Thursday, January 15, 2015

BLAZE! by Stephen Mertz: The Review

After mentioning this book last week, I plunked down my $2.99 (cheap), had it delivered via lightning bolt to my iPad, and dived in. And damn, I had a rollicking good time.

J.D. Blaze and his wife Kate are just possibly the Old West’s first husband-and-wife team of gunfighters. J.D. was first to take up the trade, and had already earned a deadly reputation when he met Kate, a roving gambler who perfected her craft on the Mississippi riverboats.
We meet the Blazes five years into their marriage, fighting for their lives against a horde of hostile Apaches. They escape, just barely, and just in time to go up against two of the baddest outlaws in the territory: bandito leader Luis Paco and Rosa Diablo, the self-styled “Queen Bitch of border.” Rosa’s favorite hobby is carving her initials into the backs of other women, and leaving them alive and suffering for the terrification of civilized folk. But is she as tough as Kate Blaze? Read the book and see.
As the cover proclaims, this is an “adult” Western, meaning there’s plenty of explicit this and that going on. Since this is a PG-rated blog, I’ll skip the details, but rest assured they’re enough to put hair on your chest.
Most of the action takes place in and around Whiskey Bend, a town just half an hour out of Tombstone. Whether or not that town really existed, you can be sure it’s true to life, because Southeastern Arizona is Mertz Country. Steve has spent most of his life in that neck of the desert, and even served time reenacting gunfights in Tombstone.
This is not Steve’s first Western. His website reveals he also authored Trailsman no. 243 West Texas Uprising, and 250, Arizona Ambush. Those books are now on my want list, along with Steve’s next Blaze! adventure.
Meanwhile, Books 2 and 3, by Bob Randisi and Wayne Dundee, are already available from Rough Edges Press. It looks like Kate and J.D. are going to have a wild ride.


Rick Robinson said...

I'm sure the book is very good, but man, those awful photo covers just cry out "Cheap!"

Cap'n Bob said...

I've read one and two and am into three right now.

Evan Lewis said...

Damn, Cap'n. You must have grown hair on your back by now. And the soles of your feet, too.

Cap'n Bob said...

I'd settle for more on my head.