The Hanging of Samuel Ash: A Hook Runyon Mystery
The talents of one-armed railroad detective Hook Runyon are put to the test in the mystery The Hanging of Samuel Ash. In the post-war West of the late ‘40s, Hook and his faithful dog Mixer are dealing with pickpockets and the usual ups and downs of life on the rails when the corpse of a young veteran is found hanging from a wigwag signal. Reluctant to abandon a war hero to a pauper’s grave, Hook sets out with the casket to find the young man’s family, if there is one. His search leads him to a small town in Oklahoma where there are many carefully protected secrets. While trying to uncover the truth behind the victim’s death, Hook is faced with challenges brought about by a potential assassin, a callow new assistant, and a lovely former convent novice, not to mention the usual colorful cast of railway compatriots. In the meantime, Hook endeavors to expand his library of first editions, which he keeps in the red caboose he calls home. Full of suspense as well as pathos, Russell’s narrative style is laced with the dry humor that makes for a highly entertaining read.