For some time now I have been writing a monthly book review column for the Senior News newspaper. The Senior News is aimed to the 50 and over crowd with news relevant to seniors regarding various issues, humor pieces, and my review column among other things. The newspaper is a giveaway at doctor offices, stores, etc. and can be received by mail via a paid subscription. There are multiple editions across the state of Texas and therefore there is some fluctuation in content in each edition.
My column every month focuses on books of interest to the Texas audience. Therefore the books selected for the column, fiction or non-fiction, are written by Texas residents, feature Texans in some way, or would have some other connection to the Texas based readership. At least two books are covered each month in the short space I am given.
Below is/was my November 2013 column with the addition here of the relevant book covers…
The Coyote Tracker: A Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger Novel
Larry D. Sweazy
Thorndike Press (Gale, Cengage Learning)
Large Print (also available in paperback and e-book)
May 1875 finds Texas Ranger Josiah Wolfe back in Austin, Texas and very much in career limbo. Wolfe has been told to stay in Austin and await the arrival of Captain Leander McNelly who will decide one more time if Ranger Wolfe is worth it. Both Wolfe and the Rangers have a negative connotation these days and forces are moving to do away with both. Both also seem to get themselves in the middle of things through no fault of their own.
Wolfe’s friend and fellow Ranger Scrap Elliot is soon thrown in jail accused of murder. Not just the murder of one person, but the murder of several and a clamor is building to quickly hang the man. What role Scrap’s worsening situation plays in the recent string of events involving a jail break, a mysterious cypher, a strangely familiar horse, and other recent events is something Wolfe has to figure out in time to save the life of his friend.
Award winning author Larry D. Sweazy has crafted yet another outstanding tale in this long running series. More mystery in a western setting than a western in a western setting, it may not appeal as much to those who want the typical formulaic western fare. There is good reason why the novel received the “Spur Award for Best Mass Market Paperback” is very good.
Safe From Harm: A Sugar Land Mystery
Stephanie Jaye Evans
Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Group USA)
Paperback (also available as an e-book)
After a dinner with friends, Pastor Walker “Bear” Wells and his wife, Annie Laurie, come home to find their 15 year old daughter, Jo, home in her bedroom with the family’s large dog, Baby Bear, at her side. She is with, Phoebe Pickersley, a troubled child who was once Phoebe’s friend and is now dead. The fact she is dead in their house to be found by Jo automatically makes Jo a suspect. A suspect who, like most teenagers, isn’t going to willingly tell all and has her own mind as to how to clear her name.
Once again Texas author Stephanie Jaye Evans has created a very good book in this sequel to Faithful Unto Death Those who read this series in order will appreciate the character growth, complexity of situations, rich storytelling, and very good reading.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2013