A Novel of the Wild West

“Countless books and thousands of pages have been written about the 30-second gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but first-time novelist Wilhelmsen's revisionist western adds a touch of romance, whimsy and mystery to the oft-told tale. Much gunsmoke and kicked-up dust helped confuse the facts, leaving Wilhelmsen free to fictionalize about the Earp-Clanton feud in Tombstone, Ariz., in the 1880s. While Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday square off against the Clantons, McLaurys and other owlhoots of the Cowboy Ring, other notorious western characters oil their holsters and load up their pistols for a little mayhem and frontier fun. Frank "Buckskin" Leslie, famed army scout and star-crossed bartender in Tombstone, has the hots for Nell Cashman, a strong-willed businesswoman with no place in her kind heart for a man like Frank. Murderous gunman Johnny Ringo is tormented by his own dark secrets and can't imagine the terror that awaits him at the end of his trail. And one-eyed rancher Louis Hancock aches to settle an old score as brutally as he can. As in the lead-slinging dime novels of the Old West, there is a lot of entertaining fluff here, and a weakness for corny cowboy clichés, as when ‘The old cattle rustler bit the dust right then and there.’ Wilhelmsen's vivid imagination roams on a loose leash and comes upon as good a solution as any to the unsolved mystery of Johnny Ringo's death. Wilhelmsen's extensive and perilous travels and much-publicized adventures (on TV and in men's magazines) have earned him the nickname ‘The Legend Hunter.’”
      —Publishers Weekly
            “Frank Buckskin Leslie rode with Tom Horn in pursuit of renegade Apaches, crossed paths with Doc Holliday, and may have even had a hand in the killing of the infamous Texas shootist Johnny Ringo. He also carried a lifelong torch for Nell Cashman, the beauty who would eventually settle on Wyatt Earp as a mate. As the legend of the West grew, Frank Leslie was always close by, friend to the principals and sometimes even a small player himself. After a career as a scout and adventurer, Leslie passed his days drinking and tending bar at the Oriental in Tombstone, Arizona, where a confluence of events brought about the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This elegantly written novel seamlessly melds fact with fiction. Readers vicariously experience the West’s seminal events through the eyes of a deeply flawed but somehow admirable Everyman. Adding tremendous depth is a romance that may be western fiction’s best since Jack Schaefer gave us Shane and Marion almost a half-century ago.”