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THE LAST HURRAH: A Phoebe Korneal Mystery





Hey! Hey! Hey! So happy to share with the Phoebe readers...this first book landed a BRONZE award in the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) EVVY awards—Mystery/Crime/Detective Category.

Also a FINALIST Award in the Colorado Authors League (CAL) Awards for 2021—Cozy Mystery category.

The Last Hurrah also made the list in Books That Take You Away, November 2021, Colorado Country Life magazine. Many thanks going out to the editor of this great magazine. Cover pictured here courtesy of the Colorado Country Life staff.

Thank you all for your support and interest in the Phoebe Korneal Mystery series...well, almost a trilogy. Book 2, The Last Slide is out now, November 2021. Book 3 planned for fall of 2022.

High in the Colorado Mountains, Green County reveled in a proud history

of prospecting and mining dating back to the 1860s Gold Rush, and seemed like the perfect place for Phoebe Korneal to start life over.

Disillusionment in Utah catapulted her over the mountain peaks to join the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy, to join her childhood friends, crack reporter Carrie Jean O’Brien and Undersheriff Bill Diamond.

Awakened to hear their small mining community’s gold prospector had been found dead  –  they called him Old Al, because, well, he was old – Phoebe put her detective skills to work, while Sheriff Joe Jackson was always campaigning at Becky's Buns Up Bakery for re-election.

Was Old Al’s death an accident? 

Was something sinister afoot?

Was about his gold? Is it stashed?

Secret ingredients in Augusta’s Special Tea?

Can senior citizens find love at 10-5?

What’s a teenager to do?

Phoebe is determined to find the answers and prove herself to be a top-

notch detective for Joe Jackson and her adopted town of eclectic characters.

Join this eclectic cast and crew in hot pursuit of a killer cozy mystery!

AUTHORS: GaGa Gabardi and Judilee Butler

Meet the characters of Oresville, Colorado. Buy it here!


Deb On The Missa'sip: "What a fabulous debut novel from Ms. Gabardi and Ms. Butler, authors extraordinaire. Their turn of phrase ability made me feel like a citizen of Oresville and friends of the colorful characters. Can't wait for the sequel!"

David Dickie in Twin Cities: "Heck of a book!!! What did Augusta do to the Family Cabin? Really awesome and so fun to read. Well done and plz... more!"

Hannah C. from the Bay Area: While I was very pregnant, waddling about and unable to do much, I read this book, and it was a fun read! Enjoyed how the authors wove in historical details about Colorado's mining past into the narrative. One of my favorite parts was reading about Augusta's family history - in particular, that her Mom, Anne Louise, ran off to live in France with her squeeze, Uncle Q!

Diane in Florida: The Last Hurrah is a page turner. The setting and characters pop off the page so easily that I can well imagine a future television series. A mystery with murder and mayhem. Like Shakespeare's plays, the omni-present violence seen in too many of today's stories, is kept off stage. I heartedly recommend this book and look forward to the next in the series.

Granny CJ: I started ‘The Last Hurrah’ yesterday and just now finished it! Bravo! Bravo! I could not put it down. So all along I am thinking well how old is old Al, because, well, he’s old! So when I finally read his age I threw my hands in the air!
I truly loved the story, loved all the history and interesting information about Colorado and mining. I love how you gave history for each character. I can’t wait to read the sequel, The Last Slide, come Nov. '21.
I like a mystery that draws me in as if I'm the detective...loved the ending. (That’s important to me…happy with the ending) I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great and fast moving  mystery. The Last Hurrah— five stars!


"Manitoid Gail" impatiently waiting for next book: I love your book, the story, the characters, the wonderful setting that is SO, SO Colorado!

Colorado Country Life, November 2021: Reviewed by Julie Simpson. "This fun, quirky mystery is set in Oresville, a high mountain community in Colorado. Phoebe Korneal, Green County's newest deputy and detective (well, only detective)... Then, one morning Old Al, the mining community's resident gold prospector, is found dead..."

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High in the Rocky Mountains, winter has closed in before Christmas. The first big storm of the season has covered the town of Oresville in a beautiful but deadly white blanket. The surrounding mountains shimmer in the bright sunshine as the Gettin' Higher Snowmobile Club takes a ride up the peaks, only to discover a red truck off the trail, held in place by towering pine trees.

  • An unfortunate driving accident?

  • Is there something more sinister afoot?

  • Is there a body in the truck, left for dead or worse?

  • Will Augusta leave her beloved mountains?

  • When will Anne Louise master the French language?

  • Can a thirty something find love at 10-5?


Deputy Phoebe is determined to again prove her detective skills to Sheriff Joe and the eclectic characters of Green County. She will take charge of the situation to solve yet another mystery in Oresville while celebrating the end of the year—anticipating new starts. Join this eclectic crew of townsfolk as they create headlines for the New Year!                                                   

Buy It Here!



Mysteries from the Museum was published early in 2020. The Chaffee County Writer's Exchange came together on a Saturday to tour the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and write historical fiction based on the museum collections.

It was a fun, interesting, challenging day resulting in a fundraising project for this museum's gift shop in Leadville, Colorado.


GaGa and Judilee wrote their first collaborative short story in this setting and their writing partnership was born.

Phoebe Korneal came from this initial effort along with the pandemic and the time zone challenges of Mountain and East Coast time zones...The Last Hurrah was written. 






      (L) Gabardi & (R) Butler

Please contact the museum for your copy...HERE!

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Official Website of Semi-Historical, Semi-Hysterical Fiction Co-Authors Butler 'n' Gabardi

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