Earl Stark had been many things in his life, including a stage shotgun guard. that was where his beginnings with the law began. A set of law books were left on a stage and he began reading them, finding he had an affinity for it. He applied and got his law license, then a few years later was appointed a Federal judge.
He’d never lost those early days though and could hold his own in a fight, whether with fists or gun, preferably the double-barreled shotgun he carried as a stage guard.
On his way to mediate a dispute between two mining companies over rights to a rich vein, he comes upon an attack on ore wagons belonging to onw of the mining companies, the Virginia Queen, helping out in routing the attackers who’d already killed one man.
Since he didn’t have the appearance of a judge, he remained silent as he learns a few things about the dispute.
Before it’s all done, there’s a murder, evidence against one man, and a growing suspicion in Stark’s mind that more was going on here than it seemed.
A nice mystery/western. A bit about the cover. The photo is one of the author from a picture made, one of those made while wearing period clothes, that you can find all over. If you look closely to the left of James, you see part of a hand holding a six gun. If I remember correctly, that hand belongs to a fellow named Crider.
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