By Stark Holborn
Hodder & Stoughton, December 2013
The year is 1864. Sister Thomas Josephine is on her way from St Louis, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. During the course of her journey, however, she'll find that her faith requires her to take off her wimple and pick up a gun.
Innocent Visitandine nun Sister Thomas Josephine wants nothing more than an adventure-free journey out west. But adventure is what she'll get - and heaps of it - when she's taken hostage by a desperate outlaw on the Laramie Plains of Wyoming. Before long she'll find herself torn between two men, the handsome Union Army Lieutentant Thomas F. Carthy and the mysterious drifter Abraham C. Muir. And soon, one of these men will be staring down the barrel of her gun.
I have no idea who is behind the pseudonym of Stark Holborn but whoever it is has written a gripping tale filled with well fleshed-out characters. The story is told in the first person through Sister Josephine.
The superb series title, Nunslinger, and the cartoonish cover illustration hints at this perhaps being a comedy western but this isn’t the fact. The story is an action-packed traditional western with some hard-hitting scenes. Sister Josephine’s struggles to see more than goodness in people adding intrigue to the tale.
The story is only just over fifty pages long and the way it ends, and that on the same day the next two books of similar length were released, makes me wonder if it was originally written as a full length novel and is being sold in parts. In fact an omnibus collection has been announced as have a further three instalments to be released on the same day in March.
So why did I pick up a copy? The series title definitely got me interested and so did the price…or lack of. At the moment this first part is free and this great marketing ploy certainly has me considering buying the following titles.