Sunday, August 21, 2011

SoWest, So Wild by Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime

I always pick up a new story collection by Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime with anticipation. What twisted stories of crime will they offer now? They've taken us through the holidays with the anthology, How NOT to Survive the Holidays, and shown us how threatening it can be to leave home with How NOT to Survive a Vacation. Now, twenty authors prove that the West is just as violent, just as dangerous as it ever was, in SoWest, So Wild, a collection of original Wild West tales.

When the members of Desert Sleuths, the Arizona Chapter of Sisters in Crime, were invited to submit stories for this anthology, they were given just a few guidelines. The story had to be previously unpublished and less than 4,000 words. The story could be set in any time period, but it had to be set in the Southwestern United States. This left the creative opportunities wide open.

And, the authors certainly used that creativity. There are stories of Navajo ghosts and murder; the age-old rivalry between brothers and sisters, with an unusual twist with sisters. There are stories that prove the Old West wasn't quite as romantic as pictured. These are stories of a haunted West where assistance comes from unexpected quarters. Many of the stories show the influence on the past in present-day Arizona and the Southwest. There's even humor in some of the crime stories, such as the one in which a Jewish detective from the East ends up dealing with cattle-rustling.

In stories of Native Americans, ghosts, murder, and dastardly deeds, the Desert Sleuths capture the atmosphere of violence that still lingers in the Southwest today. The Southwest never was a peaceful place, and twenty authors manage to put their fingers on a pulse that still throbs with heat and passion. Don't think that the unusual characters and the violence in the West ever died. The Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime prove otherwise in the collection filled with criminal mischief, SoWest, So Wild.

Desert Sleuths' website is, and purchase information is available on the website.

SoWest, So Wild: Twenty Wild West Tales from the Desert Sleuths Chapter Sisters in Crime. DS Publishing. ©2011. ISBN 9780982977418 (paperback), 217p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received a copy of the book in order to blurb it.


ronisays said...

Thanks Lesa. Deb Ledford put her heart and soul into making this book a reality, and Marty Roselius not only contributed a great story, but didn't he created a brilliant cover? Roni

Lesa said...

It's a terrific cover & book, Roni. I'm looking forward to hosting Desert Sleuths in October.

Beth Hoffman said...

This one sounds good. I'll be adding it to my list. Thanks, Lesa! Happy Sunday to you and the kitties.

Lesa said...

Bittersweet Sunday night, Beth. But, for a weird reason. Hugs.

Deborah J said...

Thanks so much for the great review of the latest anthology by members of the Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime, Lesa. We always look forward to sharing our collection with you first!

Sarah said...

Was lucky enough to get a copy of this terrific book at the Write Now! conference on Saturday. I concur with the review, Lesa. What I've read thus far, (as I'm doling it out to myself in bits) is truly a work of art.