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Publisher's Summary

Framed for murder, Dewey "Mac" McKenzie is running for his life. Though Mac's never even made a pot of coffee, he talks his way onto a cattle drive heading west as a chuckwagon cook. Turns out he has a natural talent for turning salt pork and dried beans into culinary gold. He's as good with a pot and pan as he is with a gun, which comes in handy on a dangerous trail drive beset with rustlers, hostile Indians, ornery weather, and deadly stampedes. 

Mac can hold his own with any cowboy twice his age. At least until the real showdown begins . . . 

Trail hand Deke Northrup is one mean spit in the eye. Before long, he's made enemies with all his men. When Mac learns that Northrup is planning to double-cross the herd's owner, he stands up to the trail boss and his henchman. He might be outgunned and outnumbered, but Mac's ready to serve up some blazing frontier justice with a healthy helping of vengeance . . .

©2017 J. A. Johnstone (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Need a different narrator

This narrator is not suited for a Western. George Guidall or Jack Garrett, previous narrators, we’re so much better. This narrator Danny, doesn’t vary his voice between characters. He also doesn’t have the emotions required for the story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dumbest Cowboy Ever

The main character was a waist of skin. Very hard to root for. The author comes across as knowing very little about the west, or the way of life in the stories time period.
This was basically the story of Job, set in the West, and Job was a complete idiot!
I was at first excited for the story of a traildrive from the chuckwagons perspective, but this book failed to deliver.
Also, if you have a raspy voice, narrator my not be your best calling... Pretty distracting performance.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jerrbear
  • Post Falls, ID United States
  • 09-18-18

The Lone Ranger

This is not a genre I have much experience with, except perhaps having read Lonesome Dove, which I enjoyed. This is something different. To me it was like a collection of Saturday morning western episodes from the '50s, strung together to make a book. The main character confesses early on that he has never had enough extra cash to buy the ammunition required to develop his shooting skills. By the end of the book he has become a steely-eyed fast draw killer whose triumph over evil stems from his moral superiority and determination rather than any actual ability. The book begins without any background to make you give a damn about either him or the object of his affections. If you tough it out, you get to his chuckwagon job, which he also has no preparation for except that he saw some chef make biscuits when he was forced to eat in the kitchen of a restaurant because he was so dirty. His biscuit-baking prowess becomes so formidable that other characters repeatedly bring it up as they are dying. It is standard potboiler western fare ground out by an author who irritatingly refers to the hero's gun as a "smoke wagon". If you see nothing wrong with that, this is the book for you!

The narration is pretty good, except when the guy mispronounced the word neigh as negg, as in 'He heard his horse negg'. Simply stating that this book was not for me is probably the most generous assessment I can give it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another good Johnstone series

I'm watching for the next book in the chair


I'm watching for the next book in the Chuck Wagon series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good book

really good story little too much detail would recommend is a good read very good store

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good Read

Story is good and easy to follow. The read keeps you interested from one chapter to the next. I am a Johstone fan and this book goes right along with his writing style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Adventures on a westward cattle run. Highly recommend!

A fun and adventurous story of a gutsy and smart man who knows how to make the best of every bad situation thrown his way. He's crossed in love, framed for murder, then takes a job as a cook on a cattle run to Abilene. It doesn't matter that he's not an experienced cook or that he can't shoot worth a darn. He learns as he goes and makes friends and enemies along the way. Well written and edited. Going to look for more books by this duo of authors.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Save your credits

I only got through chapter 3. The performance was terrible. The story was also pretty poor. The book did not live up to Johnstone's three Mountainman series. I was sorely disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thrilling Western

Very entertaining. Some was predictable, but overall a good read. The plot was very interesting.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a good story told well

loved the narrator, and the story. both worked well together and rolled along nicely. will look for more from the narrator

0 of 1 people found this review helpful