Destiny at Dry Camp
Finalist, Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award, Best Western Novel, 2018
Dunbar digs into the disappearance of a woman of color and the murders of a couple of people who know too much.
A stranger named Dunbar comes to the town of Dry Camp and goes to work at Rich Stanton’s ranch. Shortly after Dunbar’s arrival, he helps find the body of an old man named Ross Guilford. The foreman, Paul Kelso, picks a fight with a ranch hand named Willard Brumley. Dunbar intervenes, and Kelso fires him. As Dunbar asks around, he learns from Jack Brumley, Willard’s father, that Guilford knew something about Brumley’s wife, Louise, a beautiful woman of color who disappeared twenty years earlier. Stanton hires a man named Holcomb, who pairs up with Kelso to provoke Willard into a fatal gunfight. Jane Lancaster, an old friend of Louise, tells Dunbar some revealing information. Then Jane turns up dead. After a showdown with Kelso and then with Holcomb, Dunbar fights Stanton and beats him to death. Workmen dig up the remains of Louise Brumley, evidence that Stanton had an illicit affair with Louise and killed her to keep her silent.
“Destiny at Dry Camp is an interesting mix of murder mystery and western novel, so it should appeal to fans of both genres.” —Wyoming Book Reviews (Wyoming State Library)
“Typical of Nesbitt’s work, the story is populated with engaging characters, rich in detail, and combines the best elements of the frontier and mystery genres—verisimilitude and enigma.” —Roundup Magazine
“The unspoken bond that develops between the principled Dunbar and intelligent young Whit makes this Western memorable and gives it an original spin.” —Booklist