The Outlaw Album: Stories

By Daniel Woodrell
Rated by Rachel S.H.
Aug 21, 2013

I've got a literary crush on Daniel Woodrell, who's the author of Winter's Bone and once lived right here in Johnson County, Kansas, before settling back down in his ancestral home in the Missouri Ozarks near the Arkansas border.Mr. Woodrell first launched his writing career as a crime novelist with his haunting and gritty Bayou Trilogy  featuring Detective Rene Shade in the Louisiana swamp town of Saint Bruno, a place where "tempers went on the prowl and relief was driving a hard bargain."  Soon after came Woe to Live On , which was adapted into the Ang Lee filmRide With the Devil and

Jul 19, 2012

Despite the Colley family remaining neutral during the Civil War, the Missouri Union Militia sets fire to their home, leaving young Adair with only her two sisters. Together the three set out to navigate war-torn Missouri – an environment so inhospitable it makes Armageddon seem manageable. Adair is brave and intelligent, but the threats that surround her create an unbeatable monster. Once separated from her sisters, she’s sent to prison in St. Louis on charges of treason. Author Paulette Jiles dramatizes this little known piece of the Civil War – that women were held captive – with bold

Apr 5, 2010

The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton

I chose to read this book after seeing the KC Star review last fall. Jane Smiley includes it in her “Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel”. The setting in rural Missouri had appeal since I grew up in rural Missouri and the time setting would make the four daughters in the story living at the same time as my mother’s generation, including the author. I thought it would give me insight into her life experience and was just interested in how their lives would be portrayed.

Ms. Carleton’s novel opens in the early 1950s with a chapter that presents life as

Mar 17, 2010

I recently read The Blood Ballad, the 11th book in the Torie O'Shea mystery series by Rett MacPherson. While this series is made up of cozy mysteries that are very easy, mild reads (the exact opposite of my favorite Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly), I've chosen to read them because they combine three of my special interests: mysteries and genealogy and Missouri. Torie O'Shea lives in a fictitious small town just south of St. Louis. She is the resident genealogist, historian, tour guide of historic buildings, snoop, plus a harried wife and mother. She is usually able to solve crimes