DiscoverHistorical Mysteries

The Specter of Spar Mountain


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Roger Thomas delivers a compelling historical mystery where Roland Mason is left to defend a man accused of murder and believes in ghosts.

It had been a while since I’ve read a historical mystery and having picked this one up, I’m hooked on the genre. This, The Specter of Spar Mountain, is my first Roger Thomas book and this one is the fourth in the Roland Mason historical mystery series (I am going to read the first three next!). 

An engaging mystery to include elements of a love relationship thrown in for good measure, Roger Thomas tells the intriguing tale of a lawyer with a questionable and sketchy past on the road who lands in Laramie, Wyoming in the late 1800s. Mason’s story ranges from his sort-of-secret love relationship with Constance, a widow, to his questionable ability to represent an out-of-towner and failed goldminer named Mac who is accused of murdering his best friend, Beaver. Mac’s defense is that the murder is at the hands of a ghost, making Mason’s job extremely difficult. With no witnesses other than Jones, the bounty hunter who chases Mac down and files the accusations, Mason has an uphill battle to free his client in this case. 

Mason is a likeable character because of his notable imperfections and his commitment to being alcohol-free for over a year (though this is not mentioned but a few times, it does help with character development). Constance certainly brings out the best in him, and he knows it. But, she struggles with his questionable past and what it means for her future. 

Depicted in the late 1800s, the supporting characters are well developed, intriguing, and enjoyable with my favorite being Odd, a young man and friend to Mason who works at the livery and has a special way with horses. The townspeople are believable and vary in personalities and involvement. Though this is the fourth in the series and I hadn’t read the first three yet, it stood well on its own. The story is well-written, kept me turning the pages, and was definitely worth the read.

Reviewed by

Heather Hummel Gallagher is a New York Book Festival award-winning novelist of the Journals from the Heart Series and an award-winning author. She travels via RV with her husband, two Black Labs, and always has her laptop and camera nearby.​

The Prospector

About the author

Roger L. Thomas was born in Illinois, but has been a Colorado resident for the past 26 years. Roger's family, including kids and grandkids, all currently live in or around Colorado Springs. When he is not writing, he enjoys his family and the great outdoors Colorado has to offer. view profile

Published on May 29, 2020

Published by

60000 words

Genre: Historical Mysteries

Reviewed by