Thursday, 30 March 2017

BILL CRIDER - PIANO MAN (2014)


Synopsis/blurb……

The piano man has one rule: Don't get involved. Just play the songs. But can he live by that rule when he witnesses a horrific crime? And what price will he pay if he breaks it?

Stretching a point to regard this one as a read in its own right, but hey it was released on its own and you can buy it on Amazon, so I'm not arguing.

1880 and the Bad Dog Saloon near Fort Laramie, our unnamed piano man witnesses a trapper named Morgan bet his 15 year old daughter at poker.   

Two of the other men at the table folded then. They were cold men, hard men, but that was a little too much even for them.

Ray Tabor didn't fold. He owned the saloon, and compared to him the snow outside was warm.

Morgan loses and Tabor takes possession of his daughter. Our piano man watches and listens but doesn't stir. Not yet anyway. Morgan makes several attempts to take his daughter back - all rebuffed violently and our piano man listens nightly to Tabor enjoying making music with our betting chip.

Morgan grows more desperate, the situation escalates and our ivory tinkler breaks his golden rule of never getting involved.

Great setting, quite a dark tale of a more primitive time, nice pay off at the end. A great teaser from the author, tempting you to try his longer work.

4 from 5

Bill Crider is a crime and western writing legend - over 20 books in his Sheriff Dan Rhodes series and countless other novels to his name.

I read the first in his two book Ellie Tane series - Outrage at Blanco back in 2015. Texas Vigilante sits waiting for me. 

Bill Crider has his website here. He blogs prolifically here.

Read in March, 2017
Published - 2014
Page count - 17
Source - Brash Books 
Format - Kindle 
  

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting story, Col. And I like the sort of protagonist Crider's chosen. He's talented, too; I'm glad you liked this one.

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    1. Keeps the scoreboard ticking over Margot and I enjoyed the main character's involvement from passive bystander to active participant and the ensuing consequence. A lot fitted into a short narrative. I'll have to move my other read from him closer to the top of the pile.

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  2. Col – Bill Crider certainly is prolific. I particularly like his Carl Burns character, a college English professor who gets involved in murder.

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    1. If I was starting out as a young reader and getting into crime fiction, I'd try and read Carl Burns and Dan Rhodes, but I don't have the time or the money I'm afraid!

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    2. There’s always… (I drop my voice to a confidential level) …the public library. But then, the time problem. I know. Man, do I know.

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    3. Elgin, I will see what the libraries in my county can offer and report back. I would hazard that I'll draw a blank. I can't recall seeing Bill's work in a bookshop over here. Some authors don't seem to travel across the Atlantic for some reason - publishers? Availability issues have improved with the advent of digital.

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    4. Elgin, nothing in Bedfordshire libraries at all! The "fuzzy" search returned 132 hits on "bull riders" and "beer and cider!"

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  3. Well, you know I am a big fan of the Dan Rhodes mysteries, and now Elgin motivates me to try the Carl Burns series soon. I will look for this short story too.

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    1. I hope you read more from both series - at least I can enjoy your reviews!

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  4. Thanks for the kind words, Col!

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  5. I don't think I've read Crider at all, though come across his name all the time on people's blogs. I'll bear him in mind.

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    1. Moira, yeah I don't think we'll have any choice other than e-books if we want to read him.

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  6. Col, Bill Crider is a terrific writer and I'm saying this even though I still haven't read his stories or novels. I will be reading them soon, though.

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    1. Prashant, I have to agree, even though my exposure to him has been limited.

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  7. There's a chance you are eligible to get a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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