Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

Archive for the ‘Western’ Category

BANDOLERO by John Benteen

August 11, 2016

Bandolero starts out differently than a lot of Fargo books. (They’re tagged as Westerns, but since they take place in the early 1900s, I don’t see them as Westerns. Although the West was still getting settled during that time.) Neal Fargo is not only engaged in action, but he’s losing, something you don’t see much […]


July 31, 2016

Peter Brandvold has a new Western series out, which is nothing new for him because he is a prolific writer and loves telling stories. This time his hero is Bear Haskell, a US marshal operating out of Denver. His beat ranges from Minnesota to Texas. With over a hundred Westerns under his belt, Brandvold knows […]


May 28, 2014

I’m a sucker for coming-of-age in the Old West novels. I’ve read a few of them over the years. Many of the books in Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series and other novels he penned fill that vein. Then there’s True Grit and Joe Lansdale’s latest offering, The Thicket, to add to the pile. Robert Lautner joins […]

RIDE THE RED TRAIL by Lewis B. Patten

May 12, 2014

When I was a kid growing up in southern Oklahoma, I devoured a lot of Westerns along with my science fiction books and pulp reprints. To me at that time, they were all adventures, and some of the science fiction wasn’t too far removed from the Westerns. I read everything Louis L’Amour had out at […]


July 13, 2013

Bodie Kendrick is a good ol’ boy in a bad job, and Wayne D. Dundee knows the character inside and out. In this third adventure of the bounty hunter, Bodie slides into the narrative with the comfortable fit of a well-worn boot. Dundee knows the Western crowd and what they love, so he kickstarts Diamond […]

ALL-STAR WESTERN: GUNS AND GOTHAM by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Moritat

July 8, 2013

Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have struck gold in the All-Star Western comic in DC’s New 52. When I first heard the idea – Jonah Hex in Gotham City, I didn’t think it would fly. I didn’t see how Hex’s point of view would fit in the metro area. Gray and Palmiotti neatly side-stepped that […]

SACKETT’S LAND by Louis L’Amour

June 12, 2013

I remember being somewhat disappointed in reading Sackett’s Land back when I was younger. As I recalled, the action was a little slow and lean, and there was a lot of favorable circumstance for Barnabas Sackett instead of trouble. Oh, there was trouble, but he just seemed to get through it too easily. Upon re-reading […]

BRIONNE by Louis L’Amour

June 11, 2013

I needed an evening of relaxed reading, settling in with an old friend whose story I’d already heard, so I picked up Louis L’Amour’s Brionne. L’Amour was a staple when I was growing up, and I still return to him again and again as I go along. Fair Blows the Wind remains my favorite novel […]

SONGBIRD by Colby Jackson (Bill Crider)

February 25, 2013

As part of the writing team for Rancho Diablo, I’ve made it a point to not post reviews of the books my fellow writers have written. Thought I would just stay conveniently out of the way and let readers find the books on their own – which they’ve been doing quite nicely, thank you. However, […]

THE SILVER ALIBI by James Reasoner

December 26, 2012

Years ago, James Reasoner created the character Judge Earl Stark, a U. S. Circuit Judge roaming the Old West who dispensed justice with a courtroom gavel and a rather large LeMat pistol, which fired a shotgun blast as well as nine bullets. Reasoner wrote three well-received books about the judge, the Stark appeared to vanish […]