Medical update: I saw the doctor today and he was extremely pleased with my progress. According to him, my blood chemistry could not look better! I managed a 4-block walk today from the hospital back to my hotel room, after using the shuttle bus to arrive for my appointment.
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist with academic associations in North Carolina, but has a current position with Canadian law enforcement in Quebec. When a shallow grave reveals a collection of body parts collected in trash bags, she has a sickening feeling that this death and dismemberment might be connected to several prior cold cases. Pursuing the hunch against the disdain of the police, who feel this civilian is overstepping her office, she soon finds herself exposed to a serial killer’s obsession. Deja Dead is first in a series of forensic mystery novels by Kathy Reichs, who like her main character is both an academic and a forensic detective. The result is a forensic thriller with no shortage of grisly detail, though as a story there are a few very-convenient plot twists. I think I’ll try a few more in this series once I return home, to see if the author’s skills matured.
Shotguns and Stagecoaches is a collection of biographical sketches, drawn from some of the colorful riders, shotgun messengers, and detectives who defended Wells Fargo’ cargo, especially gold bullion. There are some golden tales in here, my favorite being the guard who was set up by a pretty lass in cahoots with highwaymen, but resolved he’d still marry her if he met her again. As the author noted, if that story is not true, it should be. Another musing story involved one shotgun messenger tricking his friends into a jail cell so he could launch into a long-winded story about his more recent exploits with a captive audience. As a proper history, Stagecoach: Wells Fargo and the American West is better, but for fans of the Old West this is replete with fun stories of robberies, manhunts, and shootouts. The author adds an epilogue that takes Wells-Fargo for trying to sanitize its history and downplay the dangers its officers faced, and the triumphs they achieved in the fight against highwaymen. This is great fun for a casual history reader who has an interest in the Old West.