Final Justice at Adobe Wells–a book review

Final Justice at Adobe Wells
by Stephen Bly
Crossway Books, ©1993, 232 pages (Large type edition)
Genre: Old West Western Fiction.

“Coffee in a tin cup is either too hot or too cold. The secret, in Brannon’s mind, was to let the heat warm your hands and the steam soothe your face until the exact moment the brew was barely cool enough to be drunk. Then it took about three quick gulps to empty the cup. He sat cross-legged by the fire, debating whether the perfect moment for gulping the coffee had come, when. . .”

This excerpt comes early in chapter two. Bly has a way of deftly wordsmithing scenes that makes the reader comfortable. I needed that comfort after chapter one where the book goes into an immediate train robbery—that gives a mild introduction to the rest of the book! Final Justice at Adobe Wells is book five of a seven book series written by Stephen Bly. Bly came to my attention when I first worked in a Christian bookstore. Customers recommended his works to me and after reading one book, I was hooked. Stuart Brannon appears periodically in other books that Bly crafted and then, wrote a whole series with Stuart Brannon as the fictional Arizona territory legend.

Unlike most western themed books where there are whisky guzzling, tobacco spitting, and cussing lead characters, Brannon is a refreshing tough guy who is clean from such habits. Not one word of profanity can be found in these books, yet the bad guys are extremely bad and meet justice at the hands of Brannon and his side kick, Edwin Fletcher. Fletcher is a dignified Englishman. He might be a gentleman in every respect, but he does know how to handle himself in a fist fight or shoot out.

A touch of romance enters this book as in others in this series, but no woman can ever seem to meet the wonderful qualities of Brannan’s wife, Lisa, who died in childbirth. Until this book, Brannon’s heart is never stirred. But, I won’t spoil the book by telling you too much as to spoil the ending.

I highly recommend any of Bly’s books and particularly this one. Here is an upright character who holds more than his own in the Wild West. The pages are action- packed but also hold tender times when the reader knows Brannon has a heart of gold. Try it! I found this book in the large print section of my public library but the books are also available on Amazon.com for Kindle® readers as well for the modest price of $4.99 each.

Book 1 in the series introduces characters that appear throughout the series and is titled Hard Winter at Broken Arrow Crossing. Now, I am reading book six with one more to go. It will be with reluctance that I will leave book 7 because Mr. Bly died while he was writing the book and his wife, an author herself, finished the book for him. It is titled Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot and it may signal a fatal end. Sniff.

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