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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
You Picked the Wrong Stagecoach: And Other Short Stories from the Arizona Territory is an anthology by Rik Danielsen. Eight of the stories are set in the Arizona of yesteryear and feature lawmen, preachers, prostitutes, cowboys, and criminals. Three take place in modern times and follow the adventures of a Glock-packing, sharpshooting police sergeant who stumbles unexpectedly into romance as he solves a cold case, fights murderous jihadists, and pursues armed robbers and kidnappers. A bonus section includes a short story by Carolyn Danielsen, which gives a kid’s eye view of an encounter with Butch Cassidy. Two short sermons from cowboy church services round out the section.
In You Picked the Wrong Stagecoach, author Rik Danielsen gives us entertaining snippets of life, death, and love in the Arizona of yesteryear and today. The narratives are descriptive and move at a good pace, smoothly transitioning from one suspenseful action to another. The author weaves action, adventure, character, plot, and the Christian message of compassion and salvation into an engaging read. The protagonists are colorful people facing tough times and deadly circumstances: gun-toting women who save their own lives or the lives of others, a sheriff facing down an angry lynch mob, a senator standing against terrorism though it puts him in the crosshairs of assassins, a brother determined to rescue a sister from a thug who murdered their parents, a former Texas Ranger turned snake oil salesman trying to prevent a bank robbery. If you enjoy short stories and Western adventures, You Picked the Wrong Stagecoach by Rik Danielsen is for you.