KELLY AND THE THREE-TOED HORSE: A Novel Featuring Yellowstone Kelly, Gentleman and Scout
Yellowstone Kelly, gunfighter, scout, tracker, ladies' man and legend in his own lifetime, makes his fourth appearance in this rollicking western set in the 1870s that is not so much a mystery as a bawdy comic yarn enlivened by Kelly's own unique take on the period and the place—a take often gruffly sympathetic to the Native American point of view. After the discovery of a rare fossil skeleton (the horse of the title), an ambitious professor hires Kelly to lead a party through Wyoming Indian territory in search of further specimens. Along for the trip is a tough, pretty blonde, Alys, who records the finds—and finds Kelly pretty hard to resist. Dogging their trail is Blue Fox, a Dartmouth-educated psychopathic Cheyenne who keeps coming up with increasingly bloodthirsty ways to kill off the collection of immoral scoundrels surrounding Kelly. Kelly keeps on thinking Blue Fox is finally dead. Blue Fox keeps on returning for more. And so it goes. The author clearly has fun with these books (Imperial Kelly, etc.), and while period authenticity is not his highest priority, real-life characters like Wild Bill Hickock do show up from time to time. The Old West is a wonderfully wild place in Bowen's hands. (Apr. 6)
FYI:Bowen is also the author of Cruzatte and Maria (Forecasts, Feb. 12) and other Gabriel Du Pré mysteries.