Greed and Avarice on the California Frontier (Texas Tech University Press, $34.95)

OCT14-quite-contrary-for-webAuthor David J. Langum Sr. focuses on the robust Western figure Mary Bennett Love in his book Quite Contrary: The Litigious Life of Mary Bennett Love. Mary, who was probably best known as the wife of law-enforcement agent Captain Harry Love, was an entrepreneur

who acquired a great deal of property in Northern California. She had a rudimentary knowledge of the laws of the day and took full advantage of the court system with numerous legal proceedings in the 1860s. Historians note that she was self-centered, greedy, avaricious and often estranged from her own children. The story of the woman many claimed “couldn’t get along with the devil himself” is thoroughly examined in this well-researched volume.

Chris Enss, author of Wicked Women: Notorious, Mischievous and Wayward Ladies of the Old West

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