Thursday, September 18, 2008


When I was in Texas, I purchased Longarm and the Pine Box Payoff at Waldenbooks. I was looking forward to reading it, knowing that it was written by James Reasoner (under the pen name Tabor Evans like all Longarm novels), and I wasn’t disappointed… the story was skillfully told and a joy to read. It encouraged me to look for more, and recently when I was at a used bookstore, I found a stash of old Longarm paperbacks (along with a bunch of Luke Short, Jon Sharpe, Max Brand, etc). I bought ten books for about fifty cents apiece and so far I’ve read two others that I would recommend with The Pine Box Payoff

Longarm in the Indian Nation (1979) is the fifth in the series and I’m assuming written by Lou Cameron who helped create the character, and, according to Wikipedia, wrote a number of the early books in the series. The back cover of my dog eared copy reads: "One Nation, Under Greed… It was bank robbery and murder that brought Longarm to the wild-spirited borders of Oklahoma, Land of the Redman-and anyone after a quick, illegal fortune… It was cattle-rustling that kept him there. Gold-grubbing Indian agents. Gunslingers. And a beautiful bounty hunter, with a sharpshooter’s eyes-and away of flashing them at the least convenient times."

Longarm and the Dragon Hunters (1980) is #26 (unsure who wrote this): "What Kind Of Buried Treasure Could Drive Men To Murder? At Dragon Bluff, rival archaeologists warred for a cache of priceless dinosaur fossils… angry Arapahoes rose up to protect their land andits riches… and hired guns were primed and ready, for sale to the highest bidder. Longarm rides into the 'Great Dinosaur War' to put an end to the violence -and enjoy the favors of a fiery teamster who claimed to be more woman than any man could handle!"

And here’s the blurb from the aforementioned Longarm and the Pine Box Payoff, which is #352 in the series: "Coffin Up The Dough. Some dame with expensive tastes and many names hasn’t left any tracks, but she has left a pattern. Seems she shacks up with rich hombres, then takes off with lotsa loot-and it’s up to Longarm to find her. But when he catches up with the mysterious lady, Longarm hears her side of the story. And when a scuffle with a posse leaves men dead, he finds himself owing her his life. But a treacherous uncle -an undertaker- ain’t happy, and he hopes Longarm and his woman wind up as his next clients…"


Charles Gramlich said...

I read a few Longarms back in the day, and some Slocums. I do try to pick up ones written by James now, but I tended to find a lot of the series kind of ran to a sameness that wasn't that interesting to me. Other than James's, I haven't read one in fifteen years probably.

David Cranmer said...

I agree that any series that runs 300 plus entries will hit a lull now and again. You sould definitely check out The Pine Box Payoff... it's one of the most entertaining westerns I've read in awhile.

James Reasoner said...

Is LONGARM AND THE INDIAN NATION the one that has Nellie Blye in it? If so, I think Mel Marshall wrote that one, but I wouldn't swear to it. On the other hand, I'm relatively sure that LONGARM AND THE DRAGON HUNTERS is by Will C. Knott.

Thanks for the kind words regarding PINE BOX PAYOFF. It's among my favorites of the ones I've written.

Georgie B said...

That book series was a blast from the past.

I remeber reading a good chunks of those when I was younger. My grandfather was heavily into westerns (I think he had thousands of those paperbacks), and that was one of the few that I enjoyed reading.

Didn't like a lot of fiction back then, but the few of those that I read were pretty good.

David Cranmer said...

James, yes, The Indian Nation is the one with Nellie in it. Thanks for the info. I found couple of sites that mention who wrote some of the books but didn't come across a definitive source that covers all of them.

Georgie B, if you haven't read a Longarm in awhile, I'd highly recommend Pine Box. Also, I recently discovered the works of Luke Short who's another good western author.


I've been seeing a lot about these books lately - will have to check them out. Western Fiction Reviews has covered several of them.