The Marshal and the Sinister Still (A Nelson Lane Frontier Mystery)

Written by C. M. Wendelboe
Review by K. M. Sandrick

The Marshal and the Sinister Still returns readers to Depression-era Wyoming, where federal Marshall Nelson Lane is asked by a tribal policeman to find a young girl who has gone missing from the Wind River reservation. Lane’s investigation leads him to a local moonshiner, found hanged in his barn, and a bootlegger from back East whose sprawling ranch hides more than a still.

M. Wendelboe is a retired law enforcement professional and author of the Spirit Road and the Bitter Wind Western mysteries. The Marshal and the Sinister Still is the second in the Nelson Lane series. The narrative is action-packed and well-plotted, and the characters are vivid and memorable. The novel is written exclusively from Lane’s perspective, which sometimes seems confining and procedurally repetitive. Another voice, such as Lane’s deputy Maris, would not only provide greater depth to an intriguing character but also offer a female take on the times and the territory.

This is my first Wendelboe mystery; it won’t be my last.