If there were any justice, Allan Pinkerton, hired to track down Mississippi River robbers James and Lloyd Reed, would have hired struggling investigator Masey Baldridge as a full-fledged Pinkerton operative rather than a lowly guide, and he would also have hired Salina Tyner, a comely companion of Baldridge's and of many others. If there were any justice, Baldridge's friend, riverboat captain Luke Williamson, would be allowed to trumpet to the world the news that President Grant would be gracing the maiden voyage of Williamson's newest boat, the Edward Smythe, instead of maintaining the secrecy that Grant's advance man Addison Sweeney insists on. And if there were any justice, Baldridge would have knocked Sweeney down for his attentions to Tyner, instead of ending the evening unconscious himself. But since there isn't any justice, Baldridge will just have to strike out on his own--and so, after Baldridge has abandoned her to light out after the Reed brothers, will Tyner, whose snooping gets on the trail of the stolen Gatling guns that will tie all the plots into a satisfying knot. This third yarn starring Williamson, Baldridge, and Tyner (No Virtue, 1995, etc.) is the liveliest and most inventive of their adventures to date: a must-read for period buffs, and well worth the time of casual drop-ins too.