The Big Sugar

A Brigid Reardon Mystery

2024
Author:

Mary Logue

PAPERBACK EDITION FORTHCOMING DECEMBER 2024

A move to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1881 presents Brigid Reardon a complicated new mystery to solve

Shortly after traveling from Deadwood, South Dakota, to Cheyenne to join her brother Seamus, Brigid Reardon finds herself caught up in a deadly mystery—beginning with her discovery of a neighbor’s body on the plains near their homes. The Big Sugar continues the adventures from Mary Logue’s celebrated mystery The Streel with her signature sense of history, keen expression of suspense, and poet’s way with prose.

"The Big Sugar is destined to be a big book. Brigid Reardon is a heroine not just for the 1880s Wyoming frontier but for the ages. Tough, independent, savvy, and principled, she solves a murder, and she is also a horse whisperer who charms the reader as beautifully as she charms her wild palomino mare. Read this book; you won’t regret it."
—Cary J. Griffith, author of the Sam Rivers mysteries Wolf Kill, Cougar Claw, and Killing Monarchs

After the harrowing events that entangled her in Deadwood, Brigid Reardon just wants to move west and get on with her new life in America. But shortly after traveling to Cheyenne to join her brother Seamus, she finds herself caught up in another deadly mystery—beginning with her discovery of a neighbor’s body on the plains near their homes. Was Ella murdered? Are either of the two men in Ella’s life responsible? With Seamus away on a cattle drive, her friend Padraic possibly succumbing to a local’s charms, and the sheriff seemingly satisfied with Ella’s fate, it falls to Brigid to investigate what really happened, which puts her in the crosshairs of one of Cheyenne’s cattle barons, called “big sugars” in these parts. All she really wants is something better than a crumbling, soddy homestead on the desolate plains of Wyoming—and maybe, just maybe, she wants Padraic—but life, it seems, has other plans: this young immigrant from Ireland is going to be a detective on the western frontier of 1880s America, even if it kills her.

Loosely based on the true story of Ellen Watson in Cheyenne in 1889, The Big Sugar continues the adventure begun in Mary Logue’s celebrated mystery The Streel, which introduced a “gritty, charming, clever protagonist” (Kirkus Reviews). With a faultless sense of history, a keen eye for suspense, and a poet’s way with prose, Logue all but guarantees that readers, like Brigid, will find the mystery at the heart of The Big Sugar downright irresistible.

Mary Logue is a New York Times–bestselling author of more than thirty books, including mystery novels, poetry, nonfiction, and many books for children. Her awards include a Minnesota Book Award, a Wisconsin Outstanding Achievement Award, and an Edgar nomination. The first Brigid Reardon novel, The Streel, was a WILLA Literary Award finalist.

The Big Sugar is destined to be a big book. Brigid Reardon is a heroine not just for the 1880s Wyoming frontier but for the ages. Tough, independent, savvy, and principled, she solves a murder, and she is also a horse whisperer who charms the reader as beautifully as she charms her wild palomino mare. Read this book; you won’t regret it.

Cary J. Griffith, author of the Sam Rivers mysteries Wolf Kill, Cougar Claw, and Killing Monarchs

Logue’s historical backdrop is meticulously constructed and her characters exceptionally drawn.

Publishers Weekly

The glimpse of what life might have been like for women in the West is fascinating. But Brigid’s curiosity and gumption drive the narrative, leading her to a conclusion that will alter the course of her life.

New York Times Book Review

The Big Sugar is Logue at her best.

Pioneer Press

Filled with intrigue and plot twists, The Big Sugar is a gripping mystery that will keep you wondering, who killed Ella Bates?

Northern Wilds

Contents

Prologue

Part I. Cheyenne

Part II. The Soddy

Part III. The Hanging

Part IV. The Funeral

Author’s Note