A friendly poker game at the Red Elk Saloon ends with gubernatorial candidate Oren Perley dead at the table. The other three players claim a disguised stranger shot Perley from the doorway and fled. The only clue is a fifth ace found near the dead man's feet. Fierce gunmen swarm into Leland intent on avenging Perley's death. Drew Woodson's mining partner, Tommy Garth, is wrongfully blamed, but the remaining poker players, afraid to tell the truth, are sticking to their fabricated story. Woodson must save Tommy and find the real killer before the witnesses are eliminated one by one or an innocent man is hanged. The vigilantes soon find that Woodson, too, has his reasons for wanting Perley dead. Now that he's saved Tommy, will he be able to save himself from the hangman's noose?
Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton are a sister co-authoring team. The sisters are drawn to the West, which has provided a background for much of their work. Loretta, who taught school at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, now resides in Junction City, Kansas. Vickie, whose interests include western history and criminal justice, lives in Hutchinson, Kansas. The Fifth Ace is Loretta and Vickie's fifth book for Avalon, and the second in the Luck of the Draw series.