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Excerpt from THE JINX AND THE PINKERTON by Carolyn Lampman

Take a woman desperate to escape her past and pair her with the most optimistic Pinkerton Detective to ever foil an evil plot.


Take a woman desperate to escape her past and pair her with the most optimistic Pinkerton Detective to ever foil an evil plot. Add a fake marriage and a two-thousand-mile trek across the wilderness in a wagon train made up of cut-throats and misfits. Mix well with kidnappings, murders, a mysterious stranger with a hidden agenda, enough plot twists to qualify as a maze, and you have the Jinx and the Pinkerton.

While investigating a routine embezzlement case, Luke McCabe stumbles upon a plot that threatens national security. He has just three days to find a wagon and invent a secret identity, so he can follow his suspect on the Oregon Trail.

To Charisse Jones, a new life in Oregon Territory beckons irresistibly. All she needs is a man to drive her wagon. When Luke and Charisse meet by accident, each seems the solution to the other’s problems. But traveling the Oregon Trail is never easy, especially when you throw in a Corgi, a canary, four mischievous children and a barrel full of secrets.


In the author's words . . .

I love The Jinx and the Pinkerton because it was so much fun to write. It all began when I decided to set a book on a wagon train traveling the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri to Astoria, Oregon.

As with most of my books, I began with the heroine. Charisse Jones was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, the only child of indulgent parents. The little princess grew into a beautiful young woman. With her mother’s social connections and her father’s money, no one was surprised when she married Preston J. Collingsworth III, an up and coming young industrialist.

So what happened to destroy her happy-ever-after? At first I thought she had become horribly scarred in some way. A fire, perhaps, or some kind of accident. Whatever it was had to be bad enough to cause Preston to divorce her. Then one day, on my way through the living room, my attention was snagged by an ancient rerun of Bonanza. That particular episode centered around a jinx. It was like being struck by a bolt of creative lightning.

Charisse Jones is not horribly scarred, she’s a jinx- or so her ex-husband says. I even had a picture of her in my mind. Kirstie Alley and the loveable out-of-her-element character she portrayed when she played the tooth fairy in Toothless. Add an ADHD seven-year old, a Welsh corgi, a canary that sings when it’s scared, the most optimistic hero to ever grace the halls of the Pinkerton Detective agency, as well as a cast of bad guys that would make a super hero nervous and you have the Jinx and the Pinkerton.

Enjoy a sneak peek from The Jinx and The Pinkerton

by Carolyn Lampman

Look Pa, there she is!” Toby pointed across the room to where Charisse sat at a table by herself, posture rigid as she ate her lonely meal. “I’m going to go ask her if she’ll go to Oregon with us.”

Luke reached out in a futile attempt to stop his son who darted across the restaurant, then dropped his hand to his side. Maybe this is the best way, he thought. She’d been compassionate to Toby before; surely she’d let him down easy.

Toby gave his father an anxious glance then said something to Charisse. With a nod, she stood and followed him across the room. With his impassive mask securely in place, Luke leaned negligently against the door frame and waited for them. He’d be properly disappointed that she couldn’t go along, of course, and maybe even invite her to join them for dinner. That will help soften the blow to Toby, he told himself.

“We meet again,” he said. “Quite a coincidence.”

“Not really. I’m staying in the hotel next door. I always eat here.” Charisse looked up at Luke doubtfully. “Toby offered me the job as his nanny. He assures me he has your permission to do so.”

Luke shrugged. “I told him you probably wouldn’t be interested.”

“On the contrary, I’m seriously considering his offer.” She frowned. “That is, if it comes from you as well.”

“To tell you the truth, Miss...”

“Jones,” she said.

“Miss Jones, I’d hire you in a heartbeat if we weren’t leaving on a wagon train headed for Oregon in a few days.”

“Then you are looking for someone to go to Oregon with you?”

Luke managed a regretful look. “I’m afraid so.”

“That’s exactly why I’m applying for the job, Mr. McCabe,” she said.

Luke straightened in surprise. “You’re willing to go to Oregon with us?”

“Not only willing, but anxious to. When were you planning to leave?”

“Our wagon train is pulling out on Friday.” He frowned. “That is, if I can find a wagon by then. I didn’t have much luck today.”

“I have a wagon.”

He raised his brows in surprise. “You do?”

“I bought it in St. Louis and came up the Missouri River by steamboat, like most immigrants do.”

“Then I fail to see why you’d want to throw in with us.”

“It’s quite simple, Mr. McCabe,” she said. “The man I hired to drive disappeared about two days out of St. Louis, and so far, I haven’t been able to find another driver or a wagon train that will take a single woman.”

“But you know nothing about me.”

“I know that you need a nanny, and I need someone to drive my mules.”


Charisse raised her chin a trifle defiantly. “They’re faster than oxen and can live on prairie grass better than horses.”

“I’ve never driven mules.”

“They’re a lot like horses,” she said with a shrug. “I suspect you drive them the same way. Frankly, Mr. McCabe, you and Toby are the answer to my prayers.” She flashed him another brilliant smile. “And it looks like I may be the answer to yours.”

The answer to my dreams maybe, Luke thought cynically, but certainly not what my saner self needs. Taking off on one of McNesby’s crazy adventures that involved a two-thousand-mile trek would be difficult in the best of circumstances. Doing it with his seven-year-old son and a woman who looked like Charisse Jones bordered on insanity. “Do you realize how hard this trip is going to be? A good half of the people who go never make it.”

“It’s actually closer to a fourth, and I’m willing to take that chance. I’m considerably tougher than I look, Mr. McCabe. The way I see it, you need me to take care of Toby as much as I need you to drive my wagon.” She stuck out her hand. “Is it a deal?” With a feeling of impending doom, Luke shook her hand. “I’d be stupid to say no, wouldn’t I?” As Toby danced around them in unconcealed joy, Luke couldn’t decide which he wanted to do more, join his son in joyous celebration or run for cover

End of Excerpt

Copyright © by Carolyn Lampman

A longer excerpt can be read at the author's website.

Learn more by visiting the author's website. THE JINX AND THE PINKERTON was released December 2018 by Red Canyon Press.

Meet the Author

Award-winning author Carolyn Lampman grew up on the Wyoming ranch her great-grandparents homesteaded in 1887 and could ride a horse almost before she could walk. She is best known for her fluent Wyoming twang and humorous, impossible-to-put-down adventures. Carolyn's background and love of the American West shine through in all of her books. History, romance, humor, and mystery all weave together in gripping tales that make her books page-turning, rollicking good reads!

Visit Carolyn Lampman's Website


The Jinx and The Pinkerton by Carolyn Lampman

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Type: Novel

Heat Level: 4

Language Level: 3

Violence Level: 3

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