A book told in first person often allows for the most colorful vehicle in storytelling. Picketwire Vaquero by James D. Crownover (Five Star, $25.95) is one of those stories. The remedies in this book are one-of-a-kind, personal accounts that come from deep in one’s past.
If you can abide all of the names and dates in the first chapter of the book, you come to not just a good story, but a great one. The book begins in Arkansas’ Ozark Hills circa 1820s and quickly reverts to the California Gold Strike of 1849.
Crownover has an excellent knowledge of the Indians’ major role in the settling of the Old West. A map of the area and the trail west would have done wonders for this book. Still, Picketwire Vaquero is a great piece of storytelling.
—John T. Wayne, author of Ol’ Slantface.