#BookReview- Two #Westerns to #Read Calder Grit by Janet Dailey and Deputy Cooper by Frank Wheeler


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There’s just something about a cowboy that makes us swoon. They’re throwbacks to another era. A time when horses roamed the prairies and men worked long hours in the saddle to tame the land.

Thanks to Sandra Cox and her engrossing stories, I’ve rediscovered my love of the wild frontier!

This week’s book reviews are from a new-to-me author, and one I’ve loved for many years.

One of my first Janet Dailey books was This Calder Range, the story of Benteen Calder, founder of the Triple C, Montana’s largest cattle ranch.

Calder Grit is written by the Dailey family and a close associate of Janet’s using her notes and research to create a story that is worthy of the Calder legacy.

As the countryside explodes in violence, the Calder patriarch has the power to stop the destruction, though some believe Benteen Calder is only stoking the flames for his own gain. One man courageously straddles the divide…

Honeyockers (homesteaders) are flooding the prairie around Blue Moon, planting their crops and ruining the land according to ranchers like the Calders. Blue Moon is flourishing under the growth boom but despite that, tensions are rising, and people are getting hurt.

Blake Dollarhide, owner of the town’s lumber mill, sympathizes with homesteaders. They’re only trying to do the best they can for their families. It’s no different than his rancher father or Benteen Calder did when they staked their claims on the land. But his viewpoint isn’t popular, and locals (like his half-brother, Mason) make it clear he needs to choose a side or suffer the consequences.

When Mason charms a homesteader’s daughter into losing her virginity, increasing the bad blood between the two groups, Blake steps in to offer his name in marriage to the pregnant girl, thereby changing the course of their lives.

Hanna is lonely. At least in New York the children went to school and had a social life. Here, there’s nothing but work from dawn to dusk, little to eat, and no one to flirt with. Then, at a dance held in the small town of Blue Moon, she meets Mason Dollarhide and is swept away by his charming smile and tempting lips. But when Mason tricks her into more than she’s willing to give away, it’s his brother, Blake, who does the right thing and restores her family’s honor.

Meanwhile, trouble is brewing between the ranchers and the honeyockers and if something isn’t done to stop it, lives will be lost.

I wish the Calder family played a bigger role in this story, though there are a few good scenes between Webb, the Calder heir, and the homesteaders that reminded me of the original series.

The tension is high and there were many times I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Though this isn’t written by Janet, the story carries enough of her love for these characters to make it a worthwhile read.

“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”


When Deputy Cooper Franklin found his sister’s body among the rubble of an overturned carriage, he thought it was a terrible accident. Then he saw the bloody arrows. Now he wants justice, and if he can’t have that, he’ll take vengeance.

After their father deserts them for a sheriff’s job in California, it’s just Cooper and his sister. No wonder he’s heartbroken some years later, to come across her and her husband’s remains amid the debris of an overturned carriage. It’s been made to look like an Indian assualt, but Deputy Cooper has his doubts and is determined to get to the bottom of his sister’s murder.

The investigation is muddied by continued attacks on their town of Tightwater, leading Cooper to a railroad baron and his beautiful daughter. Can they be behind the killings?

This is a fast-paced, sometimes gory, read that’s highly entertaining!

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Are you a fan of westerns? Modern day or classic? Let’s talk…

26 thoughts on “#BookReview- Two #Westerns to #Read Calder Grit by Janet Dailey and Deputy Cooper by Frank Wheeler

  1. These look like some fun reads. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jacquie 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They had me hooked from the horses on the front cover 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had seen an ad for the Janet Daily book on my Kindle home page and wondered who was writing for her. I read three or four books of the Calder saga many years ago. Janet used to be one of my favorite authors.

    I watch a lot of westerns but it dawned on me the other day that I’ve never read a western that wasn’t in the romance category. Great reviews, Jacquie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the Calder saga, especially the first four in the series. Calder Grit does a commendable job of carrying the brand forward.
      Deputy Cooper was my first Frank Wheeler western and you can tell it’s written by a man. The fight scenes are a lot more graphic! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like Joan, I always loved to watch westerns, but I never really read in that genre. These sound good. Thanks for sharing your reviews, Jacquie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s tough to beat a good John Wayne duster, but these books bring the reader right into that world- well worth a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I admit I haven’t read many westerns lately but there was a time, decades ago, when they were my go-to read. I read several of Janet Daley’s Calder books, and I used to read a lot of Max Brand and Louis L’Amour. I also read several romances set in the Old West. I really do love that time period. I’ve written a ton of western shorts and a full-length novel. Some day, I must dust them off!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you must! I would love to read a western by Mae Clair!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree about Sandra’s books Jacquie and thanks for sharing these reviews for some interesting sounding books.. hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sandra’s Silverhills tops my list of all-time favorite western reads- so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great sharing, Jacquie! I do love westerns and enjoyed Sandra Cox’s Silver Hills immensely. These look great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes a nice change from my usual genres 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. petespringerauthor February 22, 2022 — 3:23 pm

    I used to live in Jamestown, North Dakota. That was the birthplace of western novelist Louis L’Amour. He passed in 1988 at the age of 80, having written 89 novels.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. HI Jacquie, these both sound like good stories/Westerns. I haven’t read many Westerns, but I should read more because the ‘cowboy’ history of America is similar to South African frontier history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet South Africa has a rich frontier history, Robbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Jacquie. I’ve not read these, but they sound enticing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. D.L. Finn, Author February 23, 2022 — 12:03 pm

    Great reviews, Jacquie 🙂 I’m the same, Sandra got me back into westerns too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She brings her settings to technicolor life!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D.L. Finn, Author February 23, 2022 — 8:56 pm

        She does!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I watched many cowboy movies with my dad, but I haven’t read any western books yet, Jacquie! Your book reviews make me feel that I must look into it and try. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely! I highly recommend Sandra Cox, Miriam- so good!

      Like

      1. I may have that book on my Kindle. I’ll check when I get home. Thanks, Jacquie!

        Liked by 1 person

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