*No Major Spoilers*
Between July 1875 and November 1883, Wells Fargo coaches were robbed in the middle of gold country. One bandit, in particular, robbed these coaches a record of 28 times. Soon this mysterious bandit became known as Black Bart, the Po8.
Others know the notorious Black Bart as Charles E. Bolton. A well dressed middle aged man enjoying the riches of the mining industries. Living in the booming San Francisco, Bolton can live in the high life without looking too suspicious.
Hot on the heels of Black Bart is James B. Humes. Lead investigator for the Wells Fargo company. Tasked with the jobs of catching the criminals who dare try and rob from the company. It becomes a battle of wits, luck, and vigilance to bring the infamous Black Bart to justice.
I am not a fan of westerns, being raised with a father who loves westerns (good and bad) and trying to read Louis L’Amour; didn’t leave a good impression of the genre with my young self. I did start liking Bonanza when I got older, however, Gunsmoke still makes no sense to me.
This book, however, caught my eye. The imposing stagecoach, the gentleman in the bowler hat holding the stagecoach at gunpoint made me pick up this book from my local library. I thought I’d give westerns another try.
The story was great! The development of characters and their motives were relatable. Being in California both during the Gold Rush and after the rush would drive anyone to rob just to keep food in their bellies.
In the afterward, Mr. Estleman stated that he took a few liberties with the story. The poetry was fiction, but I think it made the story better. I could tell this author did his research with his novel.
Now for the negatives, the vocabulary at times was difficult. I tried to look up the words so I could understand, but it got so tedious that I quickly gave up and just took my best guesses at what the words meant.
This is a good book, for anyone who loves westerns will enjoy this novel. It’s a nice quick read, and I enjoyed reading this novel. I would say unless you have an excellent vocabulary, or don’t mind having a dictionary on hand as you read, you can decide whether this book is good for you or not.