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4-6-2013 3;14;04 PMTad Shay should have died during the late stages of the war. The doctors had given up on him and pushed him aside. But he hung on and spent two years in a hospital recovering. During that time, he read every law book he could find, eventually earning a law license.

He headed west to find a small town where he could practice law. He;d seen enough violence in the war to fill him and he wanted no more.

It wasn’t to be.

Alder City was where he ended up, breaking up a robbery on the stage on the way in. The robbers wanted his three hundred dollars, all he’d saved.

The town was to small for a lawyer to make a living and he did something he never would have believed. After a couple of Texans, who’d bulled their way into a half interest in one of the saloons, killed the Marshal, he took a gun and went into the saloon to arrest them. They weren’t interested and he ended up killing both.

He took the Marshal job to everyone’s delight and began to practice with his gun, getting better and faster.

But, as usually happens, when keeping the peace gets in the way of large profits from the trail herds coming up from Texas, his supporters wanted him to back off. But Tad was bound and determined to uphold the law.

Lucy, the girl who’d come in on the stage with him, had become a successful businesswoman, unknown to her chiefly because of him. She wanted him to stop being a lawman and he was bound and determined to finish the job he’d reluctantly started.

And then he got word that a killer had been hired to come up from Texas and kill him.

I love Frank Gruber’s writing, both westerns and mysteries.

For more forgotten books, check out Patti Abbott on Fridays.

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