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Massacre Mountain    by William W. Johnstone order for
Massacre Mountain
by William W. Johnstone
Order:  USA  Can
Pinnacle, 2011 (2011)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Doubtful, Wyoming, more than lives up to its name in this amusing western. The mining town is one of the stops on the Gildersleeve Variety Company's western tour and the local cowboys are delighted in the show that offers plenty of 'bare legs and undies'.

While the traveling company rakes in the cash, some of the locals are quite upset. It's not so much moral indignation that has set them off but rather the realization that the town's merchants are losing money since the fleshy stage show is packing them in.

Caught in the conflict between these warring entrepreneurs is Cotton Pickens. While some folks want the show shut down, there are those, like Cotton, who very much enjoy the colorful proceedings. Of course, a more pressing matter is that Cotton was once the town's sheriff but he's been released from his duties.

So here he is, still wearing a star but only until a replacement arrives. Why, Cotton wonders, should he bust his britches to maintain order in this ungrateful town?

Then the real trouble starts. A killing, bank robbery and other serious problems suggest that there's something very bad happening in Doubtful. Rather than let the new lawman handle the mess, Cotton decides he's going to deal with the problems. Badge or no badge, Cotton Pickens leaves no doubt in the minds of the town's residents that he's still capable enough to see that law and order are maintained in the raucous community.

A little humor coupled with some rousing western action makes this latest Johnstone gunslinger yarn a dandy adventure that will not only keep you reading but also leave a silly smile on your face when you're done. So saddle up and do yourself a favor. Ride on down to the village book vendor (or go online!) and get a copy of Massacre Mountain. It's a hoot!

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