- Paperback: 220 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 24, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1456351524
- ISBN-13: 978-1456351526
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,095,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Have Gun, Will Play: A Mick and Casey Mystery Paperback – July 24, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
I pride myself on being someone who will read - and enjoy - anything that comes my way. So when "Have Gun, Will Play" came up on my TBR list, I was struck by the awareness that, outside the Lone Ranger adventures my mother would read to me as a wee lad, I have never read a western. Ever. Not that I've been actively avoiding them - "Blood Meridian" has intrigued me, given my adoration of Cormac McCarthy - they just haven't come my way, and I haven't searched them out. Consider westerns my "lost genre".
So into my realm of personal unawareness comes this quaint and fun little book by Camille LaGuire. "Have Gun, Will Play" is the story of Mick and Casey, a pair of young gunslingers traipsing through the old west after having severed ties with a famous lawman. They come upon the small ramshackle mining town of Newton and are immediately thrust into a gunfight with invading outlaws. In the aftermath of this conflict, they meet up with a banker named Montel Addley, whose brother is a paranoid land owner who basically runs the town and its surrounding area. Mick and Casey are hired to usher the more important Addley's daughter, Laurie, and her aunt Clara, to a safe haven, far away from the range war that is being waged.
Along the way there are numerous betrayals, schemes, a couple kidnappings, and a mysterious bag of toys. The story is told through Mick's eyes, and we are held in mystery as to what's going on because Mick, in his own adorable and earnest way, is a bit clueless. The tale twists and turns and captures the reader's imagination by never lingering too long on any single plot point. This is done pretty expertly, and with Mick being such an endearing character, we don't mind looking at the world through his point of view. In fact, there are many instances of comedy that come about simply through his tendency towards self abasement.
The background information of both Mick and Casey is a slow development. When we meet them at the beginning, they are simply thrown into our laps. Their history is presented to us in a slow trickle throughout the novel, so much so that even in the last paragraph we are given tidbits that let us greater understand their character. This was skillfully executed, and flaunts the author's impressive mastery of character development.
It is within these characters that some of the more interesting aspects of the novel are uncovered. Along with the mystery and intrigue of the plot, this same mystery and intrigue surrounds them, as well...especially Casey. She is portrayed as a precocious yet troubled young (VERY young - it's in question whether she is even 17 years old, which to us modern-day Americans is a bit disturbing) girl who married Mick the day they met. She is grumpy and damaged, a scowling mess of a young woman, who, despite the hardships of her past, is not yet jaded enough to turn her back on the world or the people who inhabit it. In many ways, despite her rough exterior, she is still an innocent. She struggles with the mores of right and wrong. She wants compassion and love yet often rejects it. She'll act the mature lady one moment and the young girl she is the next - which completely fits with a girl her age. She constantly questions the motives of others, and even her own, and it isn't until she meets a like soul in the character of Laurie that she starts to lower her walls and come out of her shell.
The whole of the novel kept this reviewer captivated throughout, and it is a really fun read. The structure is sound, the characters are sufficiently likeable (and contemptible), and there is enough action to keep me feeling eager to turn the page. It really is very good, and despite my earlier stated lack of knowledge of the genre, I found myself not thinking at all about the setting. It felt as if these dilapidated towns, dusty settings, and men and women on horseback were the most natural things in the world. That, in itself, is an accomplishment.
Every part of me wanted to give this book a four-star rating. Initially, that's what I'd placed in the header. However, after going back and reviewing what I'd written, I realized that I can't justify knocking off a star. There is really nothing wrong with the book. It's highly entertaining and a nice little mystery. Add to that the fact it kept me intrigued and entertained, and I realized that the urge came about simply because I feel I've given too many books that ultimate honor...and it's time I understood there is no shame in that. I've been lucky, and I've chosen well when picking books to review.
This book is just another one of those good choices. It gets a hearty recommendation from me.
I'm glad I did, for this book was a charming read. It's about a young married couple of gunslingers (certainly a unique premise) that had been mentored by a famous lawman and who now offered their services - to the good guys. The relationship between Mick and Casey is marvelous.
"I think she was seventeen. She wouldn't tell me her birthday, but she'd said she was sixteen a year ago, when we'd met. And she looked younger, even with all the gear she wore: a little hazel-eyed girl with a dark braid, wearing two silver pistols on a big silver gunbelt, and a big hat and spurs. Me, I was twenty, and looked maybe a little older, which was fortunate because nobody wanted to hire a pair of kids as gunslingers. And no outlaw was ready to respect a kid as a bounty hunter. At least not until Casey had put a couple of holes in his hat. She was good at that. A regular sharpshooter. . . .Case and me do things kind of backwards sometimes. First we got married, then we introduced ourselves, then we commenced to fighting, then we had the honeymoon, and now we're courting."
They have been hired to accompany a young woman on a journey as her protectors (of her body and the large collection of toys she has.) Needless to say numerous adventures result and Mick and Casey are left holding the bag, so to speak. I won't recount the plot as I'd have to stamp "spoiler" all over this note.
Read this book. It's just plain fun.
The plot had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing, and the fast pace kept me turning pages. Vivid details brought the setting to life. I especially like that their horses had names and personalities. My only complaint about the book is that there wasn't enough background about Mick and Casey. For example, Mick said they met and married on the same day, but that fact was never explained, nor do we find out why they are gunslingers. I came away with the impression that this book was the second of a series.
This mystery western is a very good read. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was so glad that I received this book. It's a good western book that anyone would enjoy.Read more
I really liked this book! Easy to read, fun, good mystery. Lots of different characters to keep it all moving.Read more