Everyone loves a heel, especially one to whom nothing was sacred and who charmed his or her way into the hearts, minds, and wallets of bumpkins and belles alike. This collection offers twenty-four tales of petty bandits, sleazy bunko artists, and conniving conmen and –women who traveled West to seek their fortunes by preying on the men and women who went before them to settle and explore. These stories of who they were, what they did, and why they are remembered for their deeds include ample and engaging historic illustrations of the shady characters at work and at play.
Matthew P. Mayo is a Spur Award-winning and Peacemaker Award-nominated writer whose novels include the Westerns Winters’ War; Wrong Town; Hot Lead, Cold Heart; and Dead Man’s Ranch. His critically acclaimed non-fiction books include Cowboys, Mountain Men & Grizzly Bears; Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks; and Sourdoughs, Claim Jumpers & Dry Gulchers (all Globe Pequot Press). He travels the west researching and writing with his photographer wife, Jennifer Smith-Mayo. Their home base is Box Elder, South Dakota.