Occasionally I like to step outside my comfort-genre-zone. Many times this will backfire and I beat a hasty retreat back to 16th-century Europe, but other times I am pleasantly surprised and rewarded for my efforts. Lion's Pride, by Debbie Jordon, turned out to be a reward.
A Quick Synopsis
It's 1911 and the Arizona territory is on the brink of statehood. In the small town of Moon Valley, sheriff Paco Alaniz keeps watch over his sleepy town which, like the territory, is riding the winds of change. When a local wealthy cattleman turns up murdered, the good-hearted sheriff is suddenly faced with more than he bargained for: a murder that needs solving, a beautiful widow, a randy local priest, a sect of rogue Mormons with a couple dozen wives, and a mysterious stranger who just blew into town. And the icing on the cake? There's a blood-thirsty puma on the loose and threatening everyone.
The Literary Criticism
Debbie Jordan draws the reader in within the first few pages and doesn't let go until the (pleasing) end. Characters, no matter how brief their appearance, are well-rounded and provided ample motivation for their actions. The whodunit portion isn't too difficult to figure out, but that doesn't detract from the story. This is a wonderful piece of regional fiction and a nice change from your typical western.
Even if westerns aren't normally your
Title: Lion's Pride
Author: Debbie Jordan
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date: April 20, 2007
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