Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

Archive for the ‘Western’ Category

RIO MATANZA by Wayne D. Dundee

July 31, 2012

Wayne D. Dundee started out writing private eye fiction, and he still does that, but lately he’s added another layer of narrative to his acumen: the Western. Rio Matanza is his second novel in the Bodie Kendrick Bounty Hunter series, and he offers up action by the bucketful in this tale. The full-length novel opens […]

BULLET FOR A VIRGIN! by Peter Brandvold

July 16, 2012

Peter Brandvold, also known as Frank Leslie, writes a lot of Westerns, and now he’s dipped his pen into the self-publishing biz with a vengeance. Bullet for a Virgin is his first Rio Concho Kid story, and the author has promised it won’t be his last. In fact, on the last page of this novella, […]

THE LONG BLACK TRAIN by Heath Lowrance

July 13, 2012

“The Long Black Train” is the second short story featuring Heath Lowrance’s gritty gunslinger who squares off with the supernatural. This story has a little more set up than the last tale, and a few pages pass by before Hawthorne appears on the scene. But once Hawthorne is there, things get weird in a hurry. […]


July 12, 2012

“That Damned Coyote Hill” is the first of Heath Lowrance’s Hawthorne short stories featuring a bounty hunter (I think, though that’s more hinted at than definite). In this first story, he’s out looking for personal vengeance, though. To me, Hawthorne seems more like Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane character, a wandering soldier of fortune who’s […]

REDEMPTION, KANSAS by James Reasoner

June 17, 2012

Redemption, Kansas is one of the more human Westerns I’ve read of later. Author James Reasoner invests time and emotion in his characters in this book that pays off for the reader. This is one of those books that could be effortlessly translated into a movie. The main character, Bill Harvey, is a young Texas […]


June 3, 2012

When I was a kid, I read a lot of Westerns. Cheap paperback adventures I’d picked up from swap shops and favorite secondhand book stores. Those books came with yellowed, dog-eared pages and what seemed like the smell of gunsmoke oozing from them, which was probably just dust and mold. But each one of them […]

THE LONER by J. A. Johnson

May 28, 2012

J. A. Johnstone’s series The Loner has been around for a while, and has even been on my radar enough that I picked up a couple of books and never got around to reading them. Westerns are one of those genres of choice when I want to simply vege and forget about the world. And […]

DUST OF THE DAMNED by Peter Brandvold

January 16, 2012

I’ve read some of Peter Brandvold’s Westerns under his name as well as the Frank Leslie name, and I’ve enjoyed them as solid actioners that are quite a bit harder edged than anything Louis L’Amour ever wrote. And his latest release, Dust of the Damned, is way weirder than anything L’Amour wrote even back in […]


January 11, 2012

Manhunter’s Mountain is a short novel about Cash Laramie, a Western character created by Edward Grainger. Grainger has been graciously allowing other writers to play with his toys of late, including Heath Lowrance’s take on Gideon Miles, the other U. S. Marshal in the Laramie world. The writer for this particular tale, Wayne D. Dundee, […]


December 23, 2011

Miles to Little Ridge stars Gideon Miles, a Western hero created by Edward Grainger (David Cranmer) in his Cash Laramie stories. Miles is different for the time, being an African American marshal on the prod in the old West. Grainger is evidently intent on spreading his franchise creations because this novella is written by Heath […]