This isn’t a review of the book in the title of this post, Blast to Oblivion, by Chap O’Keefe, but I do want to tell you a couple of interesting things about it. You can find a much more lengthy write-up in the most recent online edition of Black Horse Extra, the March-May 2009 issue, in fact.

CHAP O'KEEFE: Blast to Oblivion

   Each issue is devoted to the westerns published in the UK by Robert Hale, Ltd., and this issue is chock full of tidbits about the current quarter’s group of authors and their pen names, but there is also a sad note at the end in which the life and death of one of Black Horse’s more prolific western writers, Walt Masterson, is covered.

   You may recognize Chap O’Keefe’s name as someone who frequently leaves comments on this blog, sometimes under that moniker and sometimes as Keith Chapman, which happens to be his real one.

   Talking about his book, however, Chap says:

    “The first words in this book, after the title pages, are written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: ‘The old wheel turns, and the same spoke comes up. It’s all been done before, and will be again.’

    “Black Horse Western readers who are also Sherlockians will recognize that quotation as words spoken by Sherlock Holmes in the second chapter of The Valley of Fear. The Holmes novel was serialized in Britain in The Strand magazine between September 1914 and May 1915. Along the way, the George H. Doran Company, of New York, gave it a first book publication on February 27, 1915.”

   There is much more to Chap’s essay, which goes into great detail about Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes movies, the Pinkerton Detective Agency, the Mollie Maguires, and every point you can think of in between, including his own book, Blast to Oblivion. Highly recommended!