by Elisabeth Grace Foley
From the author of The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories come six more short stories exploring the joys, heartaches and laughter of life against the backdrop of the Old West. In Single-Handed, a gunfighter’s courage comes in doubt when he refuses to explain to his friends the real reason he backed down from a fight. The capable proprietress of the busiest eating-house in town handles a day of disasters large and small in the light-hearted The Rush at Mattie Arnold’s, while in Room Service, a hotel night clerk finds himself in on odd position after he allows an exhausted traveler to stay in a reserved room. And in the title story, the novella-length Wanderlust Creek, a young rancher and his wife struggle to hold onto their land and their dreams in the face of adversity from weather, enemies—and even doubts of each other.
Having enjoyed Elisabeth Grace Foley’s previous collection of western short stories and her Western novella, Left-Hand Kelly, I was keen to read this new collection. As I expected the six stories proved to be equally as entertaining as her other work.
All the stories contain likable lead characters who left me hoping that I might get to read more about them one day. Some of the tales are fairly straight-forward and others contain elements of mystery, such as Single-Handed and Room Service, the latter in particular kept me turning the pages to find out just who the stranger was and why he was using such an obvious fake name. Another story sees someone nearly taken into custody due to a mistake that many of us have made in the past, and I really enjoyed how easily a tale could be crafted around such an observation.
Short story collections are always a great way to introduce yourself to new authors, so if Elisabeth Grace Foley is new to you then I’d recommend you try this book. If you’ve already read her work then I’m sure this will be on your to buy list when it’s released on March 2nd.
The Rush at Mattie Arnold’s
A Search for Truth
The Mustanger’s Bride
Also available in paperback.