The Lucky Hat Mine ... By J.v.L. Bell

A recipe for true love or murder? Ingredients: one Southern belle, one Colorado gold miner, a wife wanted classified, and a fainting goat. Let simmer.

What’s a Southern belle to do in 1863? Wife-wanted ads are always risky business, but Millie Virginia never imagined she’d survive the perilous trip across the Great Plains to find her intended husband in a pine box. Was he killed in an accident? Or murdered for his gold mine? Stuck in the mining town of Idaho Springs, Colorado territory, without friends or means, Millie is beleaguered by undesirable suitors and threatened by an unknown assailant. Her troubles escalate when the brother of her dead fiancĂ©, Dominic Drouillard, unexpectedly turns up.

Dom is an ill-mannered mountain man who invades Millie’s log cabin, insists that his brother was murdered, and refuses to leave until he finds the killer. Compelled to join forces with her erstwhile brother-in-law, Millie discovers the search for Colorado gold is perilous, especially with a murderer on their trail.

The Lucky Hat Mine interlaces the tale of a feisty heroine with frontier legend and lore making for an arousing historical murder mystery.


I never could have survived the old west days as Millie did in this tale of The Lucky Hat Mine by J.v.L. Bell. Answering an add for a mail-order bride, Millie set off across country encountering all kinds of dangers. With her flaming red hair that constantly drew all kinds of unwanted attention, she made it to her destination only to find that circumstances had changed ... she was already a widow!

The characters Millie befriends are sometimes hilarious, but most often dangerous, with bold and calculated murders happening at any given time. Most darling was Buttercup, adding a touch of fun to the story. Topping everything off, we find out how this gold mine got it's most unusual name.

Bell's research was extensive as she blends fiction into the facts of that time period. Millie, Mary and Mr. D. have some ups and downs (to put it mildly) in their relationships as they all adjust to new living conditions. Bell had me laughing one moment, scared the next and almost making my stomach turn with the remarkable ways Millie turned wild food into the most sought after food in town.

By the time I finished the book, I learned a few new historical facts and had a new respect for the way of life back in 1800's.

                                        Amazon Review

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