It's funny that I've read this at least twice before and never wrote anything about it. I can't love the mystery because there's a whole lot of slut-shaming and blaming the victim(s). But, the stuff about the great trainer wanting his story told, and the writer who's sold his first novel and is trying to write his second and live on his tiny advance...that has the feeling of real truth. And despite the heinous indifference of the community to the death of a young sexually-active woman, the Ladies (titled or not there are clearly some women who are better than others, at least in part because they are safely married) are all treated with respect and admiration.
Yeah, despite the bad, I still love the book, because who doesn't want to be offered the chance to ride a good horse and then be asked to turn jockey? Even at my age I still like to daydream about previously undiscovered talents being discovered. Probably very few people actually could stand modeling as a career, say, but who wouldn't love to be asked?