The Clincher is the first in a series of horseshoer mysteries featuring the irrepressible, irreverent, and irresistible Rainy Dale and her loveable and unlikely side-kick, the culinarily-inclined Guy.

Clinching is the technique used to bend a driven horseshoe nail to hold the shoe to a hoof. Rainy Dale is The Clincher, a twenty-something high school-dropout turned farrier (horseshoer) who is haunted by a secret she carries.

Estranged from her California d-list actress momma and her ranch hand Texas daddy, she tracked down her childhood horse in small-town Oregon―a land full of cowboys and their horses―then stayed to build a life with her tools, steel, and forge. She's sleeping in a garage and trying not to fall for her landlord, the hapless and hopeful chef, Guy, who is determined to create the perfect soufflé while Rainy would prefer to just stuff her mouth with fuel for her physically demanding job. As the new kid in town, Rainy has an uphill battle to prove herself, but when one of her clients turns up dead, Rainy is in over her head as both a suspect and a seeker of the truth.
Next in the series

Available Now

chapter 1 of DEAD BLOW is included at the end of


Coming in 2020
chapter 1 of FORGING FIRE is included at the end of
Praise for The Clincher
“Preston’s background as a police officer, horse owner, and author of several nonfiction works about horses helps make the actions of her characters authentic and very believable. VERDICT Fans of light mystery with tough female protagonists and a little romance thrown in will want this book. For those who enjoy both mysteries and horses, it’s a must.”
Library Journal (Patsy Gray)
“A rousing novel. The mystery leaves plenty of open questions for the tough but needy heroine while immersing the reader in all things equine.”
“Fast-paced, absorbing and fun to boot, The Clincher grabs your attention from the first paragraph and never loosens its grip. Rainy Dale—horseshoer with sass—is one of the freshest and most original sleuths to come along in mystery fiction. May she live on and on!”
Margaret Coel, NYT bestselling author of Winter's Child
“Rainy Dale—an engaging character with a unique voice who can shoe horses like nobody’s business!”
J.A. Jance, NYT bestselling author of Clawback
“Lisa Preston’s The Clincher hits like a nailing hammer and won’t let go—her horseshoeing sleuth, Rainy Dale, is a new and distinctive voice in crime fiction.”
Craig Johnson, NYT bestselling author of the Longmire series
The Clincher runs at full gallop from first page to last with sharp-eyed Rainy Dale leading the charge. Lisa Preston's writing is so vivid you'll think you're sitting in the saddle and you'll finish knowing you need to see Rainy Dale ride again.”
Mark Stevens, Rocky Mt. Fiction Writers “Writer of the Year” and author of Lake of Fire
The Clincher by Lisa Preston is the perfect contemporary western.”
Reavis Wortham, author of the Sonny Hawke and Red River series
“A great plot and compelling cast of characters round out The Clincher. This one is a winner.”
James W. Ziskin, award winning author of the Ellie Stone mysteries
“Be forewarned that the last forty pages will have you hanging onto your saddle horn and you won’t be able to stop until the ride is over.  Personally, I can’t wait to see what Rainy Dale does next.”
Leigh Hearon, author of the Carson Stables Mystery series
“A terrific launch of what's to be a series of...contemporary western thrillers...Craig Johnson, creator of Walt Longmire and so a master of this form, is one of several people who already like this book a'll be rattled and moved and deeply satisfied before you're done, too, and hungry for more of this smart, tough, and resourceful person.”
“The novel boasts a fast-paced plot, sympathetic characters who come alive and writing that is excellent...”
Carol Crigger, Western Writers of America
“…this exuberantly quirky series opener…will leave readers breathless and eagerly awaiting Rainy’s next adventure.”
Copyright Lisa Preston 2023