I like westerns and I like mysteries, guess that is why one of my favorite type of books is a good western mystery. Here is what I believe makes up a good western tail, or for that matter, a good mystery.
- A crime early in the book, preferably in chapter one or two. Most readers prefer a murder mystery, makes for a much better read for many than the old fashioned cat burglar stories. (Although Lawrence Block and his character, Bernie Rhodenbarr, a burglar, is one of my all-time favorite mystery series).
- Draw a clear line between the good guy and the bad guy
- Reveal clues along the way, let the mystery unfold Give the reader a chance to catch the bad guys using the same clues as the police, cops, sheriff, sleuth or whoever is the protagonist/good guy.
- Don’t solve it all until the last chapter.
- Above all else don’t end it with someone waking up and it was all a dream. Don’t make an unexpected turn with some kind of twin thing or a fantasy type ending when the rest of the book was not a fantasy. Readers are not that dumb.
This style of western is not always easy to find. I think a good western needs a strong plot, like a mystery it is always as much about the story as the good guys and bad guys shooting each other.
|A little nervous and starting to move when they saw me|