(This post originally appeared on December 14, 2009.)
I’m not exactly what you’d call a Scrooge, but I’m generally not as filled with the Christmas spirit as some people are. So I thought maybe it would help me get in a holiday mood if I read a sweet, heartwarming, inspirational Christmas novel. What did I pick?
NORTH COUNTRY CUTTHROATS.
This entry in the long-running Trailsman series was published a couple of years ago and is definitely a Christmas novel, taking place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as Skye Fargo finds himself in Dakota Territory, riding shotgun on a stagecoach driven by his old friend Grizzly Olaffson. Fargo would rather be wintering some place warm and tropical, but that’s not how things have worked out. And of course, getting caught in a blizzard is almost the least of Fargo’s troubles, since the stage is carrying a strongbox full of army payroll money that’s bound to attract outlaws, and one of the passengers is a beautiful Russian woman with a secret in her past that may prove deadly to Fargo.
The author behind the Jon Sharpe house-name on this novel is the always dependable Peter Brandvold. As usual in Pete’s work, there’s plenty of gritty action and colorful characters, a few touches of dark humor, and a vividly described setting. NORTH COUNTRY CUTTHROATS may not be exactly what you’d call sweet and heartwarming, but I thought it was a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re a Trailsman fan, you’ll want to read this one, and if you haven’t tried that series yet, this would be a good place to start, especially given the time of year.
(Update: I'm fudging a little by calling this a Forgotten Book, because the e-book version is still available on Amazon, but it's an excellent book, and if you need something entertaining to read after whatever festivities you have going on today, I give it a high recommendation. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas!)