You can’t get any more remote than Glorious, Arizona in 1860. That’s where Cash McLendon winds up, simultaneously fleeing a vengeful father-in-law, and following an old flame from St. Louis. She is not interested, but McLendon likes the hardscrabble town anyway. Then he is summoned out to Culloden Ranch.
Mr. McPherson is the region’s major employer, since the silver prospectors aren’t having much luck. He wants to extend his holdings in Glorious, and tells McLendon that he could earn some cash by persuading his friends to sell their stores, and passing along useful information. McLendon had his fill of informing on his friends as his father-in-law’s spy back in St. Louis, and refuses. Then the livery stable owner is called out to Culloden Ranch with an offer for his business, but is killed on his way home. His corpse is found riddled with Apache arrows, but McLendon isn’t the only person in Glorious to turn suspicious eyes toward Culloden Ranch and its sinister hired hands.
Glorious is the first novel by Jeff Guinn, an award-winning author of non-fiction works about such legends as Bonnie and Clyde. The first in a trilogy, Glorious portends the OK Corral shootout when the bully Ike Clanton is hired as the Culloden Ranch’s spy. Guinn’s reporting background is put to good use with his meticulous history and his lovely eye for detail, all wrapped in fluid storytelling. If you like an Old West tale overflowing with atmosphere, give Glorious a try.