THE SEARCH FOR TEMPERANCE MOON by Douglas C. Jones

THE SEARCH FOR TEMPERANCE MOON

KIRKUS REVIEW

The most successful madam in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, hires her own detectives to get to the bottom of her mother's murder--in the latest western by one of the best writers in the genre (Come Winter, Remember Santiago, etc.). Indians are going out, electricity is coming in. It is the 1890's in western Arkansas, just across the river from Indian territory. Jewel Moon, whose silent partners in the operation of her very well-run bordello are a Jewish shopkeeper and a leading WASP banker, has employed suspended US Deputy Marshal Oscar Schiller to apply his formidable skills to an investigation of a murder. She is far from satisfied with the official findings, which tailed to answer why her hard-bitten, nymphomaniac mother Temperance Moon fell to close-fired blasts from a very fancy shotgun in Indian territory. Schiller in turn hires Syrian-born Kansas City policeman Moses Masada to assist him, with the two detectives following various trails from Ft. Smith to the Indian nations and back again until they begin to piece together a story of blackmail, theft, betrayal, and hatred pulling together the banker, a social-climbing Cajun, an uncontrollable Comanche, a misplaced Delaware, numerous Creeks, a couple of bootleggers, Miss Moon's love child, and the most beautiful Indian woman on earth. While all this is going on, Schiller is the target of potshots and of the amorous advances of his landlady; someone tries to blow up the bordello; and Moses Masada falls for the beautiful Indian. Jones continues to enchant. This is not for only western readers.

Pub Date: May 20th, 1991
Publisher: Henry Holt