By Christine Matthews
Western Fictioneers, February 2016
A frontier con man who claims he can raise the dead...a prisoner desperate to escape from the hellhole of Yuma Prison...a legendary Texas Ranger...a famous gunfighter and peace officer turned newspaperman...a family that's both dangerous and strange...
Stories Along…The Hungry Trail is a collection of eight short stories, all of which have previously been published in a variety of western anthologies. Now these tales have all been brought together in one excellent collection with a change of author name – real to pseudonym. I’d read two or three of these stories before and on the strength of those I was looking forward to reading the others.
Whilst reading these extremely well written tales it soon became evident that most of these stories revolved around graves – raising the dead from them, witnessing burials and remembering how the dead came to be in them, digging into them to steal from the remains and offering an idea on how the dead filling the many graves marking endless trails came to be there.
Filled with fascinating characters these stories provide gripping reading and even though I’m not normally a fan of cross-genre tales I really enjoyed the two that combined western and supernatural elements, one of which was possibly my favourite in the whole collection.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed the cross on the front cover inscribed with the name Tanner Moody, and for those who have read the book The Funeral of Tanner Moody (written by a variety of different authors) you might like to know that two of the stories in this collection feature him.
The Resurrection Man – previously published in Best of the Midwest 1993
The Tailor of Yuma – previously published in Tin Star 2002
Planting Lizzie Palmer – previously published in Boot Hill 2002
Don’t Never Fall in Love with No Whore – previously published in Guns of the West 2002
The Last of the Ranger Chieftains – previously published in Texas Rangers 2003
Poor Ole Moody – previously published in The Funeral of Tanner Moody 2004
The Hungry Trail – previously published in Six-Guns and Slay Bells 2013
Odds on a Lawman – previously published in Livin’ on Jacks and Queens 2014