Northfield: A Western Story

Johnny D. Boggs, Author Five Star (ME) $25.95 (230p) ISBN 978-1-59414-504-9

When the James-Younger gang rode into Northfield, Minn., in September 1876, Jesse James and his saddle pals figured robbing the town's bank would be easy money. But this lively and entertaining western-filled with gun smoke, hot lead and accurate historical action-shows how wrong they were. Spur Award-winner Boggs tells this exciting tale using the first person narrative of 24 historic characters, including Frank and Jesse James; the Younger brothers; Bill Chadwell (aka Bill Stiles), who claimed the Northfield raid was his idea; Anselm R. Manning, who plugs an outlaw early in the battle; and plenty of others. Though the robbery netted just $26.40, the wild gunfight left bullet-riddled bodies and puddles of blood all over town. Add in the prostitute who knew too much, the grave-robbing medical student and the farmer who just wanted to shoot an outlaw, and Boggs (The Hart Brand; etc.) has created a vibrant retelling of the Old West's most notorious and deadly bank robbery flop.