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review 2017-10-12 18:45
The Trials of Solomon Parker by Eric Scott Fischl
The Trials of Solomon Parker - Eric Scott Fischl

 

The Trials of Solomon Parker is a difficult novel to define, other than awesome!  Set in Butte, Montana in the early 1900's, it features Native Americans, deep ugly coal mines, mob bosses, boxing, lots and lots of drinking and, oh yeah, second chances.

 

Solomon Parker is a hard working man who has fallen on some hard times. His wife seems to be suffering from postpartum depression, his infant son is colicky and never stops crying, and Sol just wants to gamble and drink it all away. Add to that a fire in the coal mine and an ugly scene between mine owners and union organizers, and things only get worse. Then, Sol meets Marked Face and has the opportunity to gamble for a second chance. Will he do it, and more importantly, will he win? You'll have to read this to find out.

 

I requested this book from NetGalley, solely based on the description and the cover. I ended up seriously impressed-most especially with the quality of writing. There were scenes during that mine fire where I felt like I had trouble breathing-they were so smoky, claustrophobic and scary. I felt like I was there.

 

Interspersed with the main narrative was a bit of Native American back story. This wasn't tribe specific, but it did involve a number of traditional stories that rang true to me, (and really weren't all that different than stories from other religions and belief systems.) The skill with which this was all woven together was admirable, easy to follow, and hard to break away from.

 

Thinking about this story overnight, I raised my rating a little. This book captured and kept my imagination. It brought Butte, Montana to life, and showed real prowess depicting what the day to day was like for people back then. And that's before all the really cool stuff is taken into account!

 

So however one wants to label this book, be it historical fiction, a western, a native American fable, or a story about second chances and fate, you can be sure to label it DAMN ENTERTAINING and unique. I highly recommend it!

 

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the free e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-10-06 01:34
Awesome Read!!
Nothing But Trouble - a Western Romance - Lisa Mondello

Nothing But Trouble by Lisa Mondello is a great read.  This is a fairly short read, a great choice for those with limited time for reading.  Ms Mondello has delivered a well-written book.  The characters are fantastic and lovable.  Melanie is a sassy, feisty, diabetic zoologist.  Stoney is a sometimes rodeo bull rider and works the family ranch.  Trouble follows when Melanie hires Stoney to guide her into a month-long stay in the mountains.  There is plenty of action, drama, sizzle and suspense to keep any reader happy.  I totally enjoyed reading Nothing But Trouble and look forward to reading more from Ms Mondello soon.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read a free copy of this book that I received from Instafreebie.

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text 2017-09-29 01:57
Halloween Bingo - Darkest London
The Adventure of the ‘Western Star': A Short Story - Agatha Christie

My book for the Darkest London square is The Adventure of the 'Western Star' by Agatha Christie. It's a short Hercule Poirot mystery that takes place entirely in London.

 

 

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review 2017-09-20 03:16
Boy howdy. Longmire looks to the past and shakes up his present.
The Western Star (A Longmire Mystery) - Craig Johnson

In the last novel, An Obvious Fact, Johnson plays with lines and themes from Sherlock Holmes while letting us get to know that very important woman in Henry Standing Bear's life while Walt solves a murder. In this book, Johnson plays with Murder on the Orient Express while letting us get to know that very important woman in Walt's life while Walt solves a murder. It struck me while reading that as large a shadow that Martha Longmire cast over the books (particularly the first few), we really don't know much about her. We don't learn that much about her, really, but we see her interact with Walt and Henry -- and you walk away with a much better sense of her as a person, not her as the giant hole in Walt's life.

 

How do we get this sense? Half of the novel takes place shortly after Walt returns to the States after his time in the Marines, and he's been employed by Lucian as a deputy for a couple of weeks. Lucian is attending the annual meeting of the Wyoming Sheriff's Association, and he brings Walt along. This meeting takes place on The Western Star, a passenger train. Shortly after boarding, Walt meets one Sheriff who is convinced that one (or more) of his fellows is murdering people across the state (sort of a Dexter-vibe to the motive), and he needs someone with fresh eyes and a lack of knowledge of the Sheriffs to help with his investigation. This would be Walt, naturally.

 

Meanwhile, in alternating passages/chapters set in the present, Walt is in Cheyenne for a highly politicized parole hearing (that becomes something a little different) to keep this particular killer behind bars. Johnson's very good about not tipping his hand about the killer's identity until Walt uncovers it. While doing so, he stays with Cady and his granddaughter, and annoys some pretty powerful people in the state.

 

I found the Walt on a Train story entertaining more than intriguing, but the final reveal was well done and made me appreciate it all the more. But while I wasn't that into the mystery, I really enjoyed watching Deputy Walt and Sheriff Lucian do their thing. It was sad watching Walt's idealism surrounding the societal/cultural changes that the 60's promised come into contact with the cold reality that humans take awhile to change. I was really intrigued by the present day story, on the other hand, and wished they could get into more of the details about the case, but it'd have been hard to do while keeping the identity of the killer under wraps.

 

The events that are revealed after the reveal (in both timelines) will leave fans unsure what to do with themselves until Walt Longmire #14 comes out. I have some thoughts about what that book will end up being, but I'll hold on to them for now. But it's going to be something we haven't seen before.

 

But this book? Very entertaining, illuminating and the whole time, it slowly but surely reels you in and sets you up for the biggest emotional moments that Johnson has penned to date. Johnson earned the 5th star for me in the last 13 pages.


2017 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/09/19/the-western-star-by-craig-johnson
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review 2017-09-12 20:28
Mail Order Bride: Cate's Change of Heart, Faith-Ann Smith
Mail Order Bride: Cate's Change Of Heart... Mail Order Bride: Cate's Change Of Heart (Nurses Of The Civil War Book 4) - Faith-Ann Smith

I really enjoyed this clean, Historical romance. I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 5* rating. This heroine was a civil War Nurse. She is gutsy, stubborn, and kind hearted. The hero is basically a good guy, caught in a bad situation. This has a few twists and turns and a real nice ending. There are also some bonus stories with this story, so you get a little more for your money. So I'm on to the next story.

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