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New Old West

Readers' Cafe

The Ballad of Black Bart
Bill Doolin
Butch Cassidy the Lost Years
Doc
El Paso
Epitaph
Etta
Friends Call Me Bat
Hard Country
Hard Ride
The Kid
Panhandle
Raiders of Blue Dome
Rakeheart
Savage Country
The Son
Sundance
The Thicket
Wanted Sam Bass
Whiskey When We're Dry
The Ballad of Black Bart / LOREN D ESTLEMAN

Between July 1875 and November 1883, a single outlaw robbed the stagecoaches of Wells Fargo in California's Mother Lode country a record of twenty-eight times. Armed with an unloaded shotgun, walking to and from the scenes of the robberies, often for hundreds of miles, and leaving poems behind, the infamous Black Bart was fiercely hunted.

Between robberies, Black Bart was known as Charles E. Bolton, a distinguished, middle-aged man who enjoyed San Francisco's entertainments in the company of socialites drawn to his quiet, temperate good nature and upper-class tastes.

Meanwhile, James B. Hume, Wells Fargo's legendary chief of detectives, made Bart's apprehension a matter of personal as well as professional interest.

The Ballad of Black Bart is a duel of wits involving two adversaries of surpassing cleverness, set against the vivid backdrop of the Old West.

Bill Doolin / Bill Brooks

Leader of the last of the great outlaw bands -the Olklahombres, Bill Doolin outfoxed the law while trying to walk the line between being a good man and bad. He was a family man and a bank and train and stagecoach robber. By the end of his reign, almost every one of his gang had been gunned down, and now the law was out to finish him as well. But it would not be easy, not even for the likes of the famed U.S. Marshals led by Heck Thomas. A fictional account based on factual evidence about the last of the badmen.

Butch Cassidy the Lost Years / William W. Johnstone

On November 3, 1908, in the town of San Vicente, suspected of stealing a mining company payroll, Butch Cassidy was killed in a bloody shootout by the Bolivian Army.

Or was he?

In a small Texas town in 1950, a man from the Pinkerton Detective Agency interrupts an old-timer's daily game of dominos to learn the truth about Butch Cassidy--who is still alive and well and sitting right in front of him ...

So begins the novel of the West's most legendary outlaw--as told by America's master storytellers, William W. Johnstone and J.A.Johnstone. Butch Cassidy The Lost Years reveals the stunning secret behind that infamous shootout in Bolivia that claimed the lives of the Sundance Kid and, allegedly, Butch himself. For years, there were rumors that Cassidy survived. Now, almost half a century later, an old man playing dominos tells the real story of his life and times, legend be damned.
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Doc / Mary Doria Russell

Born to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Maria Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian whore. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins? before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology?when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.?

El Paso / Winston Groom

Content to observe the war from aboard his dazzling yacht, the Ajax, the Colonel is suddenly pulled into this drama when his famous Valle del Sol ranch is raided for nearly "two million and a half dollars in beef on the hoof." Oblivious to the realities of war and hoping to salvage his losses, the Colonel whisks his family down to Mexico where they make a disturbing discovery: it was Villa who not only stole the cattle but also murdered their beloved ranch manager. Even worse, Villa's henchmen abduct the Colonel's grandchildren in another daring raid only days later.

Frantic, the aging patriarch and his adopted son race to El Paso, hoping to gather a group of cowboys brave enough to hunt down the generalissimo on his own turf. As the desperate Yankees quickly learn once they return to Chihuahua, their deep pockets and political clout mean next to nothing in a crumbling nation rife with communist sympathizers. After weeks of searching and with no trace of Villa, the Colonel fears all is lost -- that is, until a twist of fate unites his party with that of Johnny Ollas, an aspiring matador whose wife has also been kidnapped by the marauding revolutionaries. Bloodied and battered, the two factions unite, galloping off on an extraordinary manhunt through some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth: the vast and snake-ridden Sierra Madre.

Epitaph / Mary Doria Russell

Mary Doria Russell, the bestselling, award-winning author of The Sparrow, returns with Epitaph. An American Iliad, this richly detailed and meticulously researched historical novel continues the story she began in Doc, following Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday to Tombstone, Arizona, and to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.A deeply divided nation. Vicious politics. A shamelessly partisan media. A president loathed by half the populace. Smuggling and gang warfare along the Mexican border. Armed citizens willing to stand their ground and take law into their own hands. . . . That was America in 1881.All those forces came to bear on the afternoon of October 26 when Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona.

Etta / Gerald Kolpan

Beautiful, elusive, and refined, Etta Place captivated the nation at the turn of the last century as she dodged the law with the Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her true identity and fate have remained a mystery that has tantalized historians for decades. Now, for the first time, Gerald Kolpan envisions this remarkable woman's life in a stunning debut novel.

Kolpan imagines that Etta Place was born Lorinda Jameson, the daughter of a prominent financier, who becomes known as the loveliest of the city's debutantes when she makes her entrance into Philadelphia society. Though her position in life is already assured, her true calling is on horseback. She can ride as well as any man and handle a rifle even better. But when a tragedy leads to a dramatic reversal of fortune, Lorinda is left orphaned, penniless, homeless, and pursued by the ruthless Black Hand mafia.

Rechristened "Etta Place" to ensure her safety, the young woman travels to the farthest reaches of civilization, working as a "Harvey Girl" waitress in Grand Junction, Colorado. There, fate intervenes once more and she again finds herself on the run from the ruthless Pinkerton Detective Agency. But this time she has company. She soon finds herself at the legendary hideout at Hole-in-the-Wall, Wyoming, where she meets the charismatic Butch Cassidy and the handsome, troubled Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid. Through a series of holdups and heists, Etta and Harry begin an epic and ultimately tragic romance, which will be the greatest of Etta's life. Then, when Etta meets the young and idealistic Eleanor Roosevelt, her life is changed forever.
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Friends Call Me Bat / Paul Colt

William Barclay "Bat" Masterson lived an extraordinary life it would be impossible to imagine. If it weren't true, no one would believe it. Bat Masterson lived the West when the West was wild. His significance in Western history remains largely unknown to most of us. His story encounters some of the West's most deadly gunfighters and dangerous desperados. He counted among his?friends?a veritable "Who's Who" in old West history. He walked away from his Western adventures to live out the last twenty years of his life as a sportswriter for a New York daily newspaper.

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Hard Country / Michael McGarrity

A richly authentic epic adventure of rough-hewn men and courageous women, set in the hard country of the American Southwest frontier. Hard Country is a rare and extraordinary story of one family's struggle to settle and endure in the vast, untamed territory of New Mexico. In the wake of the death of his wife as she gives birth to his son, and the killing of his brother on the West Texas plains, John Kerney is forced to give up his ranch, leave his son behind, and strike out in search of the murderous outlaws and a place where he can start over. He drifts south until he meets a man who offers him work trailing cattle to the New Mexico Territory and forever changes his life. Spanning the years of 1875 to 1918, Hard Country is the Western reinvented and enlarged into a saga that above all celebrates the people and the land of the great Southwest.

Hard Ride / Elmer Kelton

Bandits, outlaws, romance, and adventure abound in Hard Ride, the second-ever collection of tales of the American West from renowned, seven-time Spur Award-winning author Elmer Kelton.Each of Elmer Kelton's superb stories of the West showcase the strength and power of western spirit. They are filled with marvelous characters -- from a rodeo clown who seeks redemption via romance, to an outlaw who comes to the aid of ranchers with no other recourse to justice. Powerful Western women feature as importantly as the menfolk here, including a cattle buyer's daughter who can hold her own with any man on the trail, a renowned lady outlaw who rules her gang with her gun, and judge's daughter who is determined to end local mob rule, as "the day of the gun is almost over.

The Kid / Ron Hansen

A new novel from Ron Hansen, the award-winning author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, about an iconic American criminal of the old West: legendary outlaw, Billy the Kid.

Born Henry McCarty, Billy the Kid was a diminutive, charming, blond-haired young man who, growing up in New York, Kansas, and later New Mexico, demonstrated a precocious dexterity at firing six-shooters with either hand - a skill that both got him into and out of trouble and that turned him into an American legend of the old West. He was smart, well-spoken, attractive to both white and Mexican women, a good dancer, and a man with a nose for money, horses, and trouble. His spree of crimes and murders has been immortalized in dime westerns, novels, and movies. But the whole story of his short, epically violent life has never been told as it has been here.

In The Kid, Ron Hansen showcases his masterful research and inimitable style as he breathes life into history, bringing readers back into the late 1800s and into Billy's boyhood as a ranch hand just trying to wrest a fortune from an unforgiving landscape. We are with Billy in every gunfight and horse theft and get to know him in full before his grand death in a hail of bullets in 1881 at the age of twenty-one. Original, powerful, and swiftly told, The Kid is an unforgettable read about a uniquely American anti-hero.

Panhandle / Brett Cogburn

Winner of the 2013 Spur Award for Best First Novel From the great grandson of the real Rooster Cogburn, iconic hero of the Old West, comes a novel that adds an exciting new chapter to the legend of the Texas frontier. Into the Texas Panhandle of the late 1880s, America?s last great open range, ride two young cowboys: Nate Reynolds, the scion of a well-to-do family, in search of adventure and gold; and Billy Champion, a ne?er-do-well with a stubborn streak and an eye for the ladies. Together they aim to rid this violent territory of rustlers, horse thieves, and the rest of the devils. But when the friends fall for the same green-eyed beauty, their brotherhood will be put to the test.

Raiders of Blue Dome / Robert J. Horton

No one had ever heard his first name. He was just Lennister. There were many rumors concerning his past, but nothing was known for certain except that he was credited with breaking up rustling bands in Wyoming and had done good work as a special agent for various cattlemen's associations in the Musselshell country. Now Will Cameron, head of the Teton Stockmen's Association, announces that it is his intention, to be put to a vote, to ask Lennister to come to the Blue Dome country to put a stop to the rustling activities of Bolt Blogett and his gang. When a man is brought to the Cameron?ranch headquarters who is presumed to be Lennister, he proves a surly, vicious, cold-blooded killer, so vicious in fact that Cameron has second thoughts about the prudence of sending for this man.

Rakeheart / Rusty Davis

Rakeheart, Wyoming, is a town with troubles. Murders. Violence. Deceit. Into its crosscurrents comes Kane, a troubleshooter sent west to learn why ex-army officer Jared Wilkins was killed. Kane encounters hostility at every turn. The rancher's widow emerges as his prime suspect even as the townspeople who ask him to become sheriff make it clear they are playing a deceitful game. As Kane tries to impose law and order on a town that has its own purposes at heart, he struggles to plumb the depths of Rachel Wilkins, who holds tightly to her own secrets. When the violence erupts, he is left with no allies except Rachel as they wage one fiery battle for the future, and the soul, of Rakeheart.

Savage Country / ROBERT OLMSTEAD

"The year was 1873 and all about was the evidence of boom and bust, shattered dreams, foolish ambition, depredation, shame, greed, and cruelty . . ."

Onto this broken Western stage rides Michael Coughlin, a Civil War veteran with an enigmatic past, come to town to settle his dead brother's debt. Together with his widowed sister-in-law, Elizabeth, bankrupted by her husband's folly and death, they embark on a massive, and hugely dangerous, buffalo hunt. Elizabeth hopes to salvage something of her former life and the lives of the hired men and their families who now depend on her; the buffalo hunt that her husband had planned, she now realizes, was his last hope for saving the land.

Elizabeth and Michael plunge south across the aptly named "dead line" demarcating Indian Territory from their home state of Kansas. Nothing could have prepared them for the dangers: rattlesnakes, rabies, wildfire, lightning strikes, blue northers, flash floods - and human treachery. With the Comanche in winter quarters, Elizabeth and Michael are on borrowed time, and the cruel work of harvesting the buffalo is unraveling their souls.

Bracing, direct, and quintessentially American, Olmstead's gripping narrative follows that infamous hunt, which drove the buffalo to near extinction. Savage Country is the story of a moment in our history in which mass destruction of an animal population was seen as a road to economic salvation. But it's also the intimate story of how that hunt changed Michael and Elizabeth forever.

The Son / Philipp Meyer

Philipp Meyer, the acclaimed author of American Rust, returns with?an epic of the American West and a multigenerational saga of power, blood, land, and oil that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family, from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the to the oil booms of the 20th century.Harrowing, panoramic, and deeply evocative, The Son is a fully realized masterwork in the greatest tradition of the American canon - an unforgettable novel that combines the narrative prowess of Larry McMurtry with the knife-edge sharpness of Cormac McCarthy.

Sundance / David Fuller

A gripping historical novel of love and vengeance starring Harry Longbaugh, better known as the Sundance Kid. Legend has it that bank robber Harry Longbaugh and his partner Robert Parker were killed in a shootout in Bolivia. That was the supposed end of the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.

Sundance tells a different story.? At the beginning of the twentieth century, Longbaugh is very much alive, though serving in a Wyoming prison under an alias.When he is released in 1913, Longbaugh reenters a changed world. Horses are being replaced by automobiles. Gas lamps are giving way to electric lights. Workers fight for safety, and women for the vote. What hasnt changed are Longbaughs ingenuity, his deadly aim, and his love for his wife, Etta Place. Its been two years since Etta stopped visiting him, and, determined to find her, Longbaugh follows her trail to New York City.

The Thicket / Joe R. Lansdale

Jack Parker knows all too well how treacherous turn-of-the-century East Texas can be. His parents did not survive a smallpox epidemic. His grandfather was murdered. Now his sister Lula has been kidnapped by a criminal who may believe wearing a dead man's clothes protects him from death. With bounty hunter Shorty, a charismatic and cunning dwarf, and Eustace, a gravedigging son of an ex-slave, the heartbroken young Jack sets off on an epic quest to rescue his sister from the corrupt men who control much of the new territory. In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground, but blood and redemption rule supreme.

Wanted Sam Bass / Paul Colt

The Pinkerton Detective Agency had a competitor. Who knew? Wanted: Sam Bass introduces the Great Western Detective League and a colorful cast of law enforcement professionals operating across the west in the late eighteen hundreds. Sam Bass launches his outlaw career in 1877 with high stakes stage and train robberies. Wells Fargo and Union Pacific want Bass and his gang. Crafty bounty hunter Briscoe Cane takes the case for the league. Pinkerton assigns agent Beau Longstreet. While Cane dogs the gang's trail? Longstreet entertains ladies with information on Bass. With a hefty stack of reward money at stake? Cane and Longstreet match wits to bring down Bass in a winner-take-all race to a bloody showdown in a dusty Texas town.

Whiskey When We're Dry / John Larison

From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty and lyrical American epic about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy and heads west

In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah--dead or alive.

Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.

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