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Phoebe McFarland’s friends are taken aback when she announced she’d be leaving her comfortable job in northern California to work at a dude ranch in Arizona.  It was 1952.  Phoebe had lost her husband in the war and was feeling despondent, displaced, and disinterested in much of anything.  She believed the change would do her good.  

Finding her place at the ranch proves difficult at first, but Phoebe eventually proves she’s a natural in the front office of the business and in helping children learn to ride a horse.  After hours, Phoebe concentrates on the novel she’d always wanted to write.  While struggling with the story she wants to tell, she happens onto an old diary hidden in the desk where she’s working.  Within the diary lies a dark secret about the ranch and the nearby town.  Intrigued by the revelations in the journal, Phoebe sets out to learn if what she read is true.  

While investigating the mystery, the widow meets an attractive man who helps her forget her grief.  Her new happiness may be brief because the truth about the ranch could end her life.    

Dudes Rush In is a fun read.  The surprise twists and turns should entertain avid mystery fans.