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Don't mess with Marshal Watson, or any of his family.
Pappy Watson is a U.S. Marshal intrigued by forensics during the early 1900s.
His use of the new technology will prove invaluable when a man is wrongly accused of murder by a wealthy Texas rancher.
“You shoulda been there Bodine.”
Pappy’s chuckle sounded in the dusky twilight.
“Was quite a show after the hawk spooked Martinez’ mount.”
He took another swallow of his coffee.
“Reckon it musta been.” Bodine grinned. “I’ve seen that horse of yours when he get a mite riled.”
Pappy told how The Mexican had looked over the hackamore, and made the mistake of putting his foot into the stirrup.
A little whistle sounded from the direction where Bodine was leaning back in his chair. “Figure that musta been when all hell broke loose.”
“Tell you Bodine,” Pappy chuckled at the memory. “Shadow like to drug him over every cactus, rock, and thorn bush he could find.”
He told Bodine he had had quite a job trying to keep from busting out laughing. Martinez was too occupied to notice Pappy had rolled over and was laying there snickering at the sight.
“Rifle went flying.
Martinez had his foot caught up in the stirrup, he was hanging onto that pommel and hopping around like a one legged chicken trying to get away from a fox.”
Pappy said that when the gasping Martinez was near wore clean out, “Shadow up and stopped his prancing around and stood nice and still.”
"Umm hmm,” Bodine chuckled, “and that is when Martinez figured everything was going to be okay. Whoeee, Pappy what came next musta really been a sight.”
Pappy nodded, “Martinez got mounted, looked around for his rifle where it was laying over on the ground a little ways away.”
Pappy took a long swallow of the coffee.
“And,” his voice was filled with mirth, he was drawing it out for the best effect, “next thing he did was dig those damn spurs into Shadow’s flank.”
Bodine stopped rocking.
Even in the dusky darkness Pappy saw Bodine had blanched out white as a saucer of milk.
He turned to face Pappy.
“You don’t mean it,” Bodine gasped in disbelief. “He didn’t.”
“Wonder he isn’t dead.”
Palo Verde: The Wanted Poster
Reviewed by Maria Osborne Perry August 10, 2002
PAL0 VERDE: The Wanted Poster
by Martin Hollingshead
Molly Martin breaks new ground in crime fiction with her novel, PALO VERDE: The Wanted Poster.
Set in the days of pioneering Texas, someone in Crawford County has shot the innocent son of a rancher in cold blood and accusations have been centered on another rancher named Boone. But Marshal "Pappy" Watson, well acquainted with the man's less than Sunday-school-teacher character, knows this kind of crime is not Boone's style. The man who cries the loudest for Boone to be brought to justice isn't without his own flaws -with his greedy eyes forever poring over the legal properties of his neighbors, properties littered with cattle ponds seeping of black scum. Pappy has his theories, but frontier custom and common sense restrain accusation based on gut feelings.
Ms. Martin Hollingshead draws the reader quickly into this story by exploring the psyches and personal motives of those involved in the murder and Marshal Watson's unflagging faith in the new-fangled science. He's a staunch and crusty lawman of the practical, self-educated variety, a plague to elitist Yankees; and I was as much eager to see his theories and intelligence vindicated as I was to see justice dealt. The cynical Martinez is the most interesting of the villains, for despite his amoral investments his self-questioning looms heavily in his conscience throughout the story.
The narrative of PALO VERDE: The Wanted Poster is fittingly dry, often the characters self- analytical. If you're looking for romance, you'll be disappointed, but I did enjoy the refreshingly chivalrous way the men behaved toward the female characters there were. The descriptions of life in the turn-of-the century homesteading town is very convincing here, the landscape detail in particular is unequaled for its accuracy. I enjoyed the gruff talk of the cowboys, ranchers and other characters, and Ms. Hollingshead obviously did her homework when researching all the small things, such as clothing and common culinary habits of the people of this time and region.
Hollingshead's study into criminal motives and law enforcement methods reminds me of a old-west episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. You know what's in the bad guy's mind, your emotions are tested along with the investigator as he meets obstacles and rides his hunches, and yet you have little idea how the opposing forces are going to meet in the final resolution. A psychologically spirited and well researched tale, PALO VERDE: The Wanted Poster is a treat for criminal fiction enthusiasts.
PaloVerde: The Wanted Poster
Reviewed by Christine Spindler, mystery author
With Palo Verde: The Wanted Poster, Molly Martin Hollingshead, accomplished author of mystery, children's books and non-fiction, has set out to conquer another genre: the Western.
With a splendid mix of real Western atmosphere, absolutely divine characters and her trademark quirky humor, she pulls the reader into a story full of twists and surprises.
And I see you're already working on the sequel. That's great :-)
Reviews for "Palo Verde: The Wanted Poster"
|Reviewed by Grace Mattioli
|Looks great. Keep up the excellent work:)|
|Reviewed by Free Spirit
|Truly well chosen excerpt and an interesting read..
|Reviewed by Amor Sabor
|I thought I was watching an old western movie picturing easily all the scenes as they rushed past me in my mind. You always produce such great visuals.
|Reviewed by Mr. Ed
|I’ve been a fan of the Western genre my entire life, and this is definitely one worth reading. The author has penned a very intriguing tale that keeps the reader totally immersed in the story line, and period details are etched superbly.
The characters in this book have also been finely tuned, both the good guys, and the bad. I especially liked the main character, Marshal Pappy Watson.
This is also the first Western I’ve read in which early forensic science comes into play, which adds a very unique twist to the tale. CSI meets The Old West, and I’m now hoping for a sequel.
|Reviewed by White Dove left (Reader)
|Reviewed by Dana Reed
|I also loved the review and the excerpt of Palo Verde. My father was an old time cowboy and he would've been singing your praises about now. Wonderful job, Molly.
|Reviewed by Theresa Koch
|Loved every bit of this Molly!|
|Reviewed by Joe McCarthy
|Sounds like a great book.|
|Reviewed by Sandie Angel
You are a great writer. You have built your characters so well that they just come alive inside my head. Splendidly written and a great book to read.
May Lu a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
|Reviewed by Ward
|Agree with the others, great book|
|Reviewed by amanda
|I don't usually read westerns, but I borrowed my grandmother's copy and I like it. I like the cover too.|
|Reviewed by arvin
|Polly told me about this book, and I'm glad she did. Great Cover, Good Book. Thanks Cuz|
|Reviewed by Dave Rineberg
|Great Cover! I'll check it out.|
|Reviewed by Louise Klement
|Fantastic book! First western I've read, and definitely not the last, as long as it's by m j hollingshead. The book was put together with obvious great care and research. Ms. Hollingshead puts you right there with the characters so you can feel, see and taste what they are experiencing. Great Job!!!|
|Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper
|I love westerns so I'm sure I'll love this.|
|Reviewed by Polly
|I finished your book PaloVerde this morning & I loved it. I cannot believe how you make it seem as though one is right there. The details, dog, cat, hawk, pink roses at the cemetery, who would have thought it out like that. Good Job! The research it must have taken on the fingerprints, etc., is amazing. Well done.
|Reviewed by Debbie Edmiaston
|Very good! Loved the cover!
|Reviewed by Janet Terry
|The except gives one an intriquing look into this interesting novel. You have a unique way with words that keeps one reading from line to line.|
|Reviewed by Janet Terry
|My congratulations. You have a great book, a beautiful cover and a very interesting read.|
|Reviewed by Michael Tyler (Reader)
|Flavor you can cut with a knife. Great setting. Too cool. I look forward to reading the rest.|
|Reviewed by Susan Takahashi
|Great! This is a great, and I look forward to more in the future!|
|Reviewed by Sherry Gibson
|Sounds like this is going to be quite a hit! I enjoyed seeing the combinaion of western, and early forensics together!|
|Reviewed by Linda Alexander
|1st, beautiful photo! I assume that's the cover?
I like the way you use dialogue to move along your story. Great use of speech patterns. As the ol' saying goes, "Show, don't tell."
|Reviewed by James Samdavid1
|A damn good read. I love westerns and this gal writes like 'Miss Kitty', talks on Gunsmoke. Loved it! Samdavid1|
|Reviewed by Laura Coleman
|I was lucky enough to get to read it before it was put in print. It was still in the writing stage. I really like westerns and romance too. Altho this didn't have romance, just good western action and dective work.|
|Reviewed by Victoria Murray
|'A Must Read Book' by a very talented writer to be sure!|
|Reviewed by Shirley Dodd
|I believe you,ve got a winner with this one. Please advise when it's in print. Gotta have a copy for sure.|
|Reviewed by Patty
|Westerns aren't usually my first choice, but the period writing in this one was so good that I wanted to read on! Excellent!|
|Reviewed by Gail Evans
|Congratulations Molly! Love the characters and the way you have captured the language!|
|Reviewed by Melissa Rives
|Congratulations...this story sounds intriguing and very interesting!!!!!|
|Reviewed by Mike
|Congratulations, I know you have worked a long time for this day.
|Reviewed by Pam Potter (Reader)
|so happy for you, great cover shot too,|
|Reviewed by Andy
|Had the oportunity to read the complete book and I LOVED IT! Born in Texas and this made me want to go home again.
Superlative period writing as well as a very good story. Very, very good! Kept me reading to the last page. Can't wait for more!
|Reviewed by Janet Caldwell
|Sounds terrific Molly! Don't forget us when you're on Oprah. ;)|
|Reviewed by Lynda
|I'm waiting eagerly to buy the book and see what happens to Boone and all the other characters. I've known a couple of real cowboys in my lifetime and know for a fact that Molly, you have thier lingo down pat.|
|Reviewed by Mary F
|Nice reviews!!!!!! keep me posted Mary|
|Reviewed by Jeremy Chanley
|I look forward to seeing this in print. I have read the manuscript, and want to see the final product!|
|Reviewed by Maria Osborne Perry
|This thriller/western is an absolute winner! Thanks for allowing me to read and review it, Molly.|
|Reviewed by Margaret
|When is this book coming out?
Keep me advised - I want a copy. Margaret
|Reviewed by Nancy Pawley
this book is a sure winner.
|Reviewed by Bianca Boonstra
|sounds like an intriguing book.|
|Reviewed by Mary
|Molly, since I live in west texas and have been doing some genealogy research into the 1900 era, I think you have done a fantastic job with the cowboys. Believe it or not many of the views and ideas still hold true today in this part of the world. Your story is so believeable and very entertaining. I am anxious to read the entire book.
|Reviewed by gerry
|Loved the review--loved the picture, you are a star*****
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m j . hollingshead