Sierra Skullduggery – Jerry S. Drake

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19273706Author Jerry S. Drake was new to me when I picked up SIERRA SKULLDUGGERY, the sequel to
THE GUNFIGHTER’S APPRENTICE. I was quite pleased with the book and easily got into it without having read the first.

it’s the story of former lawman Tom Patterson and his wife Betty after they settle in California and go into the freight business.

Early forties, good with a gun, and with a bit of a reputation, Patterson gets a job offer he turns down. He doesn’t hire his gun out to kill people. The man then tells him they have Betty and will kill her unless he does the job.

But Betty’s no shrinking violet and gets the drop on the four men come after her and has them arrested. Tom gts home to learn of it and, but for a lazy lawman who lets the quartet talk their way out of jail, might have found out who and what they wanted from him.

A determined man, Patterson sets out to find the unknown victim to warn him and runs into a mess that takes the both of them into more trouble.

Quite enjoyed this one and will certainly track down the first volume. Can be ordered here.

Adios Sabata(Indio Black, Sai Che Ti Dico: Sei Un Gran Figlio Di…)1970

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imagesADIOS SABATA was the second film of a trilogy starring Yul Brynner in the title role. Lee Van Cleef played the part in the two bracketing films. How that happened was that Van Cleef had already committed to a western being filmed at the same time. In a bit of weird coincidence, that role was Chris Adams in the sequel to The Magnificent Seven. So both men were playing roles the other had originated.

The film’s original title was Indio Black, but as was the practice at the time, the popularity of the original Van Cleef film caused the “coattail effect” to take advantage.
The original Italian title translates as “Indio Black, you know what I’m going toimages (1) tell you…you’re a big son of a…”

The plot is set during the reign of Maxillian I, Sabata is hired by a Mexican bandit to steal a wagon load of gold from the Austrian Army. He does along with two partners, Ballantine(Dean Reed) and Escudo(Ignazio Spalla), then learns it’s a wagon of sand. They then set out to steal it back from the austrian Colonel Skimmer(Gerard Herter).

Youtube has the film under the title “A Barrelful of Gold For Sabata.”

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FFB: Treachery At Rock Point – Peter Dawson

n204585Will Sheer comes home after two years to learn everyone thought him dead. Scalped and killed by Indians the papers had said. He also found that his partner in the stage line, Ned Oakes, had a new partner, Lyle Danko, a gambler, who’d supposedly invested five grand for a half interest.

Turns out that wasn’t exactly true. Ned owed Danko the monery in poker losses amd was coering Ned to tell him when the gold shipments were going out. Blackmail was also involved as Ned was carrying on with a young widow in the next town, cheating on his fiance Caroline Knight, the banker’s daughter.

But no one knows about the under the table deals but Ned and Danko.

It doesn’t take Will long to get his half back as Danko claims the five grand was never spent and he would gladly back out of the deal. Of coursde he still had that other deal with Ned.

Will has to figure another way to get the gold out as the rail bridge had washed and gold was piling up in the bank. Too many shady men in town to not try the bank with that amount of gold, some seventy grand.

Of course there’s a snake in the grass.

Decent novel.

March 2014 Book Round-Up

42: Hu: Li’l Harlan and his Sidekick Carl The Comet In Dangerland – Harlan Ellison

43: SF: Terminator Salvation: From The Ashes – Timothy Zahn

44: PU: Doc Savage: Horror In Gold – Kenneth Robeson

45: SF: Terminator Salvation: Cold War – Greg Cox

46: TH: Wolf – Mo Hayder

47: PU: The Avenger: The Justice, Inc, Files – edited by Joe Gentile & Howard Hopkins

48: PU: Doc Savage: The Infernal Buddha – Kenneth Robeson

49: SF: Dark Eden – Chris Beckett

50: PU: The Avenger: Roaring Heart of The Crucible – edited by Nancy Holder & Joe Gentile

51: PU: Doc Savage: Death’s Dark Domain – Kenneth Robeson

52: HR: Full Dark, No Stars – Stephen King

53: TH: Now You See Her – James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

54: WE: Trail of The Long Riders – Lee Martin

55: WE: Treachery At Rock Point – Peter Dawson

56: PU: Doc Savage: The Miracle Menace – Kenneth Robeson

57: SF: The New People: The Visitor – Roger Price & Julian R. Gregory

58: SF: The New People: Three In Three – Roger Price

59: TH: The Kill Switch – James Rollins & Grant Blackwood

60: SF: The New People: Four Into Three – Roger Price

61: SF: The New People: One Law – Roger Price

62: HR: The Dead Man: The black Nexus(ebook) – Leigh Grayson

63: HR: The Dead Man: The Rising Dead(ebook) – Stella Green

64: TH: 1000 Yards(ebook) – Mark Dawson

65: MY: Antique Slay Ride(ebook) – Barbara Allan

66: TH: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road(ebook) – Joe R. Lansdale

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FFB: Trail of The Long Riders – Lee Martin

trail-long-riders-lee-martin-paperback-cover-artJess Darrringer ws a wanderer and his family had a reputation as gunfighters. His oldest btother had became a lawyer and was trying to get two others out of trouble. Jess also was a reader and the most even tempered of the bunch.

So when his youngest brother Sam brought him the letter from their mother, he expected trouble. The woman he’d left behind, Sue Ellen Cambridge, had ben murdered in the night, a locket and a music box taken. The only evidence found was a dropped receipt that named a saddlry in Buzzard Creek, the custer identified only as Colby. Mother wanted him to find the five and have them arrested. She trusted Jess to do that rather than gun them down.

Arriving at Buzzard Creek with Sam, they find three factions in town. The Colby family and the Hatcher family, both ranching clans, were antagonists. The third was Ed range who represented the railroad that was conssidering a spur in town.

Right away, Jess and Sam get involved in rescuing Lorena Colby from some Hatcher people who took her prisoner in a failed bank robbery.

Here’s where it gets complicated. Lorena falls for him, but is “sort” of engaged to Grange. Grange’s sister seems interested in him as well. He finds himswelf liking Old Man Colby, though none of his sons. The Hatchers don’t like him either.

Jess makes it known why he’s there, hoping to draw the killers out and gets rewarded by a murder attempt on himself.

He goes on, determined to do it without violence. But you know how that goes.

Not a bad novel

Headed Home

The visit to the doctor yesterday brought good news. I’m healed and he released me to go home. Yea!

Once I get there though, I won’t be able to get on line for awhile. My nephew was scrubbing the mem ory and reinstalling the software to get rid of some pesky crap I’d picked up somewhere. He informs me the part that gets me online was shot(I’d noticed in the recent past occasions when I was working and I’d just go offline for no reason I could see). That’s got to be ordered, then get him down to finish up getting me ready. So probably a week or so before I can get cranked back up.

Dark Eden – Chris Beckett

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18166988Author Chris Beckett offers us a science fiction tale loaded with religious references and still comes up with a superior novel. Start with the name of the planet, Eden, with five hundred-thirty-two humans living in the circle valley, all descendants of one couple, Tommy and Angela. They have a set of laws that they live by as well.

Eden has no sun. Light and heat come from the the trees they call Red lantern and White lantern. They live in a small valley and are slowly descending back to more primitive levels as they wait for Earth to come and take them home. The language has started to change too.

Each year Any Virsry is held where births and deaths are tallied, the momentoes are displayed(the models carved by Tommy of a car, a building, and a starship are displayed). They recount things told by each generation of Earth where the light comes from the sky, something called Lecky-trickity powers everything, and planes fly through the air like birds. Sex is rather open, they call it slipping, with any female, oldmum or youngmum, taking the male of their choice.

This year’s Any Virsiry, the one hundred sixty-third, is held as always around the Circle of Stones, the spot where the landing veekle that brought the five first set down, memoralized by a circle of stones with five in the middle, signifying the Three Companions and Tommy and Angela. It has become a religious site where no one but the Council can get within three feet, let alone touch them.

One dares to speak out, defying the leaders.

John Redstone, a newhair, is fifteen years old< as the Oldies reckon, or twenty wombtimes as thew young ones think of it. He knows hunting food is getting tougher(School was abolished at Any Virsry one forty-five because they needed the time for hunting). They eat meat that just a few years before they would never have considered.

John is different from most of his peers, even the older ones. He knows something must be done. They must find other living valleys(they know from stories told and retold that more lighted areas were seen as the police veekle came down. He faced down and killed a forest leopard with a boy's spear rather than climb a tree until it went away.

He's castigated for even suggesting spreading out. It's infernally cold and dark around Circle Valley, and besides, no one has ever done such a thing!

The bulk of the novel takes place after he breaks a number of Family laws and is banished. Ho one is allowed to speak of him or to him. He's soon joined by others and set out to find new lighted valleys.

What they finds revelas some uncomfortable truths and he's pursed by one of his relatives and a number of sycophants who are gradually taking Family over once John upset the apple cart.

Liked this one.

Li’l Harlan and his sidekick Carl the Comet in Dangerland – Harlan Ellison

51c7aLZwkfL__SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Subbterranean Press offers us a new Ellison chapbook, a true story, an incident that happened in Philadelphia at a con in the early eighties involving Ellison and Carl Sagan on an adventure when they dodge a dinner set up by the con and go in search of the best Philly cheesesteak in town.

And told only as Ellison could tell it with humor and, as the title implies, danger.

Much enjoyed this small volume.

And I probably don’t have to mention the wonderful cover by Gahan Wilson. His style is hard to miss.

February Book Round-Up

21: WE: A Big Sky Christmas – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

22: TH: Suicide Mission – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

23: WE: Savage Texas: The Stampeders – William W. Johnstone

24: TH: White Fire – Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

25: HR: Doctor Sleep – Stephen King

26: SF: Rough Beasts – Harlan Ellison

27: CR: The Second Longest Night – Stephen Marlowe

28: CR: Killers Are My Meat – Stephen Marlowe

29: CR: Death Is My Comrade – Stephen Marlowe

30: CR: Jeopardy Is My Job – Stephen Marlowe

31: CR: Violence Is My Business – Stephen Marlowe

32: CR: The Ranger – Ace Atkins

33: MY: Murder Of A Beauty Shop Queen – Bill Crider

34: PA: Captain Midnight Chronicles – edited by Christopher Mills

35: AD: Doc Savage: Phantom Lagoon – Kenneth Robeson

36: MY: Sherlock Holmes and The Giant Rat of Sumatra Paul D. Gilbert

37: PU: The Avenger Chronicles – edited by Joe Gentile & Howard Hopkins

38: SF: Interlopers – Alan Dean Foster

39: SF Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen – Alan Dean Foster

40: PU: Doc Savage: The Desert Demons – Kenneth Robeson

41: SF: Terminator Salvation: Trail By Fire – Timothy Zahn

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