The Adventures of Johnny Vermillion

Loren D. Estleman, Author . Forge $24.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0914-3

Every one of Estleman's more than 50 crime novels and westerns (Port Hazard , etc.) offers suspense, action, humor and plot twist, with the westerns all refreshingly devoid of formula horse opera antics. This one, set in 1873, is even funnier than most. Led by a handsome and charmingly slick con artist, Johnny Vermillion, the Prairie Rose Repertory Company performs Shakespeare onstage, and robs banks offstage. They are masters of disguise and role-playing and are more tricksters than anything else, but they've unwittingly cut in on the turf of Black Jack Brixton's Ace-in-the-Hole Gang, a murderous bunch who vow to wipe out their criminal competition. A resourceful Pinkerton detective gets on the trail of both outfits. Of course, four-time Spur Award–winner Estleman ensures that the actors, the outlaws and the detective will converge at the same location, in a final showdown filled with laughs and gunsmoke. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/17/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 360 pages - 978-0-7862-8835-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-7653-4812-8
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4299-1184-9
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