Friday, June 05, 2015
Forgotten Books: The Iron Horse - William Grant (James Reasoner)
Today is my birthday, so I thought I'd write about one of my own books for a change. It's certainly forgotten, being the first book in a short-lived series from a publisher that's long since defunct. THE IRON HORSE launched the Faraday series, which was packaged by Book Creations Inc. and created by one of my editors there, Paul Block. The publisher was Lynx Books. The concept was that the stories would center around railroad detectives who worked for an agency headed up by Matthew Faraday, who in my mind always looked like Randolph Scott, although on this cover he looks more like Ted Knight from THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. These agents would be the actual heroes of the books, with Faraday serving more as a mentor and supervisor.
I remember very little about the plot of this one. It had something to do with some villains sabotaging the construction of a railroad. The hero looked like Audie Murphy, at least in my head. There was an old scout/buffalo hunter who wasn't old enough and whiskery enough to be a Gabby Hayes character. More like Ben Johnson. There was a lot of ridin' and shootin', a little romance, and the good guys won in the end. What can I say? It was more than 25 years ago, and I've written a lot of books since then. I recall that I enjoyed the book and thought it turned out pretty well. There are cheap copies available on-line if you want to judge for yourself.
THE IRON HORSE is the only Faraday novel I wrote. Paul Block, who was a writer as well as an editor for BCI, wrote the second one. Robert Vaughan wrote a couple, as did Bill Crider. Only one of Bill's was published, since Lynx Books collapsed unexpectedly. I've heard that Chet Cunningham also wrote one that went unpublished, but I don't know if that's true. The business was a lot different in those days, but it was fun, too.