On The Shelf: Giddy up with new large-print Western titles

Published 8:00 am Sunday, July 23, 2023

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week we bring you New Large-Print Western titles.

C.K. Crigger’s newest is called “The Woman Who Wore a Badge.” January Billings is starting her life anew after bringing her husband’s murderer to justice. A stranger shows up at her ranch and requests January’s help tracking down a young girl who has stolen a horse. The stranger, Eli Pasco, was sent by the sheriff who didn’t want to be bothered with the case. He also conveniently forgot to let Eli know that he would be working with a woman. It’s not long before the pair realize they are not looking for a thief, but a kidnapped girl. The outlaws know they are being followed and set a trap that leaves Eli fighting for his life and January captured and taken to a ship on the Washington coast. The girl is a prize for the highest bidder, but January is too scared to bring a good price, so she is left in the hands of a mad killer. January manages to get away and meet up again with Eli. The pair will face one final shootout to save the young woman from these ruthless outlaws.

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Wayne D. Dundee sets his latest “Rainrock Reckoning” in west central Nebraska in the late 1880s. Harriet Munro is a fiery woman lawyer who takes the case of the beautiful young Roxanne who has been falsely accused of murder and is facing the hangman’s noose. Harriet calls on former Indian scout and tracker Lone McGantry to deliver Roxanne safely to Rainrock to face re-trial.
What Harriet and Lone don’t realize is that some of the townsfolk have conspired to pervert the course of justice yet again. Bullets will fly and lives will be lost as Lone McGantry must ride to Roxanne’s rescue across the hauntingly empty badlands and settle some old scores.

“The Revengers” is the latest by author Terrence McCauley. Deputy U.S. Marshal Jeremiah Holstead has managed to thwart Ed Zimmerman’s plans to take over the mining town of Silver Cloud, Montana, but this outlaw is not to be deterred. No sooner has Montana become a state than Zimmerman begins a diabolical campaign to turn a remote swath of land into an outlaw’s paradise. Some of the richest mines in the West are in the crook’s sights and he has rallied his allies on both sides of the law to get his way. Halstead’s war with this cold, vicious outlaw has piled up the bodies, but Zimmerman also proves himself as cunning with the pen as he is with a gun. When news of the conflict reaches Helena, U.S. Marshal Aaron Mackey and Deputy Billy Sunday come riding into the fray. Halstead is not taking any prisoners this time. He’s determined not to let Zimmerman get rich off land soaked in innocent blood.

“Dead Man’s Trail” is by Nate Morgan. Carson Stone is a reformed outlaw who has decided to stake his claim in the wild and bloody Idaho territory. His dreams of a peaceful life on a ranch built with his own hands are turned into a bullet-laden nightmare. Carson decides to earn some money for his stake by going after a claim jumper. The land he traverses is beautiful but riddled with the latest Indian war and a mining boom gone bust. When Carson steps in to help an innocent family fight off a band of murderers, he discovers that one of the hired killers is carrying a list of names and dollar amounts for their deaths. The names on the list belong to upstanding citizens, not criminals. When the local sheriff is gunned down in broad daylight, Carson pins on the tin star and steps up to protect the innocent. With the outlaws determined to collect their bounties, Carson is now at the top of their list.

John D. Nesbitt’s latest is titled “Coldwater Range.” Del Rowland is working for Bill Overlin at the Spoke ranch but questions his boss’s integrity when he witnesses Overlin and others bully a homesteader named Holt Warren and goad him into a fatal gunfight. As Del gets to know Lawna, Overlin’s stepdaughter, he hears stories from saloon patrons — one of whom is shot down in the street at night. Overlin and his cattlemen step up their aggression and burn Holt’s buildings and run their cattle on his pasture. Del quits his job at the Spoke and goes to work among the homesteaders. He also learns there are suspicions about the death of Lawna’s father and Overlin’s wife. The cattlemen continue to terrorize the homesteaders and wind up shooting down one of the men Del has been working with and burning down a warehouse. It looks like he’s going to have to take matters into his own hands if he wants to help his friends and keep his livelihood.

John Shirley begins his new series with “Axle Bust Creek.” Cleveland Trewe is a Civil War veteran, master gunfighter, horseman and lawman who is looking to strike it rich in the gold fields of Nevada. Cleveland has seen more than his share of death from the battlefield of Shiloh to the prisoner camp at Slocum and now he is a lawman and prospector who had come to Axle Bust Nevada to stake his claim and keep the peace. Cleve’s uncle lost his claim to a murderous con man who was partnered with Duncan Conroy, the owner of the Golden Fleece Mine, who is determined to build his empire by any means. Conroy’s sister Berenice is the only person keeping him in check — even while catching Cleve’s eye. To reclaim his uncle’s mine and bring justice to the besieged town, Cleve will have to turn the streets into a bullet-riddled battlefield. Conroy will have to learn that there isn’t room for both men in a town like Axle Bust.