The Final Tally

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Sunstone Press, 2007 - 197 pages
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Santiago Toole is the sheriff at Miles City, in frontier Montana. He is also a doctor but he can't make a living at it. He soon finds that enforcing the law and practicing medicine intertwine in startling ways, and there is as much danger from sick or crazed people as there is from men who heed no law on earth. Toole is summoned out of town to a trail drive camp, to tend to an injured man. But he finds that the man has been shot. And other cowboys have also been shot. And the boss man, Hermes Bragg, is dying of consumption. Toole finds himself dealing with some of the most bull-headed drovers ever to come up the trail from Texas. And the worst of them all is the boss's daughter, Athena Bragg, who is not going to slow down the cattle drive for anything, least of all Sheriff Toole. The Final Tally is one of Richard Wheeler's four celebrated Santiago Toole novels. Others in the Santiago Toole Series are: "Deuces and Ladies Wild," "The Fate" and "Incident at Fort Keogh." Sunstone Press is pleased to republish Richard S. Wheeler's finest novels of the American West, each carefully selected for their enduring value. Richard S. Wheeler has written about sixty novels of the American West for Doubleday, Forge, Fawcett, Ballantine, Bantam, Pinnacle, New American Library, Walker and Company, and M. Evans. He has received five Spur Awards and holds the Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement in the field of western literature.

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About the author (2007)

Richard S. (Shaw) Wheeler was born in Milwaukee in 1935 and grew up in nearby Wauwatosa. Wheeler spent three years in Hollywood in the mid-50s, where he worked in a record store and took acting lessons while struggling as a screenwriter. He eventually returned home, and attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He spent over a decade as a newspaperman, working as an editorial writer for the Phoenix Gazette, editorial page editor for the Oakland, California, Tribune, reporter on the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, and reporter and assistant city editor for the Billings, Montana, Gazette. In 1972, he turned to book editing, working in all for four publishers through 1987. As an editor for Walker & Company he edited twelve Western novels a year. Sandwiched between editing stints, in the mid-70s he worked at the Rancho de la Osa dude ranch in Sasabe, Arizona, on the Mexican border. There, in the off season, he experimented with his own fiction and wrote his first novel, Bushwack, published by Doubleday in 1978. Five more Western novels followed Bushwack before Wheeler was able to turn to writing full time: Beneath the Blue Mountain (1979), Winter Grass (1983), Sam Hook (1986), Richard Lamb (1987) and Dodging Red Cloud (1987).

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