Wednesday 21 December 2011

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Vol. 2

By Edward A. Grainger
Beat to a Pulp Ebook, October 2011

Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles is a western noir, short story collection spotlighting the thrilling tales of two deputy U.S. Marshals working in 1880s Wyoming Territory. Cash Laramie, raised by Native Americans, is known as the outlaw marshal for his unorthodox way of dealing with criminals and his cavalier approach to life. Gideon Miles is one of the first African American marshals in the service and has skills with guns, knives, and tracking that are unrivalled.

Like the first collection of short stories about Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles this volume contains a mix of new tales and a few that have already been published elsewhere. The first collection had a story co-written by Sandra Seamans, and this one follows that tradition by having not one but two tales co-authored by Chuck Tyrell.

Origin of White Deer (with Chuck Tyrell)
Maggie’s Promise
Miles in Between
Cash Laramie and the Painted Ladies
Gun Justice (with Chuck Tyrell)
Cash Laramie and the Masked Devil
Reflections in a Glass of Maryland Rye

The first story takes up nearly half the book, and tells us about Cash Laramie’s early years – including how he got the name. Along the way it tackles the problems of racial hatred between white people and Native Americans.

I must admit that overall I felt this collection of stories has a darker tone than those in the first volume. Just read Maggie’s Promise to see what I mean, this probably being my favourite tale, although the last story comes very close to taking that accolade.

If you’ve read my review of the first volume (which can be found here) then you’ll know I thought it to be excellent. This second volume I feel surpasses that. Why? I just felt that the stories presented here are harder hitting, more memorable due to the themes they cover – particularly that of the last story. 

Once finished I found myself wanting more, so any book that leaves me feeling that way just has to be tagged as highly recommended. At just over a dollar (less than a pound in the UK) this ebook offers exceptional value for money.


Ron Scheer said...

Excellent review. The Grainger stories are a sure sign of new life in the western.

Peter Brandvold said...

I read these recently and thoroughly enjoyed them. As well as MILES TO LITTLE RIDGE. Hardboiled stuff with heart and so vivid you can smell the hoss apples! I hope David puts out more.

Peter B.

Steve M said...

A review of MILES TO LITTLE RIDGE will appear soon...

David Cranmer said...

I'm glad you singled out "Maggie's Promise" and "Reflections in a Glass of Maryland Rye." My goal in the third collection is to answer the questions these stories ask in terms of killing and where it leads.

Many thanks, Steve.

David Cranmer said...

Peter, More on the way, sir. I have another collection of short stories and a full length Cash Laramie novel written by Wayne D. Dundee that will arrive in January.

Peter Brandvold said...

I can't wait to see Wayne's take Cash and Gideon. I've read all his other westerns now, and that'll be next. He's one of the very best out there. Thanks for your work, David.

Peter B.