Mike Blakely, Author . Forge $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-86704-1

At the end of his western novel Too Long at the Dance, Blakely introduced an intriguing character called Plenty Man. In this, his 10th novel (after Comanche Dawn), Blakely launches the first in a planned series featuring the adventures of Honore Greenwood, dubbed Plenty Man by the Comanche Indians. Like a spirited western Forrest Gump with a high IQ, Greenwood is an enigmatic fellow who rollicks through the 1840s in company with buckskinned historical legends like Kit Carson, Ceran St. Vrain and the Bent brothers, Charles and William. Greenwood is a young Frenchman, a fugitive from Paris where he is wanted for murdering his fencing instructor in a matter of honor. An unabashed intellectual genius who plays the violin, recites poetry and performs magic tricks, he sleeps only with the full moon and is short and remarkably ugly. He is also fearless, passionate and loyal, which makes him a valued companion in numerous Indian fights, the Taos rebellion, the Mexican War, various explorations and the ransoming of white captives from the Indians. Other chapters in his adventures include a forbidden romance with a married Mexican woman, a hair-raising rescue of a captive child from the Apaches and a gruesome showdown with a sociopathic whiskey trader. Greenwood tells this story in 1927 at age 99, with arrogant good humor and the honesty of an old man who delights in admitting that "Even in my youth I was a marvelous liar." Blakely's lively story is a rapid-fire series of thrills and suspense, and readers will want more of Plenty Man's escapades. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-8125-8025-9
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4668-2006-7
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