A Black Horse Western from Hale, 2008
A senseless killing stopped Jackson Farraday from investigating an odd situation in the raw mining settlement called Black Dog. For answers he tricked Lilian Goodnight into spying at the High Meadows cattle ranch.
Lil was dismayed to find range boss Liam O’Grady running a hatwire outfit crewed by deeper-dyed misfits than herself. Then she was obliged to save ex-British Army major Albert Fitzcuthbert – sent to investigating High Meadows by its owners – from renegade Indians.
Everybody had secrets: Lil’s childhood friend Liam; his spouse Mary, and Fitzcuthbert’s cruelly humiliated young wife, Cecilia. Lil was facing problems only her savvy, daring and guns could settle!
Chap O’Keefe definitely knows how to tell a good yarn, he immediately hooks the reader by introducing a number of questions, the answers to which Misfit Lil will have to struggle to find.
There is plenty of action in this fast moving tale and Misfit Lil makes for an engaging lead character. O’Keefe also includes brief mention of her past adventures – this being the fifth Misfit Lil book – that makes me want to find those books and discover just how she and the other characters, already known to her, came to like or dislike each other.
It is also unusual to find the main character, in a Black Horse Western, being female and, for me, this made a pleasant change.
Mention must also be made of the excellent cover painting – the artist sure knows how to use light, shadow, and hints of colour to great effect. This scene ties up nicely with an exciting chase of a stagecoach by Indians within the story.
For those of you inspired enough by my comments about this book that you now want to go out and buy a copy, I have some bad news. The book was released on October 31st and sold out in twelve days! This must be some indication to how popular Chap O’Keefe’s westerns are.
I always like to follow bad news with good so I’ll remind you that Black Horse Westerns are first and foremost produced for libraries so there’s nothing to stop you going there and requesting a copy. I’m sure you’ll find it worthwhile.