The Pirooters Mark Mellon (Treble Heart Books, $11.95)

book-reviews_the-pirooters_mark-mellon_san-antonioIn 1916, San Antonio teenager James Edward Pargrew’s growing pains keep him in hot water with his dominating lawyer father, but things change when Daddy Virge, his grandfather, summons the Pargrew clan to summer at his ranch.

When Jim Ed clashes with the hired hands, old Virge spins him a tale of returning from the Civil War with his brother Heck to find little peace in Texas. Joined by black ranch hand Old Moze, they headed for Mexico but trouble dogged the trio. Heck won a map in a cantina card game that points to the Bowie legendary silver mine, but the group is soon trailed by French Légionnaires, Comanches and bandidos. Holed up in the abandoned monastery of Santa Perdida and hopelessly outgunned, they forget the treasure and fight for their lives. Enthralled by the tale, Jim Ed realizes the secret of Santa Perdida—and of himself. This unusual Western sends readers along two narrative trails that lead to a heartwarming finale.

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