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A Review of

Longarm and the Nevada Bellydancer

by Tabor Evans

 

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Summary

Longarm, a Deputy Marshall for the U.S. government in the 19th century Old West, tries to track down money stolen by an outlaw, which is allegedly in the hands of a belly dancer. Longarm and the Nevada Bellydancer

 

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Fact Sheet

Title

Longarm and the Nevada Bellydancer

Author

Tabor Evans

ISBN

0-515-12790-6

Publisher

Penguin Putnam Inc.

Category

Fiction - Old West

Rating

Star

Number of Pages

187

Published In

2000

 

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Description

Sometime in the 1800's, a robber, dying from a gunshot wound, tells the posse that Happy Jack Henderson, the leader of his band, was en route to Cairo, Nevada to leave the loot from the robbery with a belly dancer. In his quest to apprehend Happy Jack, Longarm, a Deputy Marshal for the U.S. government, heads there looking for this alleged person. The rest of the book is essentially a detective story, in which Longarm follows up leads, and eventually gets his man.

The entire book is written in a jargon that attempts to sound like someone from the Old West. For example:

Longarm finished his schooner and signaled the barkeep for a refill as he said, "Lord, you keep it hot and dry enough around here! I'd best start at the beginning, up the line to the east where they jerk engine water at the seat of Elko County. This quartet of owlhoot riders hit the Elko Post Office at dusk, making it federal in the first when they gunned an innocent bystander on government property as they were on their way out."

 

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Is It Right for You?

 

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You like detective stories.
  • You enjoy fiction set in the American Old West.

 

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You're expecting a belly dancer to make an appearance.
  • You find books written in jargon to be annoying.

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

 

What I Liked:

  • Author offers a number of clues, some that are real and some that are red herrings.
  • At the end, when the time comes to present the solution, the clues are consistent with that solution.

 

What I Didn't Like:

  • It isn't actually about a belly dancer, even though the title might make you think so.
  • The fact that the woman referenced in the title is a belly dancer really doesn't have anything to do with the plot. The story would have worked just as well if she had had any other career that would have been unlikely for a woman, such as grave-digging.
  • The entire book is written in jargon intended to sound like the style of speech used in the Old West. I found it tedious to read, especially when I first started reading it.
  • I could have done without the assorted gratuitous sex scenes in the book. They didn't really have anything to do with the plot developments, and they jarred me out of the flow of the story. Although I can appreciate steamy romance novels, I expect the bedroom scenes to play a role in moving the plot forward. In this book, they don't.

 

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Conclusion

The Longarm series of books contains 372 books. The one featured in this review is number 257. So I guess somebody out there enjoys them.

If you like reading stories set in the Old West of the U.S., particularly stories that involve solving crimes and arresting the bad guys, then you might like this one. Otherwise, don't let the mention of a "belly dancer" in the title lure you into reading it in hopes of reading about the exploits of a belly dancer in the Old West.

So far as detective stories go, this one is okay but not special. The jargon makes it very tedious to read.

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone associated with this book.


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