Showing posts with label Spur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spur. Show all posts

Friday, April 12, 2019

Spur #28 - Kansas City Chorine

'Spur' was a long-running adult western series that ran for 40+ books. The main character is Spur McCoy, a former Union Captain and now an early agent of the U.S. Secret Service. He works out of the St. Louis office and accepts assignments for any crimes west of the Mississippi River. The series can be read in any order and author Dirk Fletcher was veteran writer Chet Cunningham ('Canyon O'Grady', 'Avenger', 'Jim Steel'). Entry #28 is “Kansas City Chorine”, published December, 1993.

The book finds a wrongdoer named Jack T. Galde pulling bank jobs across the Kansas prarie. His methods are fairly elementary – establishing an identity in the small town, then robbing the bank before blowing it up. His destination is simply the next town so he can pull the heist all over again. After Galde's five robberies and a handful of murders, Spur is assigned the case.

The neanderthal porn is overwhelmingly prevalent. The development of characters is about as deep as a golfer's divot. The methodology used to find young women to seduce is simply “if there's hair I'm there”. Galde is suffering from a mother figure syndrome, provoking him to rape and pillage anything with breasts (including grinding on a horse's ass). Our hero isn't much better, fondling a young woman on the trail that...just needs fondling. These things never happen to me.

The narrative places Spur in the same town as Galde's next heist. The lady of the night is the Kansas City Chorine herself, Patrice, whom Spur beds in four explicit scenes. Besides that action, Spur just sort of meanders around town long enough to locate the hotel room Galde is residing in. Oddly, instead of just arresting him there, he sleuths around town hoping to find the man. He wastes too much time and finds that Galde, using a preacher's identity, has robbed the bank, a widow and stolen Patrice. The hunt is on as an incompetent Spur battles a tornado to find his woman.

I've read two Spur novels, this one and “#15 Hang Spur McCoy!”. I might speculate that as the series continued the quality diminished. This book was just lethargic and lousy for all of the reasons I listed above. I might try another Spur title later on but this one has put the series on the back burner of my neighbor's stove. I'm done for now.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Spur #15 - Hang Spur McCoy!

There were over 40 volumes of the western series ‘Spur’. The Leisure house name was Dirk Fletcher but these were actually written by journeyman writer Chet Cunningham (‘Jim Steel’, ‘Outlaws’, ‘Pony Soldiers’). “Hang Spur McCoy!” is book number 15 and was suggested as a good starter for new readers. There’s a brief introduction in the opening chapter, but later expanded as a sufficient backstory in Chapter 12. Spur McCoy grew up in New York as the son of a wealthy merchant and importer. After graduating from Harvard, Spur took a commission in the infantry during the Civil War. As a captain, Spur was appointed as one of the first US Secret Service Agents. For validity, the author states Spur was chosen out of ten finalists for his horse riding and service pistol marksmanship. After exceptional service in Washington, he was transferred to St. Louis to manage all of the action west of the Mississippi. Thus, a series was born with a legitimate character, purpose and the open-ended ability to place him in any sort of drama and adventure in the perilous west. 

Cunningham kickstarts “Hang Spur McCoy!” with a bang. Our government agent is firing at an outhouse with a Spencer repeater. During the exchange Spur is wounded badly with a leg shot and awakens in the midst of a noose-ready posse. The sheriff and three make-shift lawmen have sentenced Spur to a lynching after accusing him of rape and murder. Once he successfully defends his position, the sheriff comes to Spur’s aid only to be outnumbered by the hostile trio. With a bound sheriff, the three struggles tying a noose. The sheriff assists, but cleverly ties a Murphy’s Knot to allow a faux presentation of Spur hanging. The deed is done and the three ride off with the sheriff staying behind for the pulse check. Other than a horrendous rope-burn and a bum leg, Spur is ready to complete his mission.

Some authors may be complacent with this being a simplistic and over utilized plot. Stretching out a revenge yarn for 200-pages is quite manageable and most authors worth their salt can milk this. While the author has Spur tracking those responsible for his hanging, the bulk of the story is the assignment – solving a counterfeiting racket in Twin Falls, Idaho. It’s slightly convenient that one of the hangmen is directly associated with the counterfeiting, but it’s forgivable. The action has Spur in detective mode sourcing the operation from start to finish. Along the way is a plethora of lovely ladies for the inevitable mattress romps. Fans of the series understand (need?) the obligatory 10% sex inclusion and it certainly spaces out the gumshoe portions in pleasant fashion. The finale has Spur unarmed in the forest facing adversity…and two armed gunmen. While Cunningham heats the barrels, “Hang Spur McCoy!” pauses for a tender moment as Spur shows compassion for one of the accused. This unique angle is one of the many little nuances that makes Cunningham’s work so enjoyable.