Treasure Kills: Legends of Tsalagee Book 1 Kindle Edition
|Length: 252 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Everyone in the story is a little goofy. Most have two names, and the author switches back and forth.
Sometimes, in the middle of the plot, we are treated to a lengthy explanation of something happening years before.
Then, throw in the mythical "Hill Person", a Sasquatch with heroic qualities.
Half the town believes in the mystery of the hidden gold, and the other half think it's fake, but everyone wants to use the legend to their advantage.
I stuck with it, and it did get better the second half, but I still ended thinking, "There's a day I'll never get back."
The setting is the small town of Tsalagee, Oklahoma. Among its memorable residents are Goat, an ex-con; Punch, a ladies man who is terrified of women; Sunflower aka Sunny, the daughter of Goat and his hippie ex-wife, Squeaky; a couple of ruffians named Red Randy and Threebuck; and Hayward Yost and Socrates Ninekiller, a couple of town elders.
Socrates is also a Cherokee and an authority on Hill Man, an eight-foot "spirit being who protects all the living things in the woods." Everyone in town plays a part in this story, which takes off from local lore about outlaw Belle Starr. The legend is that she was murdered by her son, who then stole her robber's loot and hid it in a high cave guarded by the Hill Man.
Sunny has possession of an old photo of the town founders. It originally belonged to the murdered farmer and tucked behind the photo is a coded letter with instructions for finding the treasure cave. When the subject comes up at a meeting of the Founders Day Committee, it plants the idea of going after the treasure in more than one mind. Everybody has a different agenda and they all come together in a chapter the author calls "All Hell Breaks Loose." The author spins out the tale to its conclusion in an Epilogue.
Separating fact from fiction was impossible in the Old West and never more so than in the wild and wooly days of Oklahoma's Indian Territory. The author makes the usual disclaimer: "This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real."
However, some basic research indicates that Belle Starr was indeed ambushed and murdered. Suspects included her husband and her son but the case was never solved. In that time and place you just mounted up and rode out, hoping to stay a gallop or two ahead of the law. The Hill Man is the Tsalagi (Cherokee) version of Big Foot. There's an interesting telling of the "bear man" legend at [...]
I have never been a fan of dialect but this novel is an exception. I grew up in rural Oklahoma and author Phil Truman captures the speech so perfectly that I hear the words even as I see them.
The strength of Tsalagee is the detailed description of the characters. Woven toghether well, Tsalagee had a down home feel, emotionally took me to that "safe" reading place, where I can simply immerse in a fun tale. Proper respect is paid to the original Americans, Natives, which I appreciate, and its done in the context of the story, not just token gestures.
The treasure search is the intrigue, but there's also a bit of on-and-off-again romance to keep you wondering where Punch will hang his hat. If an easy and cozy adventure, under the blanket, cat on the lap read is what you're searching for- here's a small treasure.
Buy this book. You won't be disappointed unless you have no sense of humor or imagination.
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