Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wild Pitch by A. B. Guthrie

Buster Houge is an ornery old man, but while none of his neighbors hate him no one really wants to kill him. At least that is what everyone says. There is only one problem: someone shot Buster in the head at a nighttime picnic. Now it is up to Sheriff Chick Charleston to find out who that person is. The Sheriff is a man with an interesting past, but he is not accustomed to hunting a murderer. When the murderer strikes again the stakes are raised. Will Charleston be able to prevent another murder? None of the locals seem like the kind of people who would become a sniper, but one of them must be. Is it one of the old timers in the area? Is it the retired Geology professor? Perhaps it is the Psychiatrist? No one seems  to have an idea.

Wild Pitch is an engaging mystery with a western setting that takes place sometime in the middle of the 20th century. The narrator is Jason Beard, a 17 year old who helps the Sheriff out with odd jobs and hopes to become a major league baseball pitcher one day. Through Jason’s eyes we are able to get a glimpse of the interesting characters who live around the small town of Midbury, Montana.  Guthrie is writing more than a mystery in this novel. He gives us a glimpse into the life of a small, rural town in the West. There is the elderly widow who sings hymns everywhere she goes. There is the town drunk, the old doctor, all of the classic characters you would expect.  Guthrie’s style is light and humorous. Thanks to OpenRoad Media this novel, and the others in the Chick Charleston series are now available in ebook format.  Let’s hope that a whole new generation will be able to discover these enjoyable gems from the Western genre. I know that I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.

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