Thursday, October 29, 2009

THE RATTLESNAKE SEASON by Larry D. Sweazy (Berkley)

What a treat it is for me to review this book! I met Larry many years ago at Magna cum Murder in Muncie, Indiana. He showed me a chapter from a mystery manuscript then, and my mouth, literally, dropped open when I finished it. I was surprised to hear from him that he'd written a western for publication, but he assured me that I'd find a mystery in it. I not only found a mystery, but I'm already waiting for the next installment of Texas Ranger Josiah Wolfe.

Wolfe, a young Civil War veteran, answers the call when Captain Hiram Fikes invites him to re-join the Texas Rangers. Their first mission: to capture Charlie Langdon, Wolfe's former deputy and fellow veteran. Things go badly almost from the beginning, and Wolfe has many reasons to reconsider his decision, but loyalty to Fikes and a vision of justice keep him on the job.

After growing up with the cowboy movies and TV shows that glorified the Old West, I was enthralled with a story of the hardships that were part of everyday life and with the politics that affected Reconstruction. I'll be sharing this book with contemporaries who love either mystery or western novels.

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