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Gold Dust: A Red River Mystery    by Reavis Z. Wortham order for
Gold Dust
by Reavis Z. Wortham
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Center Springs is in rural Northeast Texas. No one in this small town has any idea what is in store for them. Two obvious government men hire a local crop duster to spray a mysterious, microscopic payload called Gold Dust over the town and surrounding countryside. Why? They tell the pilot, it's to test weather currents and patterns.

Meanwhile, Pepper Parker discovers an ancient gold coin in her father's possession and starts the only gold rush in north Texas history. Pepper is a young girl who delights in living her own life. But this little escapade of insinuating that there is gold in the hills is a little more than the town can handle. Gold diggers are coming to Center Springs from all over the United States, in hopes of making it rich. They spend vast amounts of money to dig wherever they choose, including on private property.

A local retired Texas Ranger whom everyone thought dead shows up in town with stories to tell. He had been loved by all and now he is found to be alive. Maybe he can help the town. There is more. Top Parker has a Poisoned Gift, helping people to reach for heaven while lying on their death beds! Not a job he enjoys but he does what must be done.

The major problem facing Center Springs is the Gold Dust sprayed over the area causing illness and even death. What was done to this small town? And how can the citizens keep this mysterious powder from destroying their community?

Center Springs is not only a very good read but deals with relationships among the residents, looking out for one another, and helping those in need as well as doing what is best for the town. Suspense as well as a good sense of humor permeate the plot. I would love to know Pepper. She always plays a big part in the previous novels in this really delightful series.

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