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Drama and Mystery in THE CASE OF THE PECULIAR INHERITANCE by Samantha St. Claire

"The story grabbed me right from the first page and kept me guessing! It’s one of the best western mysteries I have read lately! It’s well written, suspenseful, and fast-paced!"

—Nicole L. for Books & Benches, Top Pick

THE CASE OF THE PECULIAR INHERITANCE by Samantha St. Claire - historical cozy western mystery

Rose and Cassandra (aka Casey) are no ordinary sisters. One is scientifically inclined, lives in Denver, and rides a bicycle like her life—or a case—depends on it. The other rides trains, wields a blade, and keeps her identity as a Pinkerton "under wraps."

The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance

Witty and irascible Rose McKenzie tackles Denver’s criminal cases with a woman’s intuition and a loaded Smith and Wesson tucked in her skirt pocket.

Eager for adventure beyond her scientific experiments, Rose accepts her uncle’s challenge to become Denver’s first female private detective. When a wealthy woman employs her to track down a burglar, Rose zealously applies her unique investigative talents to prove she can handle any job. After two more home invasions turn violent, Rose races to find the perpetrator before another innocent shows up on a slab at the city morgue.

With the stakes raised, Rose employs the help of her friend, the attractive Dr. Taylor Whitman, to lure the perpetrator out of hiding—with Rose as the bait. What Rose fails to foresee is the complexity of the crime, involving more than one perpetrator tasked with silencing her. Will her cunning be enough to unravel the clues before it’s too late?

Step into Denver’s bustling city streets at the turn of the century with Rose McKenzie, a spirited private investigator, and a woman brave enough to undertake any case.

Don’t miss The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance, a stand-alone novel in the delightfully entertaining McKenzie Sisters Mystery series.


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"This book was so good! It's well written and full of action, drama, suspense, and a mystery to solve. It is full of twists and turns and will keep you guessing until the end. Once you start reading this book you can't put it down, you just have to know what happens next." —Goodreads review, 5 stars

In the author's words . . .

Although Cassandra McKenzie’s character took the stage first in my imagination, ironically, I did not write her story. MK McClintock wrote her to life in The Case of the Copper King. She became all I imagined—resourceful and fearless. The series developed out of my research into Denver, Colorado’s headlong rush into the twentieth century. While Denver’s roots were in the mineral deposits beneath her streets and surrounding mountains, the nation’s industrialization drew her into the modern age. As she attracted more residents from the eastern cities, they carried with them expectations for the conveniences with which they’d become accustomed.

This clash of cultures gave birth to the idea of two sisters representing those resistant to this change and those who embraced it, Cassandra with her love of the wild mountain landscapes, and Rose enraptured by all modern contrivances devised by the men—the likes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. The sisters are the perfect pair to illustrate a city at the turn of the century. That’s why one will invest in a horse and the other a horseless carriage. One will take down a criminal by relying on her wits and skill with weapons, while the other finds the application of her forensic studies a more reliable means to bring the villains to justice.

Whether it’s careening through Denver’s congested streets on Rose’s out-of-control bicycle or riding the rails to Silverado with Casey, we think you’ll enjoy the adventure and find a few reasons to smile while getting to know the McKenzie sisters.

Enjoy an Excerpt from

The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance

Denver, Colorado 1899

The explosion was small compared to her previous miscalculations, blowing out only one window of the study and merely scorching the hem of the damask drapes covering it. Miss Rose McKenzie and her housekeeper, Mrs. Constance Pennyworth, quickly extinguished the subsequent fire. The housekeeper tore down the damaged drapes and threw them on the remnants of Rose’s ruined experiment.

After she raised the window sashes to give the cloud of acrid smoke somewhere to go besides their lungs, she collapsed on the stool across from Rose. The housekeeper fanned her face with her soot-covered apron and grumbled, “Well now, what have you learned from that experiment, Miss Rose? I surely hope it was worth the expense of a broken window and two rather costly drapes.”

Rose pulled a pencil from the mass of auburn curls pinned high on her head and scribbled notes on the still-smoking clipboard. “Reduce the potassium chloride to magnesium ratio.”

Mrs. Pennyworth pushed herself to her feet with a small grunt and heaved a sigh of surprising force for a woman so small in stature. “I came upstairs to ask if you wanted me to bring your breakfast up. If you recall, you didn’t eat your supper last night.”

Rose tapped the pencil against the clipboard and surveyed the disheveled state of the laboratory. “I suppose I should eat downstairs this morning.” Mrs. Pennyworth's scowl transformed into an expression of concern.

She rounded the table with impressive speed for a woman who’d seen more than a half-century of birthdays come and go. She grasped Rose’s face in her two calloused hands and leaned in for closer inspection. “Why, you’re bleeding!” This time she expressed her opinion with a disapproving cluck of her tongue. “Miss Rose, you are going to do yourself in one day with all this experimenting.” She blew another ponderous breath. “I’m going to ring Dr. Whitman. That might need stitches.”

Rose drew the back of her hand to dab at her temple, surprised to feel the sticky evidence of Mrs. Pennyworth’s pronouncement. “Hmm. I would have expected more blood from a head wound.” She rose quickly from her stool and stepped to the wall mirror, inspecting her forehead with sharp interest. “It’s a clean cut. It might even develop into a quite colorful bruise. You’re right, Mrs. Pennyworth, I should probably have it tended to.” Rose shook small shards of glass from her lab apron and observed brightly, “I’ve never had stitches. I’m most interested in the experience.”

As her housekeeper stormed off, the exasperated blow from her lips sent a good portion of smoke out the open windows. “I’ll give the doctor a call and set another place for breakfast.”

“Oh, did I forget to tell you? We’re going to the museum today. There’s an exhibit on the embalming techniques of Egyptian mummies, which promises to be interesting.”

“I approve of your company, but to my way of thinking, you’ve a morbid fascination with death.” Mrs. Pennyworth harrumphed as she left the room, her footsteps hammering down the staircase.

End of Excerpt

Excerpt Copyright © Samantha St. Claire.


The Author

Author Samantha St. Claire

Samantha St. Claire is the pen name of an author passionate about American history and the people whose legacies are woven into the fabric of a nation. She writes these characters to life in her novels of the western frontier, their trials and triumphs. Coming from a family of pioneers, she honestly claims her roots as a Daughter of the American Revolution and descendant of a Scottish Laird.

The road from college graduation led due west where teaching in a small Arizona town fulfilled childhood fantasies on multiple levels. Hiking and backpacking the canyons and desert fed her imagination with the landscapes she would use later in life as an author. Moving to California opened new vistas, but Idaho sparked her interest in the history of the magnificent central mountain ranges.

Never faint of heart, her signature protagonists face the hazards of the frontier with courage, wit, and a healthy pinch of humor.

Sign up for Samantha’s newsletter at for early notifications of new releases and interesting news relevant to readers of historical fiction.

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Genre: Historical Cozy Western Mystery

Type: Novel

Publisher: Trappers Peak Publishing

Publication Date: June 22, 2021

Series: McKenzie Sisters Mystery series (stand-alone)

Content Rating: 1 Heart and PG

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