Litchfield Reviews The Outfit: Outlawed! by Matthew P. Mayo

LEP.CO.UK - The Outfit: Outlawed! by Matthew P. Mayo

Prolific author Matthew P. Mayo, who often focuses on the American West and New England, has written more than two-dozen books in the past ten years. Arguably, he is at the height of his career and writing his best work to date. Earlier this year, he won the Spur Award, the Peacemaker Award, and the Wrangler Award for his historical novel Stranded, and his Roamer Western, Timberline, and Blood and Ashes, book two in The Outfit series, received glowing reviews in Booklist, the Lancashire Post and other periodicals.

A frequent contributor to anthologies of fiction, Mayo’s stories and essays are especially worth seeking out – his recent work can be found in The Trading Post & Other Frontier Stories (Five Star) and Invigorating Passages (Lowestoft Chronicle), both published in 2018.

His newest novel, The Outfit: Outlawed!, the third installment in his lively, all-action adventure series set in the Old West, features an eclectic band of benevolent gunslingers led by former war hero-turned-spy Rafe Barr.

Bullets zing, blades clang, and heads roll as tarnished heroes and desperadoes converge on the Governor’s mansion and Yuma Territorial Prison, setting up an explosive, thrilling showdown. Fun and fiercely entertaining, Mayo keeps the story moving along at a good clip, and the scene-stealing presence of the depraved head-chopper assassin Mincher helps ensure that this compelling third adventure is the best of the series thus far. Let’s hope that Rafe, ‘Sleuthing’ Sue, Cookie ‘Dynamite’ McGee and the rest of the rapidly expanding gang ride again soon.

My review of The Outfit: Outlawed! is featured today in the Lancashire Post and syndicated to 20 newspapers in the UK. The full review can be found at the web link below and elsewhere:


LEP.CO.UK - The Desperado / A Noose for the Desperado by Clifton Adams

In two masterfully written, fast-paced Westerns reprinted from the 1950s, a hot-headed teenager on the run from the law becomes a bandit… and the fastest gunman ever to come out of Texas.

The Desperado and the follow-up, A Noose for the Desperado, penned the following year, are two thrilling tales by Clifton Adams, a two-time winner of the Western Writers of America Spur Award.

A short story writer for pulp magazines in the late 1940s, Adams began his literary career as a novelist in 1950 with the first of two adventures featuring Talbert ‘Tall’ Cameron, the young tearaway turned hard-bitten gunslinger.

Published by Gold Medal Books, The Desperado became a popular novel on its release and legendary crime writer Donald E. Westlake would later cite it as having an influence on his writing. It was also made into a hit B-movie by Allied Artists.

Bud Elmer, in his entertaining introduction to this fine Stark House reprint which comprises both novels, dryly remarks of the movie version: “For an act or two the plot streamlines the book pretty well. Then things go to heck in a hand-basket and any similarities with the book ride out of town.”

My review of The DesperadoA Noose for the Desperado by Clifton Adams is published today in the Lancashire Evening Post, and syndicated to 25 newspapers across the UK.

Read the full review here.