DEATH'S GRAY ANGEL by James Sherburne


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Paddy Moretti, 1880s sports-journalist, made a modestly engaging first appearance in Death's Pale Horse--and this sequel takes him to small-town 1890 Kansas, where he poses as a dumb, rich gent to expose a con-game involving illegal prizefighting and faked fatalities. The crime-level escalates, however, when one of the boxers really dies in the ring--and story-hungry Paddy turns sleuth. Could the boxer's death have something to do with the 25-year-old scandal of renegade Confederate Warren Quarries, who turned guerrilla, led bloody raids, and robbed a bank before burying the stolen fortune and disappearing? So it seems: the dead man was one of Quarries' raiders. So Paddy, with help from a lovely local newsman's daughter, digs up old motives, visits the town bordello (another dead body surfaces), and winds up in a shootout with the Quarries-connected villain--whose identity is reasonably surprising. Pleasant atmosphere, well-turned-out period characters, so-so plotting--unprepossessing but quietly classy entertainment for fans of period-mystery hybrids.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1981
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin