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Sidewinders introduces two new characters, Scratch Morton and Bo Creel. Two partners that wander through the west together. They are a bit different than usual, as they are, let’s just say slightly weathered.

They’re still tough men, with both fists and guns, despite their age.

They’re headed toward the town of Red Butte when they break up a stage hold-up, driving off the outlaws. The shotgun guard, another older man named Ponderosa Pine, is wounded, so they accompany the stage into town.

The stage line is owned by Abigail Sutherland, a widow with two sons, and she’s in competition with another line owned by a man named Rutledge, who’s hired a band of gunmen to work for him.  They hire on to protect the line on it’s runs.

The outlaw gang they’d interrupted has been harowing both lines for months, mostly piddling amounts hardly worth the effort.

There’s a mystery here and Morton and Creel set out to figure what’s going on.

I like these two characters and the way the mystery is gradually revealed makes for an interesting mix of genres. I only had one small quibble with the way it was done. Other than that, I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next one, which is due shortly.

I hope Norton and Creel have a long line of books in their future. They are an interesting pair and somewhat different from your run of the mill western characters.

Recommended.

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