darvey’s death. Among the victims in Bobby’s scheme are Alex Carpenter and Nelson Dobos, who learn too late that Alex’s son, Bill, is working for Bobby and could be a danger to them both. With advice from his father, New York City homicide detective J. P. McCann, and the help of Woodhill Police Chief, Matt Gardner, Jake teams up with Bobby’s top man, Benjy Talbot, to stop Bobby from carrying out his plans for vengeance.


It’s April, 1935, and Tilly Carpenter is unhappy with her husband, Alex, who is leading a campaign to oust Fire Chief Jake McCann from the Woodhill Fire Department. After two years in prison Bobby Darvey is obsessed with destroying Laura Darvey and Jake. In Las Vegas, Bobby hires recently-widowed Nina Hernandez and her daughter, 25-year-old Ramona to be a cook and maid for his Aunt Alma, who lives in Woodhill. Since Ramona is a horsewoman, Bobby intends to use her to learn the best time to torch Laura’s horse barn with all the horses—and Laura—in it. Nina is told of the plan but Ramona knows nothing about it.Nina and Ramona are driven to Woodhill by Bobby’s top man, Benjy Talbot, who on the trip, falls in love with Nina. Several years earlier Benjy had a run-in with Jake so he is apprehensive about meeting up with Jake in Woodhill, but his growing love for Nina makes him willing to take the chance. Just as his junior year in college is about to end, Alex and Tilly’s son, Bill, goes to work for Bobby Darvey. At home for the summer, Bill and Tilly argue, and Bill accidentally kills her. Bill calls his partner, Cooke, who arranges to have Tilly’s body taken to a funeral home in Indiana, then it is made to appear that Tilly, fed up with Alex and his plans, has left him. Using a false name, Bobby finances Alex’s plan to oust Jake. As part of his plan, Bobby hires men to buy sick horses from local auction barns and drop them off at Laura’s farm so their infections will kill her horses. Instead of bringing sick horses, the men bring starved horses to town, and Laura, Ramona, and many Woodhill residents work to bring them back to health. Bobby directs his men to call Alex with false leads as to where Tilly has been spotted. Alex devotes his time to looking for her, but of course, with no success, and that sends him into a deep depression so he no longer cares about forcing Jake out. When Alex tells Bobby he will no longer try to get Jake ousted, Bobby tells him that Bill killed Tilly and her body will not be returned to Alex until Jake is fired. Alex is devastated. Benjy and Jake finally have a confrontation, but it ends up that they can help each other free themselves from Bobby. Since Benjy is trusted by Bobby, even though the trust is beginning to erode, he is able to let Jake know of Bobby’s plans to abduct Jake and Laura from Laura’s farm after shooting all the horses. Benjy’s knowledge and Jake’s firefighters are able to thwart Bobby's plans. But Bill and Cooke, having their own grudge against Laura, set Laura’s barn on fire. Risking their lives, Ramona Hernandez and Eli Sheffler lead the horses to safety.

About the author

Laurie Loveman is a retired fire department officer and a former member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities. She has a degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati has consulted on fire safety in equine facilities. With nearly life-long experience in the horse industry, Laurie has written many articles for equine and fire service publications, and her novels, set in the 1930s, reflect her interest not just in horses, but also on topics relevant to firefighting today, such as firefighter stress, medical ethics, and arson. In her spare time Laurie enjoys riding for pleasure, volunteering at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, and volunteering in research at a local museum.  Taking her dog for walks, laughing at the antics of her two cats, and finding time to be with friends and family fill in the rest of  her "spare time."

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