Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For April 2009

The Unforgiven
by Alan LeMay
Leisure Books Reprint

This is not the book form of modern classic starring Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Gene Hackman. Instead, it is the source of the forgotten classic starring Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Lillian Gish, and Audie Murphy, and directed by John Huston.

"The Texas Panhandle was a harsh and unforgiving place, but the Zachary family managed to get by. Until their world was upended by an old enemy who started a vicious rumor about the true identity of beautiful seventeen-year-old Rachel Zachary. Now their neighbors want her dead, and a band of Kiowa warriors are out to claim her for their own. There’s only one man who will stand up for her. But in protecting Rachel, he might just be signing his own death warrant."

by Wayne D. Overholser
Center Point Large Print Hardcover

"The Tomahawk Ranch was the biggest outfit in Salt Creek Valley. Kirk's father built it with his own harsh strength and controlled it with a fierce will. And nobody — not even his own sons — ever dared tell him what to do with it. The ranch was the best grazing land in the entire valley, and the Salt Creek settlers were getting desperate. Kirk's father had spent a lifetime running roughshod over the rights and pride of his neighbors, and he held on as the settlers faces grew even more grim. Only Kirk seemed to understand that they were headed straight for a range war. And it would be the worst kind of range war — neighbor against neighbor, and father against son."

Curry: A Western Trio
by Max Brand
Center Point Large Print Hardcover

Sheriff of Hangtown: A Western Duo
by Lauran Paine
Five Star Wester Series Hardcover

"Wesley Potter is the local law. One of his friends in the community is Dick Ruffin, an old-timer who has long raised horses on his small ranch. Ruffin is shot at close range without apparent motive - and there aren't any suspects. Potter can find no clue at Ruffin's ranch when he goes out there to investigate and to bury old Dick. But that night in town Potter's suspicions are raised when a stranger tries to sell Dick Ruffin's guns at the general store. "

Dorn of the Mountains
by Zane Grey
Leisure Books Reprint

"...the next moment he heard quick hoof beats of trotting horses. Peering out, he saw dim moving forms in the darkness, quite close at hand. They had approached against the wind so that sound had been deadened. Five horses with riders Dorn made out - saw them loom up close. Then he heard rough voices."

Guns on the High Mesa
by Arthur Henry Gooden
Center Point Large Print Hardcover

The Man From Laramie
by T. T. Flynn
Leisure Books

Finally! The Man From Laramie (1954) is back in print! Leisure Books (Dorchester Publishing) has begun to reprint books that provided source material for some of the most famous Western movies ever. They have recently reprinted The Searchers (John Wayne's/John Ford's masterpiece), Destry Rides Again (from Hollywood's "Best Year" - 1939 - starring Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich, The Unforgiven (above), and Stewart/Anthony Mann's classic, Laramie. If ever Leisure were to create a Western companion imprint to its wildly successful Hard Case Crime series, The Man From Laramie would be the first. It's a dark, powerful, tough story with solid characters, action, and not a small mystery.

"The foreman lay in the dust of the street, his face beaten and puffed, his hair matted with sweat and grime. And over him stood Will Lockhart, swaing with a deadening fatigue that barely left him on his feet.

"'Why'd you do it?'" the man asked him.

"'Well,'" Lockhart said, "'you might say on account of some good wagons of mine that burned up. Or you could blame it on a rope that dragged me ways on the ground. But you'd be real close if you asked me about a brother of mine. Yeah, I guess I'd have to tell you. Because he's dead ...'"

For May 2009

Salt-Lick Range
by Lauran Paine
Wheeler Large Print Western

"When Deputy U.S. Marshall Dan Miller arrived in Jefferson, Idaho Territory, the Salt-Lick war was already in the making. After he'd been there a week, U.S. Marshall Fred Clampett was ambushed and nearly killed, leaving Dan the only lawman in the territory. It was Dan's hard logic which prevented bloodshed - 'til the last day when his own blood got spilled."

Pass Creek Valley: A Western Duo
by Wayne D. Overholser
Five Star Western Series Hardcover

In the main story, "Kim Logan has always worked as a gun hand, for the last year as trouble-shooter for the great Clawhammer Ranch owned by Peg Cody. The Clawhammer is now locked in a desperate struggle for mastery of the range with Hank Dunning, owner of the HD. The struggle between these two ranches is further complicated by the fact that Peg Cody wants the smaller ranchers on the mesa to be forced off their land so the Clawhammer can have access to their graze. This is something with which Kim Logan has no sympathy. But his most pressing job is to fetch to the Clawhammer a man named Yuma Bill who is coming in by stage, presumably with a bundle of money to help the local banker. Logan is certain that HD riders will hold up the same stage to get at Yuma Bill, and he intends to beat them to it."

The Cuchillo Plains
by Ray Hogan
Center Point Large Print Hardcover

Chaparral Marauders
by Tom Curry
Wheeler Large Print Western

Maverick Basin
by Dane Coolidge
Five Star Western Series Hardcover

This old timer was originally serialized in four parts in the biweekly The Popular Magazine from July 7 to August 20, 1920.

"Riding on the trail into Maverick Basin, Hall McIvor is waylaid at gunpoint by Isham Scarborough and his brother Red and is taken on foot to a dark room in an abandoned cliff-dwelling to be questioned. The Scarboroughs are convinced the stranger is a gunfighter, riding to join the Bassett clan. If so, they intend to hang him right there. Telling them his name Hall insists he is just riding through, has no knowledge of the Bassetts, and that he is searching for someone. Then things really get rough ... "

Bullet Brand
by Bradford Scott
Wheeler Large Print Western

Leisure often gets its pulp reprints from the large print and/or hardcover library publishers. They've been reprinting a number of the Bradford Scott stand-alone novels as well as his short pulp magazine work with his great Texas Ranger heroes Jim Hatfield and Walt Slade. Bullet Brand is another of Scott's stand alone stories. With luck Leisure will reprint this one, too, so the rest of us can read it.

"Black Pete became Walt Slade's co-partner. Sheriff Trayner tried to warn Slade but wound up fighting for his life. Marshall wrote a will in blood, with Slade the reluctant beneficiary. Undercover Texas Ranger Slade battles six-gun treachery to save his friends and the border country from the vicious terror of a killer-crazy outlaw."

Wilderness #60 - Outcast
by David Thompson
Leisure Books

This venerable series hits a bit of a milestone. The series is based on the true-life journals of Nathaniel King, one of the early mountain men, and his ever-growing mountain family. Thompson's books develop various journal entries and corroborating accounts to build a literary version of the King family. While on the thin side, each entry is packed with plenty of action and plot twists.

Fighting Rawhide
by Lewis B. Patten
Ulverscroft Large Print Hardcover

by Robert B. Parker
Berkley Premiere Paperback Edition
by Robert B. Parker
Berkley Hardcover

The follow-up to Appaloosa, Resolution continues hired gun Everitt Hitch's journey in what Publisher's Weekly calls "...a sparse, bullet-riddled rumination on law and order, friendship and honor." Parker seems enamoured of the western and these themes (or is he just making another bucketful of cash?) because another sequel is also available this month. This third novel, Brimstone, follows Virgil Cole and Everitt Hitch on a journey through New Mexico and Texas to find the love he lost in Appaloosa. Can another movie be far behind?

.45-Caliber Widow Maker
by Peter Brandvold
Berkley Paperbacks

A prison wagon of caged killers means hell on wheels for Cuno Massey...

One of Brandvold's numerous continuing series, this is the fifth in the .45-Caliber entries. His work enjoys a lot of what is good about pulps without all of the fluff and puffery and pretenses of many current western writers.

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