Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder Tea

In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.

When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom—an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.

But she isn’t the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.

Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn’t removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets—and no one on the ranch is safe.

The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers—and their lives—depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

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Learn more at Margaret’s website.


  • This being the third book in The Brides of The Last Chance Ranch series, I was waiting anxiously to read this book. I was in no way disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the characters I had come to love so much. Mrs. Walker’s sharp tongue and tough exterior hides the warm, caring person within. I like her toughness, strength and gumption. I love Ruckus’ pension to always point others to God when the chips are down. I also love Miranda’s determination and the fact that she kept a GTF (God The Father) file where she wrote down all of her questions and concerns that only God could answer. I also loved the quirky little quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I found myself chuckling at them quite often. The characters were lovable and the story was thoroughly enjoyable. A blend of romance, western culture and a dab of suspense all in one. Margaret Brownley is one of my favorite authors because she never disappoints. I highly recommend this book, this entire series, to fans of historical western romaces.

  • Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley was a super fun read. I think the thing I loved most about this book is that it had a very unique plot. I have to say that the first chapter had me laughing and I knew from that first chapter I was going to love this book.

  • I absolutely LOVED this book! Margaret Brownley is one of my favorite authors. She knows how to make her characters real to life! While reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in the middle of it all trying to find out who the Phantom was. Great characters. Suspense. Mystery. Romance. Humor. This book has it all! I could not put it down! No complaints about this one! 🙂

  • Carol Single says:

    Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley

    Miranda Hunt is a detective with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. She is going to go undercover as Annie Beckman and answer an ad for becoming the heiress for the Last Chance Ranch. There are train robberies occuring in the Arizona territory in the 1890’s and it is feared that the phantom train robber may be hiding on the Last Chance Ranch property. The train that is bringing Miranda to her new assignment is held up by the robber and his associates.
    To read more, visit my blog

  • Taylor Adams says:

    Margaret Brownley’s Gunpowder Tea hits off with a bang!

    Brownley has crafted a truly enjoyable read from beginning to end with a mixture of mystery, romance, and women powerfully wielding guns! What more can a reader ask for? You’ll be on pins and needles wondering who and how close the mysterious Phantom is to the legendary Last Chance Ranch.

    A must read and addition to your ever growing “To Be Read” list!

  • The characters were fun and had just the right amount of spark and wit between them to keep me smiling and coming back for more. I liked the fact that Miranda/Annie is a strong woman who can outride and outshoot most men, yet still wasn’t so stubborn that she couldn’t enjoy and desire attention and affection from Taggert.

  • Margaret Brownley truly knows how to weave a wonderfully entertaining story. With characters and scenarios that come alive, her books are not easy to put down. If you like a little mystery, a little romance, and a lot of good story telling, this book is for you.

  • Kerrific says:

    I really connected with Miranda, a girl determined to succeed at her job regardless of all else to receive recognition from her parents. I thoroughly enjoyed following her on this adventure. The characters were priceless and the mystery unforgettable. This is an amazing book you’ll want to check out today!

  • After having read more than my fair share of lackluster books this past summer, I’ve been in need of a pick me up in the form of a book that’s good, clean fun! Margaret Brownley’s Gunpowder Tea really hit the spot. With a style that reminds of comedic master, Mary Connealy combined with Julie Lessman-like talent for penning romance that sizzles, Brownley delivers.

  • I think this was my favorite of this series! I loved the whole angle of two undercover agents from rival agencies working on the same case without each other knowing about it! It made for some very fun times and I also liked the fact that we were able to skip the whole “you lied to me and we can’t be together now” bit that usually comes with undercover situations! And I was really impressed with the way the author avoided any confusion when it came to the names of the characters. The hero and the heroine each went by to different names but I was always able to keep them straight without even trying. I have read books were that has not been the case and I’m not sure how this author did it but I really appreciated it!

  • I absolutely LOVED this novel even though I haven’t read the other two preceding novels in this series, I hope to be able to pick those up and see where it all began. There are some great funny moments between the two characters before and after they discover their true identities much like a western version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The secondary characters are also a wonderful addition to keep the storyline moving and interesting like the addition of the phone line being installed at the ranch and the benefits of all the tea that Annie keeps bringing to the ranch owner, Miss Walker who HATES tea! It will keep you in smiles and sighs the whole time. There is even a great discussion guide and recipe for Gunpowder Tea Bread at the end. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  • …Annie isn’t always the most graceful at her job, especially since she begins the book by shooting a dead man in his coffin….and that’s just the start!

    You wouldn’t think that trying to capture bank and train robbers would be an entertaining read, but that’s exactly what this book is and I enjoyed every minute of it!

  • This book is filled with humor from start to finish. Loved it! Take one Miranda Hunt aka Annie Beckman, Pinkerton Detective Agent and a little old cantankerous lady looking for an heiress for her ranch, add a gang of robbers that the local sheriff can’t find and you end up with a fun afternoon (or early morning) read that you can’t put down.

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  • One of the things that made Gunpowder Tea such an enjoyable read, was how the two main characters were undercover detectives/agents for different agencies. It was funny how both Miranda and Jeremy suspected each other of possibly being in cahoots with “The Phantom”.

  • The banter between Jeremy and Miranda was great and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter were very amusing. I really liked Miranda’s determination and grit and the sparks between her and Jeremy. I loved learning all the tips and tricks of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, not to mention trying to figure out who the Phantom was.

  • I am a BIG fan of books with independent, headstrong and hardworking woman as the main characters and I found that in Gunpowder Tea in the character Miranda!

    I loved everything about Gunpowder Tea – the history, learning about the Pinkerton Agency and the Wells Fargo detectives, the mystery, suspense, romance and excitement all rolled into one very well written book from Margaret Brownley!

    This is one of the best books I have ever read recently and I just couldn’t put it down until I read the last page (literally read it in one day!!)!

  • GUNPOWDER TEA was laugh out loud funny at times – and easily one of the best western historical romances I’ve read in forever. GUNPOWDER TEA was a wonderful book and if you like westerns or historicals, this is one book you won’t want to miss. A recipe for gunpowder tea bread is included as well as discussion questions. I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could.

  • This author really knows how to write a story! I made it through the book in one day! Brownley makes her characters come alive on the page and just makes amazingly unforgettable books!

  • Nothing Less says:

    I really enjoyed the time I spent in the company of Gunpowder Tea. It was just a really fun read and I definitely come out of it wanting to find the first two books in the series. Which reminds me – this is the third and final book in the Brides of Last Chance series, but I do not feel at all that you have to read the first two books prior to reading Gunpowder Tea in order to fully appreciate it.

  • I figured when I got this book it would be another Christian romance that just follows the typical Christian romance outline but this is not that! This is a great, action packed mystery that actually had me guessing the whole time. I had no clue who it was and that is hard to do in a novel. The characters were well developed and the plot was amazing!

  • Author Margaret Brownley has written a story of romance and suspense.

  • Margaret Brownley had me from the beginning. The opening chapter of the story had some keystone cop style humor that made me laugh out loud and kept me glued to the book. The book had a fast moving plot and you hated to put it down for fear that you would miss something. When I closed the book I was in a state of sheer delight. This was my kind of story. I loved it!

  • A book full of romance and intrigue sure to send sparks flying!

  • If you enjoy a good dose of humor and suspense with your romance, this book is for you!!! I fell in love with the main characters right from the first chapter, and they had me giggling and guessing right through to the last page.

  • If you’re wanting a nail biting suspense novel that has you hiding under the covers, this book isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a fun read that has undercover lawmen in the days of the Old West, with some romance thrown in, this book is for you. Even I, the anti-romance guy, didn’t mind the romance part of the book. It added to the book and made the interaction between the two main characters all the more interesting and fun.

  • This book is a very good book as was the entire series. I like how it is historical fiction mixed with some romance, humor and mystery. A little something for everyone. There were parts of this book that had me smiling and parts that had me guessing. Another thing I liked was that Miranda was also an agent for the Pinkertons. I really enjoyed the way Miranda and Jeremy’s relationship came together. Margaret did a very good job of developing these characters and making them play off of each other. The book was a quick read because you just could not put it down.

  • Moments says:

    I loved Margaret Brownley’s historical romance novel, “Gunpowder Tea!” This book is the third in Margaret’s The Brides of Last Chance Ranch series and you will want to not only read this one, but the first two books in the series as well! I was intrigued immediately with this novel as soon as I read the book blurb and saw the cover, both are well-done and excellent teasers for the book! Once I began reading, I was not disappointed at all as my expectations for this novel were met.

  • This novel was a light, fun story. The interaction between “Branch” and “Annie” were fun to read, especially since they can’t decide whether they are flirting or working their case! I found it amusing that Miranda was so drawn to Jeremy even though she was trying to consider him a suspect on her list. The title finally made sense when I read through their constant back and forth banter, and I found the dynamics of their quickly growing fondness of each other endearing. Brownley does a good job connecting the reader with the story, and I was very pleased with the cop style humor that drew me in the beginning.

  • The overall plot is interesting and the characters are well-written, and I was hooked from page one. It didn’t feel like the typical historical romance novel, as it felt more like a Hallmark movie. Gunpowder Tea is a fun and exciting read and I highly recommend it to others.

  • This was a fascinating story told in a way that I am sure a lot of women back in that time would have loved to have really seen themselves.

  • Reading the interaction between “Branch” who works for some company and “Annie” who is a Pinkerton Agent is so funny. The bantering, flirting and attraction while trying to remain devoted to the case makes for an enjoyable adventure. In the background, there always seems to be someone lurking purposefully staying in the shadows to hide from detection.
    The other characters in the tale and the ending will make the time spent reading well worth it! Here is another novel with faith as the foundation, set in the western territory of Arizona. Love, questions to God, honesty, faith, action and adventure are some of the ingredients to another best selling, excellent tale!

  • A real page-turning suspense with a nice dose of the wild west is what you’ll find in this new novel from Margaret Brownley! Be sure and have a nice cup of gunpowder tea in hand, when sitting down to enjoy this suspenseful page-turner – but be sure and hold on to your tea cup; for this novel will take you on a wild, yet delightful ride!

    This was the first book I’ve ever read by Margaret Brownley, so I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this book. However knowing that it was a suspenseful western, I knew I couldn’t really dislike it all that much; and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book; as it was so unique and wonderfully written.

  • Gunpowder Tea is the last book in her Brides of Last Chance Ranch series…and I thought it was the best one! I’ve always liked stories involving detectives, especially Pinkertons!, and when the first chapter involved a woman Pink, a thief, a stray shot at a funeral, and an overreacting, hysterical widow, I knew Margaret had done it again…!

  • The Wild West isn’t really a place I’d want to visit, yet somehow Brownley makes it seem appealing. The story has a made-for-tv movie type of vibe. The characters have a good rapport with each other, from the gossipy Bessie to the tough-as-nails Miss Walker. Miss Walker reminded me of the Wild West version of Violet Crawley. She has some great one liners that made me want to update my mantra. The romance in Gunpowder Tea is just enough to make the story a bit more interesting. This book is good, clean entertainment.

  • With a title like Gunpowder Tea you can only imagine how this book would go. I really enjoyed the playful back and forth between the characters. It’s a page turner for sure, you’ll be guessing from the start to the finish. The book reminds me of those detective books I used to read as a child. I love a good mystery and this one has all the makings of a great mystery novel and romance book as well. This book is part of a series and it does well as a stand alone but I can assure you that you’ll want to grab the previous books and enjoy them as well. I just fell in love with the character Miranda and I loved how the author portrayed her in this book. She is strong, independent, funny but she still has that tender side.

  • I do not know just how to tell how much I loved this book. This novel had some of the best situational irony I have ever read. Two detectives who continuously get in each others way because they do not know the other is a detective. It was too funny.

    Not only that, but the cast of characters was great. Everyone had their own personality, even the rarely mentioned ranch hands. And behind every character and suspicion lies a beautiful theme: “I once was blind, but now I see.”

  • Knocking your new “employer” down the stairs and breaking her leg is not the best way to start a new job.

    Although I’ve read a novella by Ms Brownley, this is the first full length novel I’ve read by her. It won’t be the last. Be sure to check the back of the book for a recipe for Gunpowder Tea Bread. It sounds scrumptious.

  • After about a hundred pages I was unprepared when the book morphed from a seeming comedy to an exciting story. I have to say, the climax of the book surprised me. The author kept the identity of the Phantom a secret and had me puzzled right to the end. It made for an exciting ending. Gunpowder Tea is an interesting book with a surprise ending. I do recommend this book.

  • Wild West adventure, mystery and romance!!! What more could a story-lover like me ask for???
    Gunpowder Tea was full of adventure, hilarious moments, memorable characters and sleuthing.
    I loved that both Miranda and Jeremy were hiding their true identities, suspicious of one another and clueless about one another- it certainly made for some very entertaining moments!
    Oh, and the fact that they are positively determined NOT to fall in love….well- we can guess how long that will stick!

  • WV Stitcher says:

    As a fan of fun historical romance I have enjoyed each book in The Brides of Last Chance series and hate to see it come to an end. I really think out of the series “Gunpowder Tea” was my favorite book! This book hooked me with the first chapter, because it set the tone for the entire book. I found myself laughing out loud, on more than one occasion. The plot grabbed my imagination and wouldn’t let go!

  • I found Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley to be a very entertaining and educational story. Not only do I enjoy mysteries but I really relish the ones that keep me guessing throughout the whole story and this one definitely kept me wondering about who the mysterious Phantom could be. I love stories where I learn something, in this story I learned about different uses of tea as Miranda makes tea for many remedies, I had never heard of Gunpowder Tea but is something I would really like to try. Learning about the Pinkerton operatives was quite interesting also.

  • The first thing that grabbed by attention was that the main character – a woman – was a Pinkerton Agent! Now I’m sure there was such a thing, but it never occurred to me that there would be! This grabbed my attention right away and held it! This is the third book in the
    Brides of Last Chance Ranch series and, although I didn’t read the first two books, this book definitely stands alone. You won’t be lost having not read the first two, which is always a plus. You’ll probably want to read the first two, however!

  • What do you get when a Pinkerton detective and a Wells Fargo detective are working on the same case and each suspects the other? If it’s “Gunpowder Tea” by Margaret Brownley, you get a fun-filled, novel laced with just the right amount of humor, romance, danger and suspense. The sparks fly between Miranda and Jeremy despite their mutual suspicion. When the level of danger increases at the Last Chance Ranch, both Miranda and Jeremy are determined to find the “Phantom” before someone is seriously injured or killed.

  • If you enjoy a good story set in the historical context of the American Wild West – if you love a good mystery – if you love a good romance – then Gunpowder Tea – complete with Discussion Questions and a Recipe for Gunpowder Tea Bread – is for you!

  • The author has created a strong willed feisty woman as the next heiress of the Last Chance Ranch. This book over the others in this series has more of a twist which kept me entertained. The author has a good sense of humor and uses it throughout the book to temper the rough characteristics of Miss Walker and the other characters.

    I highly recommend this book!

  • As good as I had hoped! From the great mystery that keeps me guess to the humor laced scenes this is a great book and a must read! This is the best of the series so far!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! It was fun to read and fast moving. Never knowing what was coming next, it was hard to put down. All of the side characters were important to the story and were like family you could count on. Well, most of them anyway. Two of these characters I liked were lively: the outspoken ranch owner, Miss Walker, and “Aunt” Bessie, the first “hello girl” trusty switchboard operator. She decided if someone talked too frequently, letting them know the telephone was for emergency purposes.

    Each chapter begins with a wise saying that I enjoyed and chuckled at. Margaret Brownley is a wild-west author who has tamed many an idea. Especially when Annie discovers a rival Wells Fargo agent is on the case. Will there be room for both of them?

  • No doubt about it I like Westerns. I have no idea why, however, any book that has a Pinkerton Agent in it I automatically have the need to read. In “Gunpowder Tea” Margaret Brownley multiplies that need times two as Miranda is an agent and Jeremy, while he works for Well Fargo and isn’t a Pinkerton, counts as he is working undercover. Both of them are after a train robber called The Phantom. If you like Westerns this is the book for you. On top of everything “Gunpowder Tea” is an incredible romance that is full of charm and humor. And all of this is set against a historical backdrop that is fascinating to read. Margaret Brownley has done it again. I am sorry that this series is ending however I am looking forward to more from this highly talented author.

  • This is a fun historical romance because of it’s humor and twist with a Pinkerton agent.

    I recommend to those that like historical fiction.

  • I haven’t read any books in this series, except for this one. With that said, I’ve now downloaded the rest of this series because this book was so good. I loved the humor in this book and found myself laughing out loud in certain places.

  • Gunpowder Tea, though third in the series, is a good stand-alone read that will leave you feeling you’ve met some friends (in the characters), enjoyed their good points and understand their bad points, laughed with them and at them, and rejoiced when difficulties are overcome.

  • Check the cover of this title carefully and you’ll get a preview of the book. A handsome ranch hand is looking up with just a hint of suspicion and defiance in his eyes. His mouth – is that a look of determination or a look of questioning? And the lovely lady? Why she is politely serving tea, a polished, civilized action. But at the same time, she is ready to take action with her hidden derringer. Not a likely mix. In this latest addition to the The Brides of Last Chance Ranch, we travel to 1897 Arizona Territory as Pinkerton agent Miranda Hall goes undercover as Annie Beckman to locate and capture the mysterious bank robber known as the Phantom, whom some believe is hidden out at the Last Chance Ranch. When Miranda’s (Annie’s) train is robbed on the way, she is sure that the robbers are somehow connected to the Phantom. What is most disturbing to her is that prior to the robbery one of the passengers had caught her attention with his striking blue eyes. When she later recognizes those same blue eyes behind a mask and then learns that the same man who goes by the name Branch has taken a new job at the ranch, Annie is sure that he is part of the Phantom’s gang. Meanwhile, Jeremy Taggert, or Branch (his latest alias), is sure that the fiesty woman who’s just arrived at the Last Chance must somehow be involved with the gang and sets out to investigate HER.

  • WORD Up! says:

    This is a wonderful book that you will not want to put down. The characters are full of life and strength and mystery. The storyline is an engaging whodunit. There is a solid spiritual thread woven throughout this enjoyable novel, making it a wholesome bit of entertainment.

  • What a fascinating, light-hearted read Gunpwder Tea was. Grab your favorite tea and nestle in your comfortable chair as you try together with Miranda to find the Phantom robber! Told in Margaret Brownley’s unique voice, pitting Pinkerton Operative against Wells Fargo Detective brings its own tense moments.

  • Enjoy a wild west frolic complete with Pinkerton detectives, phantom robbers, quirky characters and even some romance to boot! I thoroughly fell in love with all the wonderful characters in Gunpowder Tea but I also learned some history as well. High on my list for 2013!

  • Crazed Mind says:

    Here is one book that was fun to read. The story line was interesting with the by play between the two main characters. And who does not like a happy ending. I was happy to have this book to curl up with and giggle as I wondered around in it.

  • If you’re looking for both a sweet romance and intriguing mystery then this book is perfect for you! Miranda Hunt is a sort of Nancy Drew; she assumes an identity to try to capture a culprit at Last Chance Ranch. Of course, Miranda is not the only detective on the case. Jeremy Taggert is hot on the trail and also interested in Miranda. As their investigations begin to intertwine, the two start to form both an uneasy alliance and a relationship-even though Miranda still suspects Jeremy (at least a little bit) as being her culprit.

    Miranda’s character is richly described and easy to enjoy. I loved her fun nature and high intellect. I also loved how the author made the “Phantom” easy to hate. He was an interesting villain; her certainly gave plenty of people the run-around. I did like Jeremy. Though Miranda did not really need a hero, I liked that he was there to support and challenge her. Who doesn’t enjoy a challenge? I loved how the author delved into the dialogue and tradition that one might expect with a book titled “gunpowder tea.” This book is recommended to adult readers.

  • Gunpowder Tea has a little bit of everything. Mystery, history, and of course, romance. Nothing was spoiled along the way, and the character development was well-planned. I was unable to figure the villain out for myself until it was revealed in the story. In the meantime, I enjoyed the game of cat-and-mouse between our hero and heroine as they slowly unfolded the other’s role within the context of the whole. I enjoyed both the mystery and the romance of it all.

    The only thing that seemed slightly inconsistent was whether to use undercover names or real names. I think once ‘Branch’ discovered who she really was, she should have also been referred to by her real name as well.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed “Gunpowder Tea” by Margaret Brownley, published by Thomas Nelson books.

    I enjoyed this book very much because it is a blend of adventure, mystery and humor. The title of the story comes from a ritual that Annie institutes with the irascible Miss Walker, owner of the Last Chance. I was intrigued from the first page to the last. I highly recommend this book as a light-hearted mystery with wonderfully interesting characters. The ending will be quite a surprise.

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