Thursday, June 26, 2014

Across the Cheyenne River

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A ranch hand looking for work in Wyoming finds employment, true love and murder.
Russell Archer and Boot Beckett both arrive at the Bar M Ranch on the same day, and they’re both decent guys, but it doesn’t take long for Archer to distinguish himself. He’s a hard worker and a quick study; apart from a dalliance with a good-time girl, he doesn’t fritter away his leisure hours; he’s a good man in a fight, as a bully who threatens the ranch finds to his sorrow; and he’s devoted to the Bar M and its owner, Lidge Mercer. Even so, Archer is surprised when he’s about to leave at the end of the season and Mercer asks him to stay over the winter and offers him a junior partnership and a 30 percent financial stake in the growing enterprise. By this time, Archer has started keeping company with Kate Blackwell, who helps out at the local store, so he has good reason to stay. But the best-laid plans go awry. Soon after Mercer tells Archer that Phillip Peavey, the ratlike fellow who’s been hanging around the place dropping hints of trouble, is actually a cousin who’s entangled them both in murder for money, Mercer himself is shot dead. Even worse, Archer learns that Mercer never signed or filed the partnership papers for the Bar M or the will that promised to make Archer his heir. With no legal stake in the ranch, he determines to stay on anyway—putting himself right in the cross hairs of whoever killed his boss.
Despite the rising body count, Nesbitt (Dark Prairie, 2013, etc.) keeps it all slow and easy as a gentled horse, making this tale the perfect escape even from other mystery fiction.

Pub Date: May 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2810-3
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online: April 15th, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Any Other Name by Craig Johnson

Have you read Craig Johnson's latest Longmire Mystery?  You should.  Read this from the Library Journal website to get you started:


OrangeReviewStar Salvalaggio’s Debut of the Month, Johnson’s Next Longmire Mystery, & the Series Lineup | Mystery ReviewsJohnson, Craig. Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery. Viking. May 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780670026463. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698163539. M
anyothername040914 Salvalaggio’s Debut of the Month, Johnson’s Next Longmire Mystery, & the Series Lineup | Mystery ReviewsWyoming sheriff Walt Longmire and ­Lucian Connally, his former boss, travel to a neighboring county to look into the suicide of Det. Gerald Holman. The detective was a longtime friend of Connally, and his death raised many questions; Walt is the best person to find the solutions. Time becomes an issue for Walt, not only in tracing the clues of Holman’s last case involving missing women, but also in trying to get to Philadelphia in time for the birth of his first grandchild. In this 11th series installment (after Spirit of Steamboat), Longmire displays his usual down-to-earth charm and dogged determination asking questions of the local sheriff, his sister who owns the local strip club, a lonely clerk whose post office is facing eminent closure, and Holman’s wife and daughter, who seem to know more than they are telling. Walt grasps the connection between the vanished women and Holman’s death, and not even a herd of bison in Custer State Park can stop him.VERDICT Another well-crafted story from Johnson, filled with endearing characters and nonstop action that will appeal to series fans and readers of other Western mystery authors such as C.J. Box. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14; 15-city author tour.]—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel