Belle Starr: A Novel of the Old W

Deborah Camp, Author Random House Value Publishing $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-56522-3
Three genres combine in this historical romance of the old West, but unfortunately in this case, more turns out to be less. Born in Missouri, spirited young Myra Maybelle Shirley is devoted both to the cause of the South and to her brother Bud, a member of Quantrill's Raiders. After Bud is killed, the Shirleys move to Texas but Belle keeps in touch with two of his companion Raiders: Cole Younger, to whom she gives her heart, and Jimmy Reed, who gets her hand. She and Jimmy operate successful horse-stealing ventures in Texas and California, while Cole, between robberies of Northern banks with the infamous James brothers, steps in and out of her life. Jimmy dies at the hideout of the Indian horse trader, Tom Starr; Belle marries Tom's son Sam, who helps her raise her two children, one by Cole and one by Jimmy; Cole is sentenced to life for robbery and murder at a Minnesota bank. Although the era and the specific landscape are as colorful as any in our history, in this rendition not even the steamy love scenes, dropped throughout with formulaic regularity, bring life or depth to this well-known heroine and her famous companions. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
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