A man who wants to have his own land finds himself in conflict with a big cattleman and with a group of homesteaders, and then feels compelled to solve a series of related murders.
Reese Hartley has come to Wyoming to settle on his own land. But his cattleman boss expects his hired men to turn their homestead claims over to him. Hartley resists and is let go. He meets a woman named Muriel. She has come west to look for land, but her cousins want to exploit her. A cowboy is found dead on the range, and an underage female cousin of Muriel is found dead. This girl, Nancy, has a history of flirting, and suspicion falls on Hartley. After interviewing Nancy's father and an unsavory drunk, Hartley confirms that the perpetrator of the murders is a man who got Nancy pregnant. When the villain flees, the marshal and a small posse set out on a chase along bluffs and canyons, there to have the showdown. Hartley and Muriel make plans to take up homestead claims in an area called the Great Lonesome.
“Nesbitt’s characters are not formula Western stock players. They are more complex than that.” –The Western Way
“This . . . novel, set in Wyoming, paints a beautiful picture of the Western plains.”—Roundup Magazine
“Rich with interesting accounts of cowboy life, descriptions of the rugged Wyoming terrain and challenges awaiting newcomers, the novel also is part detective story. An easy and enjoyable read.” –Historical Novel Society
“An aspiring Ohio transplant’s dream of owning his own spread in turn-of-the-century Wyoming is put on hold due to a series of inconvenient murders . . . Nesbitt’s latest valentine to the Wyoming frontier he clearly loves.” –Kirkus Reviews