KYLE HOLLINGSHEAD – Ransome’s Move. Ace Double 38500, paperback original; 1st printing, 1971. Published back-to-back with Jemez Brand, by L. L. Foreman (reviewed here ).

   I know nothing about Kyle Hollingshead, the author of this Ace Double western novel, other than the fact that he wrote six other westerns, all for Ace (list below), and that itinerant gambler slash con-man Santee Ransome is in at least two more of them.

   He comes to Roaring Springs for a good reason, though. An old friend of his, Howard Giles, is in jail for killing the wife of the man who runs the town, Patrick Clancy. He’s been tried and convicted. The case against is open and shut, but Ransome does not believe it.

   As he soon discovers, though, there are far more threads to the story than this, with several dozen characters clogging up only 120 pages of story, most of them coming on stage only once or twice before disappearing again. Given major short shrift is the mystery of the sheriff’s missing son (his wife just happens to be a old flame of Ransome’s).

   Taking up much of the story is a charade being perpetrated on the teller of Clancy’s bank while Clancy is away. Word gets around that the old white-haired man who has come to town in a fancy private coach and large retinue is none other than Cornelius Vanderbilt. Tis not so. I wasn’t taken in, nor do I think I was meant to be.

   It’s all in fun, but I think it would have helped if the book has been half the size longer, just to fit all of the story into it.

      KYLE HOLLINGSHEAD – Bibliography:

Echo of a Texas Rifle (Ace Double, 1967)
The Franklin Raid / Ransome’s Debt (Ace Double, 1970)
Ransome’s Move (Ace Double, 1971)
Ransome’s Army (Ace,, 1974)
The Man on the Blood Bay (Ace, 1977)
Across the Border (ace, 1978)