Sunday, August 19, 2012

Going Western Crazy

When I was younger I devoured books of far away places - Greece, Rome, Egypt. Historical novels were my cup of tea. Then one day I discovered Agatha Christi and I was off on a mystery binge that lasted decades. But if you could put a mystery in a historical novel I was a fan immediately. Writers like Mary Renault, Anne Perry, Dorothy Sayers never wrote enough in my humble opinion. I loved their research into the period they placed their mysteries. And the further away from home the better.

Now I seem to be coming home. It began with Tony Hillerman and his mysteries placed on the Navajo Reservation. A friend turned me on to James D. Doss who writes about the Southern Utes. I started seeking out obscure and not so obscure mystery writers of the Southwest: J.A.Jance, Michael McGarrity, Cliff Black. Nothing set in Phoenix please. Has to be a small town and have a cast of western characters. You really have to live here to appreciate that.

PBS turned me on to the new Longmire series set in Wyoming but filmed in New Mexico. I have now read two of the books by Craig Johnson the series is based on and bought a third. I am trying to pace myself because there are only eight thus far. And last night I discovered via Netflix streaming video the AMC series Hell on Wheels. So far just 11 episodes but I have gone through four of those. It has been renewed for season two. That is the good news. The bad news is it isn't based on a book or series of books. I already looked.

So do any of my frequent readers know of mystery writers that are placing their books in present day American Inter-mountain west? Or in the westward expansion period of 1865 to 1910. I can read faster than they write. And definitely faster than movie companies can film.


  1. Thanks for those names. I love Tony Hillerman. Highlight of our traveling life: driving the ancient motor home through Monument Valley and the Navaho lands, and stopping for breakfast in Kayenta. At another table were two members of the tribal police.

  2. Unfortunately, no I don't but I've learned a thing or two here today.

    I have seen Longmire advertised but haven't watched it.


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