Re: RARA-AVIS: hardboiled crossovers

Date: 11 Mar 2002


Re your question below:

> Are there any Westerns people would consider
> hardboiled?

Loren Estleman writes an excellent series of westerns about Page Murdock, a US marshal working out of the court of a fictional federal judge clearly modeled on Isaac Parker, the best of which is probably THE STRANGLERS. His stand-alone westerns, the most recent of which is THE MASTER EXECUTIONER, are also great. And every bit as HB as his crime fiction.

Robert Randisi originated one of those long-running western PB series, THE GUNSMITH, as "J.R. Roberts." The series now numbers in the hundreds and I'm not sure whether he writes them all, or whether they're
"farmed out" like the Nick Carter spy novels or the post-Pendleton "Executioner" novels.

Matt Braun wrote a series of very tough western novels about a particularly lethal "range detective" named Lucas Starbuck. He also wrote two excellent novels fictionalizing events from the life of the man who was perhaps the greatest of all Old West peace officers, Bill Tilghman. The first book, OUTLAW KINGDOM, is about a young Tilghman on the trail of the last surviving member of the Dalton gang, Bill Doolin, in 1890s Oklahoma. ONE LAST TOWN is set in the 1920s and tells how the aged lawman came out of retirement to drive Prohibition-era gangsters out of the oil boom town of Cromwell in a manner reminiscent of RED HARVEST. It was filmed for TNT under the title YOU KNOW MY NAME with Sam Elliot perfectly cast as Tilghman.

Oh, and that Hand Held Crime story, "Red-Handed," by this Scott Morrison guy who's said to lurk here at Rara-Avis is (or at least, so I've been told) supposed to be a western/mystery that's both tough and colloquial.


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