City of Widows

City of Widows

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by Loren D. Estleman
     
 

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Page Murdock has been sent to the tough New Mexico of 1881 to track down a man and bring him to justice. But more than a trail of revenge, Murdock finds himself on a desperate odyssey. For in the Southwest a friend can turn out to be one's cruelest enemy, an enemy one's finest friend. And the woman Murdock loves will be as voluptuous as Venus and wicked as sin.

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Overview

Page Murdock has been sent to the tough New Mexico of 1881 to track down a man and bring him to justice. But more than a trail of revenge, Murdock finds himself on a desperate odyssey. For in the Southwest a friend can turn out to be one's cruelest enemy, an enemy one's finest friend. And the woman Murdock loves will be as voluptuous as Venus and wicked as sin.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Page Murdock, the stalwart, peripatetic hero of Estleman's lean and lively western, is fed up with marshaling for a domineering federal judge in the Montana Territory. Aiming to settle down, he buys himself a half interest in a bar in San Sabado, New Mexico Territory. But things don't go smoothly for the erstwhile lawman. Almost immediately he runs afoul of Frank Baronet, the corrupt and scheming county sheriff who has more to hide than just nefarious business dealings and graft. To make matters worse, upon his arrival in San Sabado--called the City of Widows because, as a haven for banditos and revolutionaries near the Mexican border, its male population is regularly decimated--Murdock finds that his partner in the saloon has taken on yet another partner, diminishing Murdock's share to only a third. Then there's Baronet's brother, supposedly dead but still robbing banks with abandon. Estleman ( Bloody Season ) brews all these elements together into a potent mix, enlivened by some of the best dialogue in the business. He skillfully mingles reality-based characters (Gov. Lew Wallace of Ben Hur fame, and Pat Garrett) with such fictional creations as Poker Annie (a cardplaying expert modeled on the real-life Poker Alice). As readers have come to expect of this veteran writer, he also displays an eye for detail and gift of description that transcends the genre. (Apr.)
Library Journal
In an act of personal vengeance, Judge Harlan Blackthorne of Montana Territory sends deputy U.S. Marshal Page Murdock to San Sabado, New Mexico, to bring to justice murderers Ross and Frank Baronet. As a cover for his activities, Murdock, reprised from Estleman's The Stranglers (Doubleday, 1984), buys into a friend's saloon. His task is complicated by the fact that Ross is reputed to be dead in Mexico, and Frank is the sheriff of Socorro County, where Murdock's saloon is located. Estleman, famed as much for his crime novels (e.g., Motown, LJ 6/15/91) as he is for Westerns, has crafted an excellent tale with believable dialog and complex characters. His research is meticulous, and his writing wastes no words. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-- Robert Jordan, Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City
Wes Lukowsky
A lawman looking to settle down, Page Murdock buys a half-interest in the Apache Princess, a saloon in San Sabado, with partner Junior Harper. Looking for capital to buy the fixtures of a bankrupt bar up north, they enlist the financial support of County Sheriff Frank Baronet, who possesses a self-serving stance on the law and has previously locked horns with Murdock. But Murdock insists this deal is strictly business. Gradually, though, Murdock's real agenda is revealed. He's doing a personal favor for federal judge Harlan Blackthorne, whose life was once saved by a man named Uriah Spooner. Spooner's son and daughter-in-law were recently killed in the Lincoln County Wars by a band of renegades including Baronet and his brother Ross. Before Congress can pass a law granting amnesty for all acts committed in the wars, Blackthorne wants to avenge his savior's offspring. Of the federal marshals who worked for Blackthorne, Murdock is the least likely to bring 'em back alive. Master storyteller Estleman--who mines both western and mystery genres and is the author of the popular Amos Walker private-eye series--weaves a complex plot and populates it with three-dimensional characters whose actions are always slightly unexpected. This is a real treat for western fans who need a break from the same old same old.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466851832
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
08/13/2013
Series:
Page Murdock Series
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
567,856
File size:
0 MB

Meet the Author

Loren D. Estleman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BA degree in English Literature and Journalism in 1974. In 2002, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters for his contribution to American literature.

He is the author of more than fifty novels in the categories of mystery, historical western, and mainstream, and has received four Western Writers of American Golden Spur Awards, three Western Heritage Awards, and three Shamus Awards. He has been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Britain's Silver Dagger, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2003, the mammoth Encyclopedia of Detective Fiction named him the most critically acclaimed writer of U.S. detective


Loren D. Estleman is the author of more than fifty novels. Winner of three Shamus Awards, three Western Heritage Awards, four Spur Awards and many other literary prizes. He lives outside Detroit with his wife, author Deborah Morgan.

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