cover image West of Washoe

West of Washoe

Tim Champlin, Author . Five Star $25.95 (220p) ISBN 978-1-59414-630-5

Western veteran Champlin’s well-plotted, rousing yarn features Gil Ross, a government mine inspector who faces some stiff, deadly interference. Tasked with preparing a mineral report as Nevada seeks statehood, Gil travels to Virginia City, Nev., and befriends newspaper editor Martin Scrivener, who has written editorials excoriating Virginia City’s gang of greedy swindlers led by Ben Holladay, the wealthy owner of the Blue Hole Mine. The violence and intrigue escalate with the newspaper offices firebombed, the stage line robbed and Gil’s friend challenged to a duel. Ross also strikes up a romance with the wily, attractive card dealer, Angeline Champeaux. As the action heats up, Ross uses his knowledge of geology to wiggle out of a couple of tight spots and offers gunslinging advice to a green reporter. Plenty of frontier action keeps the plot clipping along while the geology and mining themes lend Champlin’s tale flavor. (Apr.)