Search for Temperance Moon

Douglas C. Jones, Author Henry Holt & Company $22 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1387-0
Again proving himself master of his craft, Jones ( Come Winter ) contributes another outstanding novel set in the American West. This adroitly written story of murder, revenge, frontier culture and history takes place in Arkansas and the Indian Nations territory of the early 1890s. Celebrated madam Temperance Moon has been brutally slain. Her daughter, bordello superstar Jewel Moon, is dissatisfied with the purported resolution of the crime and, although the case has been proclaimed closed by ``hanging judge'' Isaac Parker of the Federal District Court in Ft. Smith, she hires former U.S. deputy marshall Oscar Schiller--debadged because he shot up a whorehouse while in a drunken rage--to investigate further. Oscar engages the services of an extraordinarily talented array of individuals on both sides of the law, who help him ferret out the real culprits. Witty, literate, resounding with employ ing ear-perfect dialect, and thoroughly absorbing, the novel excels as a depiction of the rapidly vanishing frontier, accurately reflecting the interaction of whites and Native Americans, the rising dominance of railroads and the devotion of rough-and-tough lawmen to their duties. Not least among the author's stellar achievements is his full-bodied, insightful character portrayal, as Oscar and his motley crew pursue justice in their inimitable and picturesque ways. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-06-100755-2
Hardcover - 605 pages - 978-1-56054-244-5
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