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16150761When Sam Blaylock came to the area with his family, he wasn’t a popular man. Besides being a stranger, when he bought the land that became Rancho Diablo, he earned the enmity of Mitchell McCarthy, the owner of the newspaper, among other businesses, foe interfering with his plans for the ranch. Ever since he’d used his newspaper to keep the townsfolk itchy of the Blaylocks.

Now one of his hands, Randy Post is accused of murdering a saloon girl he thought was as in love with him as he was with her. He’d come to town in a froth over reports of her seeing another man. He chases her into a dark alley to find her fighting another man. Rushing to her aid, and the man running off, he takes a shot at the fellow right after getting one sent his way.

he turns to see the girl has been shot just as his head receives a shotgun butt.

The girl is dead and Randy is under arrest. Marshal Tolliver isn’t sure yet what happened. Several people report two pistol shots, though the Blaylock hand only fired once and only one bullet was in the girl.

Sam is sent for and comes with Randy’s cousin, Bob, old Darby Darbens, and Mike Tucker. They become temporary deputies and start poking around.

Mel Odom is Colby Jackson this time around and has forged a nicely paced story that unfolds piece by piece as they and the Marshal begin to realize something more is going on.

A most enjoyable series that Odom, Bill Crider, and Jame reasoner are developing. A fine set of characters, mostly young men that Sam and Darby are helping develop into honest young men. There’s problems of course and they deal with them as an extended family. Looking forward to more entries in this western series. May they keep coming for a long time.
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