Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Arroyo de la Muerte - Frank Leslie (Peter Brandvold)

ARROYO DE LA MUERTE, which translates as “Canyon of Death”, is the fourth and final novel in the Bloody Arizona Quartet, a series of four books by Frank Leslie, who in real life, of course, is my old friend and very popular Western author Peter Brandvold. This series features Yakima Henry, a half-breed lawman and one of several characters created by ol’ Mean Pete under the Frank Leslie name. During the course of the series, Yakima has served as the marshal of Apache Springs and gotten involved in a romantic triangle with the two beautiful daughters of local mining tycoon Hugh Kosgrove: Julia Taggart, the widow of the town’s previous marshal and now the proprietor of a hotel and whorehouse in Apache Springs; and Emma Kosgrove, Julia’s younger sister, a wild, tomboyish blonde who like to roam around the wilderness and in the course of her roaming discovered an old Spanish church full of golden treasure that’s been cursed by an Apache witch.

Got all that? Good, because all those plotlines come to a head in ARROYO DE LA MUERTE, which finds Yakima quitting his marshal’s job and turning the badge over his deputy, an old reformed outlaw known as the Rio Grande Kid. The novel opens with a murder which sets Yakima on the trail of the two killers, then goes on to involve several threats to the hidden treasure, which Emma has sworn to protect because of the curse on it.

As always in Brandvold’s work, there are great action scenes galore in this book, and he keeps the story moving along at a very brisk pace, but without sacrificing characterization. Yakima’s struggles in trying to decide between the two Kosgrove sisters are very well done. I wouldn’t want to be in the position of having to make that choice! Everything builds up to a satisfying conclusion, and while the Bloody Arizona Quartet may be over, I have a hunch we haven’t seen the last of Yakima Henry. I hope not, because I really enjoy reading about his adventures. ARROYO DE LA MUERTE gets a high recommendation from me.

1 comment:

larry said...

Loved this book,want to see more of these characters.