Most of my recent reads in this genre have been limited to early Elmore Leonard books. Leonard cut his teeth writing Westerns before the leap to more mainstream crime. I happen to view Westerns as crime fiction anyway, just with a different back-drop.
One of the most famous authors within the Western field is Louis L'Amour. L'Amour wrote over 100 books in the genre, approximately 90 novels and over a dozen short story collections before his death at the age of 80 in 1988.
I don't anticipate reading too many of these, but I can squeeze in at least a couple. Other than being aware of his name and noticing his prolific output which with JT Edson and Zane Grey seem to dominate the Western section of my local library, I don't really know if they are highly regarded or not. A quick google search reveals some minor criticism that his books are formulaic.........handsome dude on a ranch, vanquishes bad guys and marries the gal - the end...... but with over 320 million copies of his work sold, they must have some merit.
My two were picked up cheaply at a second hand book stall for less than a cup of coffee, so we'll so which offers most satisfaction.
His name was Taggart and he rode with a price on his head through the bloodred canyons of Apache country. Behind him was a ruthless bounty hunter-the deadliest lawman in the West. In front of him was a fortune in gold-and a pretty young woman hell-bent on carrying that fortune to safety. Suddenly Taggart was faced with a choice. He could either keep riding and leave the stubborn lady to fate and the Apaches. Or he could stay and help her make it out alive. But for a man like Taggart the answer was simple. He would stay. Even if it meant cutting off his own escape-even if it meant doubling his chance of death.
The Tall Stranger
Rock Bannon rode a steel-dust stallion that was as stubborn and leather-tough as he was. Scouting for a wagon train full of high hopes, Rock saved the Eastern-bred settlers from a brutal Indian attack. But they paid him back with scorn when he advised against following a fast-talker named Morton Harper. Rock Bannon followed no man, so he left the settlers to their promised milk and honey-until they realized their mistake and had no one else to turn to. That's when Rock showed them what a real man was made of, and, with a smoking rifle, fought to put down Harper's outlaw crew and to make peace in the virgin land that he called his home.