cover image The Devil's Dime

The Devil's Dime

Bailey Bristol. Prairie Muse (, $14.99 paper (372p) ISBN 978-1-937216-16-0

Set in 1896, this engaging, if uneven, first volume in Bristol's Samaritan Files series introduces New York Times reporter Jess Pepper, whose investigation into a decades-old string of violent crimes uncovers corruption in high places and sets into motion a series of events with wide-ranging consequences. When lovely violinist Addie Magee locates her long-lost father, Ford Magee, she quickly learns that Police Chief Deacon Trumbull is also hunting for Ford, with whom he has a score to settle. Meanwhile, Pepper, blindly smitten with Addie, pens a column that inadvertently leads the corrupt Trumbull right to Ford's door, putting the old man's life on the line. All is resolved with just a touch of forgivable deus ex machina. While the romance is tender and the suspense taught, the overall effect is confused.