I write historical Westerns about the Vigilantes of Montana, who were forced to make dangerous decisions where ruffians ruled and murder was tolerated. When people fled the Civil War west to the gold-rich mountains of what is now southwest Montana, they discovered more than gold. They found... show more
I write historical Westerns about the Vigilantes of Montana, who were forced to make dangerous decisions where ruffians ruled and murder was tolerated. When people fled the Civil War west to the gold-rich mountains of what is now southwest Montana, they discovered more than gold. They found greedy men who thought nothing of getting their share - and then some - at gunpoint. At last, after the body of a decent young man named Nicholas was discovered, honest people had enough. In bringing the murderers to justice, they discovered there was no law.While researching this period in Montana history, I learned that at least two of the Vigilantes were lawyers. The simple question, why would lawyers become Vigilantes, led to four novels called The Vigilante Quartet.God's Thunderbolt: The Vigilantes of Montana won the 2009 Spur Award for Best First Novel from the Western Writers of America. Attorney Daniel Stark, looking to earn enough gold to redeem a debt left by his father's gambling and suicide, is a friend of Nick's. He joins the Vigilantes to get justice for Nick, only to discover that behind Nick's killing is a widespread conspiracy of armed robbery and murder. The Devil in the Bottle portrays the awful choice attorney Daniel Stark and the other Vigilantes must make when Joseph "Jack" challenges their hold on civic peace.Gold Under Ice was a finalist in the 2011 Spur awards for Best Long Novel. Daniel Stark, attorney and Vigilante, takes his gold home to New York City to pay the debt the family owes from his father's gambling and suicide. He becomes the target of a conspiracy to steal his gold that is rooted too close to home. The Ghost at Beaverhead Rock (Autumn 2014). The ghost of a hanged man haunts attorney and former Vigilante prosecutor Daniel Stark when he is accused of murdering his wife's first husband. To save his own life, he must find the murderer before other Vigilantes decide enough evidence exists to hang him. Novelist Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series of modern western mysteries, says, "It's rare that you get a writer like Carol Buchanan; an historian with a novelist's ear capable of rending the individual voices of character into the orchestral narrative of a sweeping story." (The series was the inspiration for the hit A&E series, Longmire.)Hon. Mark C. Dillon, Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, currently serving in its Appellate Division in the Second Judicial Department, writes: "I read God's Thunderbolt. Loved it, especially the portion involving Sanders' cross-examination of George Ives' alibi witness over the details of their card game. It is cited in my book in a footnote as an example of gripping fiction pertaining to the Montana events of the 1860s. I had also found history postings that you have on the internet and therefore know that while your published books are fictional, you have very credible historical underpinnings to your works." Justice Dillon is the author of The Montana Vigilantes, 1863 - 1870: Gold, Guns, and Gallows, the first legal history of Montana (November 15, 2013).Carol lives in Northwestern Montana with her husband, Richard.