Tackett & the Saloon Keeper

Lyn Nofziger, Author
Lyn Nofziger, Author Regnery Publishing $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89526-480-0
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Hardcover - 978-0-915463-82-4
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Following Tackett and the Teacher, this immensely likable yarn completes Nofziger's western trilogy. Here Del Tackett drifts into Shalak Springs, Colo., and promptly wins the local saloon in a poker game. Along with the real estate comes bookkeeper Annie Laurie Burns (song and poet rolled into one) and her mule Maxwelton. (In typical Nofziger wordplay, a character tells Del, ``She said something about Maxwelton's brays bein' bonnie.'') Soon Tackett's awash in bank robbers and overweening locals who take him for ``that two-bit gunslinger'' Sackett. (Another amusing conceit is Tackett's need to constantly explain that he is not Louis L'Amour's literary hero.) Also on hand is Eastern-educated Chief Two Horse, a painter who transplants the Hudson Valley school to the West and fancies himself the last of the Mohicans. Readers will quickly be drawn in by Del's two-fisted big heart and his way of getting all twisted up in his own ""dang"" ankles (as he notes, ``I said `dang' because Ma... didn't believe in swearing''). And if the characters bear occasional resemblances to certain celebrated folks-the villainous Algore, bumbling sheriff Wayne Johns, Twain Sawyer, Perow (surely not Ross) and the Smith twins, Lorrel and Hardy-well that's just more of the fun from this whimsical storyteller. (Nov.)