Blood Trail to Kansas Robert J. Randisi, Leisure, $5.99, SOFTCOVER; 212-725-8811.

bloodtrailPeeking under the batwings of the Four Bits Saloon, tomboy Joey Shea is sure she has found the right man to help her strapped father Ted Shea. Drifting poker player and former gunman Dan Parmalee has just used his fists and nerve in the Four Bits to squelch a batch of sore losers—without pulling a trigger.

Though Parmalee is a known gambler, he finds himself playing against tough odds when he agrees to assist the Sheas. It’s a regular stacked deck that includes Shea’s restlessly amorous wife, an overbearing father-in-law, a bothersome cowhand and another gambling gunman waiting at trail’s end  to call Parmalee’s hand.  Randisi deals the reader an ace high tale more than a bit reminiscent of True Grit—William Garwood

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