Charlaine Harris, An Easy Death (Saga Press 978-1-4814-9492-2, $26.99, 306pp, hc) October 2018.
Harris turns to a different sort of Wild West set in an alternate-history world in which the US was shattered by the assassination of FDR and by the Great Depression. Sharpshooter Lizbeth “Gunnie” Rose lives in the country of Texoma, a rough, near-lawless place barely hanging on between Mexico and New America, where gunslingers wish each other “an easy death” as a friendly farewell. Lizbeth works jobs like escorting farmer families north to safety in New America, but bandits and romance gone wrong mess up her crew, leaving her in need of a new job, so she agrees to work for two grigori – Russian wizards from the Holy Russian Empire on the West Coast – wanting a local guide, a job that has secret personal import for Lizbeth. They end up on a road trip to Mexico, pursued by assassins mundane and magical, with lots of secrets revealed along the way. It’s a thrill ride through a world transformed by magic and altered politics, with an excellent kick-ass guide in Gunnie Rose, making this a strong start to a new series.
Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.
This review and more like it in the September 2018 issue of Locus.
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