Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Accidental Lawman

Jill Marie Landis
Historical Romance
Steeple Hill Books - 2009

Jill Marie Landis is 20 novels deep into a career which includes titles that have earned their way into the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists. That suggests she’s a good writer. Her latest book, The Accidental Lawman, does the same. Interesting characters and a small town in which any sensible person would want to live grace this historical set in 1874.

Glory is a small town in Texas populated by good hearted, salt-of-the-earth folks for whom a penchant for gossip is essentially non existent. (The small town exception that proves the rule.) The towns folks genuinely enjoy and care for one another, so much so that the place has no sheriff and no jail. But the quiet, friendly town is suddenly shaken by the bank robbery that opens Landis’s story.

The robbery introduces us to the novel’s main characters, Hank Larson and Amelia Hawthorne. Hank is a widower recently arrived in town to open a newspaper (without a sheriff and a jail—and folks who love each other—what is he going to write about?). The beautiful Amelia, the daughter of the small town’s recently deceased doctor is, a healer.

Hank thwarts the robbery, but it turns out that one of the robbers is Amelia’s nineteen-year-old brother. Ahh, the plot thickens; and it thickens into a well-written, taut adventure romance.

Still grieving the loss of his wife and child, Hank Larson wanted nothing more than to start his newspaper and become part of this small town. He wasn’t ready for any serious involvement and yet the good folks of Glory, Texas, insisted that he become their sheriff, at least until another could be found.

Amelia Hawthorne had convinced herself that she was meant to be an old maid. She had raised her brother, Evan, since her mother died; and she was frustrated because at nineteen he no longer listened to her. She felt guilty for not being able to control Evan, but then no one else could either.

This is an adventurous story with many twists and turns. Tension builds to the very end. Enjoy this very satisfying book!

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